Irish village

August 21, 2014

Things Are Not What They Seem

An Irish village with a secret, a genteel woman cloaking her feelings, and powerful emotions displaced onto an old piece of furniture. The multi-faceted author Colm Toibin joins SHORTS literary commentator Hannan Tinti to talk about three stories. Toibin’s most recent book is The Testament of Mary, and his short story collections include The Empty […]

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Knitting

August 14, 2014

Alternative Endings with Guest Host Jane Curtin

On this program, two stories about powerful maternal instincts, and choices with very different outcomes. Amy Hempel describes her story “Beg, SI Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep” as “the story of a friendship surviving very different choices.” As the narrator draws us into her many knitting projects (crafters will recognize the title as instructions for a […]

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Fishing Boat

August 8, 2014

Do You Know Where You Are?

Characters lose their bearings in the two stories on this program hosted by Parker Posey. First, Jay McInerney’s scathing look at the empty urban social life of the 1980s. His story “It’s Six A.M., Do You Know Where You Are?” became the basis for his best-selling novel Bright Lights, Big City and, as he told […]

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Freeway Interchange

July 31, 2014

Convergence with guest host David Sedaris

On this program, two stories about convergence. In Flannery O’Connor’s classic “Everything That Rises Must Converge” two cultures collide, and so do mother and son. The title is taken from an essay by a Jesuit priest, Pierre Chardin, and refers, perhaps ironically, to the ascension of Christ. It is masterful portrait of a shabby genteel […]

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Hollywood Soiree

July 25, 2014

Take a Seat with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

On this program, guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories about sitting down to a meal, or a drink, with surprising results. First, the novelist Henry Miller tells us about the dinner party from Hell in “Soiree in Hollywood.” The notoriety of Miller’s complicated, sexually charged novels—The Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, and The […]

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Robert Sean Leonard

July 18, 2014

‘Cannolis and Carroll’ with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

For a food-themed series of programs, performed live at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, SELECTED SHORTS presented a wide range of funny, provocative, and touching works in which food, and the eating of food, plays a big role. Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two of them on this show. The first is Ann […]

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Robert Sean Leonard

July 11, 2014

Peas, Pancakes & Pretensions with Guest Host Robert Sean Leonard

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three food-related works from a special program performed at the Getty Center in Los Angeles: “Drama at Dinner.” When Polonius says “brevity is the soul of wit,” he could have been predicting the writer Lydia Davis, whose pearl-sized stories recently gained her the Man Booker International Prize for achievement […]

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Walking the Dog

July 4, 2014

Dogs and Dates with guest host Parker Posey

John Lithgow walks the dog, and Rick Moody tweets for love, in two stories presented by guest host Parker Posey. First Lithgow reads Lydia Millet’s charming “Sir Henry,” about a dignified dachshund, his aloof dog walker, and his celebrity owner, David Hasselhoff. She discusses the story in an interview with SHORTS’ literary commentator Hannah Tinti, […]

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David Sedaris and David Rakoff

June 27, 2014

A Tribute to David Rakoff

Guest host David Sedaris presents a program celebrating the late writer and actor David Rakoff. Rakoff read often for SELECTED SHORTS, and in this special tribute show, featuring two of his performances, we hear his exceptional ability to pull emotion and meaning out of a text, without getting in its way. David Sedaris, who was […]

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runner

June 20, 2014

Love and Longing with guest host Cynthia Nixon

We reprise a popular show from last season. Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents readings of three stories whose characters hope for love. In Rick Bass’s “Fires” a rural recluse is ignited by a long-distance runner. “Fires” is set in a remote part of Northern Montana, and literary commentator Hannah Tinti notes that Bass is an […]

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