July 25, 2017
A poignant, funny, melancholy story about a man whose wife leaves him for a ping pong player. It was written by the fiction writer and playwright, Joe Meno, who has contributed several great stories to Shorts over the years. The reader is actor, comedian and writer Michael Ian Black (Wet, Hot, American Summer, and The State). Later in the show, Aparna gets Joe on the phone to talk about this story, writing, and driving a delivery truck.
July 19, 2017
Guest host Cynthia Nixon introduces readings from three chapters of Alice in Wonderland. The children’s classic celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. Ari Graynor reads “The Pool of Tears;” Sonia Manzano reads “The Mock Turtle’s Story;” and Dan Stevens reads “Humpty Dumpty.”
July 9, 2017
Guest host Krista Tippett presents works about art, faith, and spirituality. A clergyman is tempted in "The Strength of God, Concerning the Reverend Curtis Hartman," by Sherwood Anderson. It's read by James Naughton. A time-travelling artist has a positive attitude in Elizabeth Crane's "You Must Be This Happy to Enter," read by Claire Danes. And a gold digger has second thoughts in Chekhov's "An Enigmatic Nature," read by Fionnula Flanagan. Also featured are poems by Tracy K. Smith, “The Universe as Primal Scream,” and “The Universe: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack,” read by Smith, and “Everything Is Waiting for You,” by David Whyte, performed by Julie White.
June 27, 2017
On Being's Krista Tippett hosts SELECTED SHORTS this week, presenting works that look at issues of art and faith. "The Doctor and The Rabbi" argue about the efficacy of prayer in Aimee Bender's story, read by Ellen Burstyn. Thriller writer Elmore Leonard has some fun with the "hail Mary" football pass in "Spirituality, with or Without a Prayer," read by Julie White. The title says it all in Jenny Hollowell's "The History of Everything Including You," read by Kyra Sedgwick, and Tracy K. Smith reads poems by Carl Dennis and Pablo Neruda.
June 25, 2017
Our story today addresses, or should I say undresses - why snacking on your underwear might not be all that’s promised on the box. In this hilarious story written by Tony Tulathimutte, the narrator, played by actor Maulik Pancholy, is taking on the edible underpants industry. Later host Aparna Nancherla talks to the author about where he got his inspiration from...
June 21, 2017
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents love the modern way in two stories and a selection of posts to OK Cupid. These are read by Giullian Yao Gioiello and Colby Minifie. Then Jill Eikenberry reads "Ad," by Elizabeth Crane--a stream of consciousness exercise for the Personals column, and love overwhelms the characters in Andrea Barrett's "The Littoral Zone," read by Becky Ann Baker and Dylan Baker.
June 5, 2017
Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully funny stories. Dorothy Parker skewers a boozy, possessive mother in "I Live on Your Visits," read by Celeste Holm. Then, a country wedding becomes a comedy of errors in Arthur Bradford's "Snakebite," read by John Benjamin Hickey.
May 28, 2017
From actor, writer, comedian and the former Senior Middle East Correspondent on The Daily Show, a sweet, funny story about nerdom and outsider culture taken from his memoir, No Land's Man. Published in 2014, No Land's Man chronicles Aasif’s life as an Indo-Muslim-British-American and gives a first-hand look at the American immigration experience. After the story, Aasif calls in to talk to Aparna about his book and the current state of affairs.
May 15, 2017
From Julia Slavin's collection, The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club, a dark and funny story about not being able to leave your childhood behind. As you'll hear, reader Alec Baldwin finds the humor, absurdity and, ultimately, the humanity through his reading. Later in this episode, host Aparna Nancherla chats with Julia Slavin about the origins of "Covered."
April 3, 2017
The first chapter of Hubert Selby, Jr's classic, Last Exit To Brooklyn is many things: it's profane, violent and contains a number of racial slurs. But it's also a window into the gritty life on a Brooklyn street written by a man who had lived a horrible life and had come out the other side. In a powerful reading, actor John Turturro (Do The Right Thing, Barton Fink, The Night Of) transports us to those mean, grim streets. Also in the episode, guest host Lorin Stein, Editor of The Paris Review, talks to novelist and screenplay writer Richard Price about what it was about Last Exit To Brooklyn and Selby as a person that made him a fan.
March 20, 2017
From the best-selling author Beautiful Ruins, a story about a drug dealing Portland con artist voiced by actor Denis O'Hare who seems to have the perfect scam going, until it all goes wrong. Jess Walter talks to Aparna about where he gets his inspiration from, reading his reviews, and how he handles the dreaded writer's block.
November 30, 1999
Back by popular demand, actor Stephen Lang reads, “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”, a -shall we say- intense story about family, love, and dying by Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King). Host Aparna Nancherla talks to Stu Tinker, a Stephen King superfan from King’s hometown of Bangor, Maine (get ready for that accent!). For nearly 20 years he’s been giving tours to spots that have inspired so many of author’s stories.