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Selected Shorts from PRI: Episodes

Guest host Stephen Colbert celebrates a classic by gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We hear three chapters from his 1972 book chronicling his drug-fuelled road trip to cover a motor-cycle race, which winds up being what he called “a savage journey to the heart of ...
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a program of stories about finding love in unexpected places—a cave (“I Love Girl,” by Simon Rich; performed by Michael Ian Black); in the belly of a whale “When We Lived Together In the Belly of a Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect,” by Mara McCormick Sternberg, ...
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a program of stories about revolution—social and personal. In “Homegirls on St. Nicholas Avenue,” read by Marsha Stephanie Blake, the writer Sonia Sanchez remembers when Malcolm X changed her life. Henry Dumas’ “Strike and Fade,” brings back the ...
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about extreme love. In “Magic and Dread,” an excerpt from Jenny Offill’s novel Dept. of Speculation, a new mother is exhausted and exhilarated. The reader is Kaneza Schaal. Broadway star BD Wong reads the story of the doomed love affair between a ...
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about how the rich aren’t like you and me. In Jonathan Franzen’s “Ambition” a wealthy couple’s marriage of convenience unravels. It’s read by Edie Falco. And Mary Louise Parker brings to life an hilariously vain and selfish socialite in Dorothy ...
Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman presents three stories about transformation. Rita Wolf reads Angela Carter’s haunting retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, “The Company of Wolves.” A son hears surprising things about his father in Gaiman’s “Adventure Story” read by John Cameron Mitchell, and ...
Neil Gaiman reads his story, “June Tale”, in which an exasperated ‘tween recounts the endless quarrelling of her parents, but between the lines, there seems to be love.
Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman hosts a Halloween special 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 ...
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents four works about writing. An independent young woman counsels clueless male novelists in “The Writers Model” by Molly Giles. The reader is Kaneza Schaal. A wife and husband try “Creative Writing” in a story by Etgar Keret read by Girls star Alex Karpovsky. ...
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,” ...
Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about unexpected encounters at night. In Steven Millhauser’s “Claire de Lune,” a teenage boy with insomnia wanders into an all-girl pickup game. It’s read by James Naughton. Comic Wyatt Cenac reads Sherman Alexie’s “Night People” in which ...
Guest host Jane Curtin presents a celebration of Greenwich Village, with stories by Laurie Colwin (“Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, read by Kelli O’Hara) and John Updike (“Snowing in Greenwich Village,” read by Curtin), and comments by Village denizens Dave Hill, Isaac Mizrahi, Ralph Lee, ...
Guest host Jane Curtin presents sassy stories about sassy women from the legendary Dorothy Parker, including “The Sexes,” read by Parker Posey and “The Standard of Living” (two secretaries on a fantasy shopping spree), read by Hope Davis. A cranky coffee shop employee with amazing luck keeps ...
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two stories with too much information. Raymond Carver’s “Feathers,” about an odd couple, is read by Leonard, and in Donald Barthelme’s “The School” class projects suffer from blight. It’s read by Laura Esterman.
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories about food, family, and friendship. Secrets are revealed at a Christmas party in Ann Beattie’s “Where You’ll Find Me,” read by Jane Kaczmarek; the narrator of Haruki Murakami’s “The Year of Spaghetti” is using pasta to keep the world ...
A long marriage and the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the nuclear age in stories hosted by Wyatt Cenac. Sherman Alexie offers a portrait of the courtship and long marriage of two Native Americans in “Do You Know Where I Am?” read by Keir Dullea. In Donald Barthelme’s “Game,” two paranoid men ...
Guest host Jane Curtin talks with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich of Radiolab about stories they curated for SELECTED SHORTS—Jenny Hollowell’s whirlwind “The History of Everything Including You,” performed by Kyra Sedgwick, and Paul Broks’
“Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” in which a man ...
Shame, longing, and passion lie beneath the surface lives of the characters in these three stories. Guest Colm Toibin talks about respectability betrayed in his story “A Priest in the Family,” read by Lois Smith. In James Salter’s “Dusk,” read by Amy Ryan, a middle-aged woman faces a loveless ...
On this program, two stories about powerful maternal instincts, and hard choices. In Amy Hempel’s “Beg, SI Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep” two women make very different choices about childbearing. The reader is Anika Noni Rose. Guest host Jane Curtin reads Galina Vroman’s “Sarah’s Story,” a provocative ...
On this program, Jay McInerney’s scathing look at bright lights in the big city. His story “It’s Six A.M., Do You Know Where You Are?” is read by Jeremy Shamos. Maile Meloy depicts a breach of trust in a father/daughter relationship in “Red from Green”. Patricia Kalember reads. Parker ...
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