August 16, 2017
Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Carolina Ravassa reads "Remnants of Carnival," in which a little girl is briefly transformed. Denis O'Hare tells an eerie tale of a strange marriage in "The Obedient Ones," and Lynn Cohen is a scary matriarch in "Happy Birthday."
August 9, 2017
Guest host Kate Burton presents four unusual love stories. David Galef imagines “My Date with Neanderthal Woman,” read by Giullian Yao Gioiello. It’s raining old boyfriends and ex-husbands—literally—in Marie-Helene Bertino’s “Edna in Rain,” read by Colby Minifie. An extra-marital affair becomes a comedy of errors in Sam Ruddick’s “Leak,” read by “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” host Peter Sagal. And Kathleen Turner performs Isabel Allende’s magical “The Little Heidelberg.”
August 2, 2017
Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories that are favorites of novelist and screenwriter Richard Price ("Lush Life," "The Wire") and Colson Whitehead remembers his personal New York. Maggie Gyllenhaal reads Isaac Babel’s tale of local crime and politics, “The King,” and Rita Wolf reads Lucia Berlin’s odd love triangle, “The Love Affair.” Whitehead’s “Lost and Found” is read by Alec Baldwin.
July 25, 2017
Guest host Ruben Santiago-Hudson presents three stories about parallel lives. First, he reads Percival Everett's delightfully subversive "The Appropriation of Cultures." Next, estranged brothers meet at Occupy Wall Street in Fiona Maazel's "We Was Twins," read by Cory Michael Smith. And a feisty retiree doesn't think much of her fellow library patrons in Mary Gordon's "The Epiphany Branch," read by Mary Cleere Haran.
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 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...
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.
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.