Selected Shorts tracks on Soundclound

#selectedshorts

Big Shots
Selected Shorts

Just in time for President’s Day we offer two stories about big shots, presented by guest host Jane Curtin. First, classic humorist James Thurber imagines what happens when an aviation hero has feet of clay. “The Greatest Man in the World” is read by Michael Ian Black. And former President Bill Clinton makes a cameo appearance in Meera Nair’s warmly funny tale of a village in Bangladesh about to be rescued from “centuries of obscurity.” “A Warm Welcome to the President, Insh'Allah!” is performed by Aasif Mandvi.

Storytelling
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Private Lives
Selected Shorts

Guest host David Sedaris presents two stories about important relationships, and one playful spoof about the lives of celebrity chefs. In Donna Tartt’s “The Ambush,” two children wage guerilla warfare; it’s read by Patricia Kalember. Author Leonard Michaels recalls “My Father’s Life,” as read by Isaiah Sheffer,” and Mario Batali lets us in on “The Secret Lives of Chefs.”

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Extended Families
Selected Shorts

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families. A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “Big Mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming of age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis. In Jai Chakrabarti’s “A Small Sacrifice for An Enormous Happiness,” forbidden love affair and a marriage of convenience promise two different futures. The reader is Bhavesh Patel.

Storytelling
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Inside Out
Selected Shorts

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories in which small things count for a lot. A discarded sock reminds one woman of her ex-husband in “The Sock” by Lydia Davis, read by Kaneza Schaal. Sisters find a Scrabble at a department store in Meg Wolitzer’s “Deep Lie the Woods,” read by Blythe Danner. And old-time jazz musicians and their funny clothes, food, and drink charm a young drummer in “Nightblooming,” by Kenneth Calhoun, read by Josh Charles.

Storytelling
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Imaginary Worlds
Selected Shorts

Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about imagined worlds. In “The Dreamlife of Toasters,” by Heather O’Neill, an android falls in love, and there are consequences. The reader is Yvette Nicole Brown. In Stefan Zweig’s “The Invisible Collection,” a blind man is able to “see” priceless drawings. It is performed by René Auberjonois

Storytelling
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Dreaming Out Loud with Guest Host Neil Gaiman
Selected Shorts

Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman hosts a program featuring two of his own stories and a classic by John Collier. The title says it all in “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11¼,” read by “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vangness. Gaiman himself reads John Collier’s eerie “Evening Primrose,” about a secret society that inhabits a large department store. And we finish with another Gaiman, “July Tale,” in which a lovesick husband builds an igloo out of books. Gaiman reads.

Storytelling
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Crossing the Line
Selected Shorts

Guest host Denis O’Hare presents three stories that take things to extremes. In Simon Rich’s “Distractions,” we learn about a global conspiracy. Errin Hayes reads. The misanthrope in Douglas Lawson’s “Love in a Kitchen Garden” is cruel to his garden gnomes. Richard Kind reads. And Maulik Pancholy performs Emily Buckler’s “Brand Values,” a reality-bending tale about high-end leather.

Storytelling
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I Do, I Do
Selected Shorts

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about marriage. In “Any Number of Little Old Ladies,” by Bruce Jay Friedman, a playwright uses his wife as a character and she’s not thrilled. Blythe Danner and Maulik Pancholy read. Another marriage is at risk in Roxanna Robinson’s “In Naples,” a trip that forces one woman to confront her feelings about her husband. Betty Buckley performs this delicate story.

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