Selected Shorts from PRI

Selected Shorts from PRI

United States

Podcast by Selected Shorts from PRI

Episodes

Curiouser and Curiouser:  A Celebration of Alice in Wonderland  

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.”   

On Being  

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.

Finding Your Way in the Dark  

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two pieces about living in the dark.  In “I Go Adventuring” Helen Keller describes her visits New York, a city she could sense but not see.  Maggie Siff is the reader.  In Jess Row’s “The Secrets of Bats,” a schoolgirl teaches herself echolocation.  The reader is Heather Goldenhersh. 

Someone's Listening  

"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.  

Episode 23 Tony Tulathimutte "Saint Pantaleone"  

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.

Seeking Love  

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.

“Nothing Good Gets Away”:  Readings from Letters of Note  

Guest host Jane Curtin presents readings from the blog Letters of Note, including letters by Elvis Presley, Katharine Hepburn, Jack the Ripper, and Queen Elizabeth II, among others.  Readers include Jane Curtin, Kate Mulgrew, Phylicia Rashad, Jeremy Shamos, and Sam Underwood.  Also, “Hearing from Wayne,” by Bill Franzen read by Jeremy Shamos and “Yma Dream,” by Thomas Meehan, read by James Naughton.

Episode 22: Stephen King “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”  

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. 






Laugh, or Cry  

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. 

True Confessions  

Guest host David Strathairn presents three stories in which characters confess: Harris Yulin reads David Rakoff's essay "Isn't It Romantic," about how hard it is to write; James Thurber tells the tale of a family prank in "More Alarms at Night," read by Colin Quinn; and patients spy on their therapist in Meg Wolitzer's "Aout," read by Jill Eikenberry.

Episode 21 Aasif Mandvi “Born Again”  

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.

Episode 21  Aasif Mandvi “Born Again”  

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 Man's Land.  Published in 2014, No Man’s Land 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.  

Front Lines  

Guest host Kate Burton presents four works reflecting on the experience of war.   Lieutenant Colonel Chris Cohoes emailed his young sons while serving in Afghanistan. Matthew Modine reads one of his notes.  A black soldier fights for independence during the Revolutionary War.  Ruben Santiago-Hudson reads “A Soldier for the Crown” by Charles Johnson.  In Robert Olen Butler’s “Mother in the Trenches,” a woman makes her way to France to be with her son.  And Moacyr Scliar imagines war as just another day job in “Peace and War” read by Michael Cristofer. 

Brief Lives  

Life is fleeting in these three works presented by guest host Michael Cerveris.   Andy Warhol complains about fifteen seconds of fame in excerpts from his diaries read by Denis O’Hare.  A novelist borrows someone else’s tragedy in “The Young Painters,” read by Heather Burns.  And a young boy and his grandmother in rural Ireland make a dramatic decision in Claire Keegan’s “The Burning Palms,” read by Patricia Kalember.

Episode 20 Julia Slavin "Covered"  

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." 



Women’s Roles  

Guest host Kate Burton presents three works in which women are subjects, objects, or catalysts.  The Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood has excellent street cred as a feminist, with books like The Edible Woman and The Handmaid’s Tale.   So she’s allowed to poke a little fun at political correctness, which she does in “There Was Once.”   It's performed by Jane Kaczmarek, Rene Auberjonois, and Zach Grenier.  

An actress is offered an unsympathetic part in "A Leading Role," by Tove Jansson, also read by Jane Kaczmarek.  In Smith Henderson's "Treasure State," a young girl hitches a ride with runaway brothers.  The reader is Michael Shannon. 

Uncharted Territories  

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents three works about entering uncharted territories.  An early John Updike fable, “The Different One,” imagines a bold bunny.  It’s read by Michael Emerson.  A gentrified town morphs into a dreamscape in Steven Millhauser’s “Coming Soon,” ready by David Morse.  And Kirstin Valdez Quade’s essay “Youth From Every Quarter” looks at the harsher side of assimilation.  It’s read by Manzano.

Episode 19 David Sedaris "Road Trips"  

Actor Sam Underwood (The Following) reads a Sedaris story you're never going to hear on Public Radio.  Also, guest host Lorin Stein (Editor of The Paris Review) talks to Sedaris about his work, and what stories he would love to hear on Too Hot For Radio.

The Pursuit of Happiness  

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two sweet tales of happily ever after.  In Maile Meloy’s “The Proxy Marriage,” the shy hero marries the love of his life over and over.  The reader is Patricia Kalember.  And Anne Meara performs “The Worm in the Apple,” John Cheever’s tale of a marriage so perfect no one can believe it.

Learn from Your Mistakes  

Guest host David Sedaris two stories about learning from your mistakes.  Isaiah Sheffer reads Tobias Wolff’s “Mortals,” in which a botched obit leads to a life lesson.  In Edwidge Danticat’s  “Reading Lessons,” read by Marsha Stephanie Blake, it is the teacher who is taught.

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