December 7, 2016
David Sedaris presents the three unconventional stories about family ties. In Amy Hempel’s “The Dog of the Marriage,” a discarded wife finds abiding love among seeing- eye dogs. The reader is Joan Allen. Veronica Geng makes fun of traditional wedding announcements in “Partners”, read by Michael Cerveris, Patricia Kalember, and Isaiah Sheffer. And William Hurt reads Tobias Wolff’s moving father-son story “Nightingale.”
December 1, 2016
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents excerpts from works by novelist John Irving. Orphans are cared for by a tough guy and a tough dog in "The Broken Side-view Mirror," read by Yul Vazquez. A teenager is smitten by a librarian in an excerpt from In One Person, read by Michael C. Hall. And a philandering children's book author entertains "Unhappy Mothers," in a reading by Heather Burns from A Widow for One Year.
November 28, 2016
Ready by Amy Ryan. Annie is a market researcher for the feminine hygiene division of a health & beauty company. While the cool people work on marketing skin creams and cosmetics, she finds out how women feel about menstruation. It's a story complete with humor and humanity, differences and common bonds, and a recognition that sometimes it’s who you run into in the ladies’ room that matters. After the story, Aparna Nancherla talks to fellow writer and comedian Emily Heller about the differences between men and women and how they could both relate to Annie.
November 22, 2016
Guest host Jane Curtin presents four stories by Lydia Davis, a master of short-form fiction in which real-life situations are subtly altered to produce the funny and strange. We hear “Can’t and Won’t,” “If at the Wedding (at the Zoo),” “The Party,” and “The Two Davises and the Rug,” read by Davis, Kaneza Schaal, Cristin Milioti, and Dylan Baker. The final story, “The Egg Race,” is by John Updike. In it, a high school reunion triggers memories and regrets. It’s read by Alec Baldwin.
November 16, 2016
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories about fateful encounters. Henry Slesar's "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" was a classic “Twilight Zone” episode about over-ambition, read by Leonard. Leonard also reads Eric Schlich's "Head Over Knees," in which a teen's envy turns to empathy. And Helen Oyeyemi dresses an old fairy tale in new clothes in “Dornicka and the St. Martin's Day Goose," read by Colby Minifie.