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Selected Shorts from PRI: Episodes

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents a program of stories in which things don’t quite work out as planned. Three are by humorist BJ Novak. He reads his “All You Have to Do;” Allison Williams reads “Missed Connection,” and Novak, Aasif Mandvi, and Williams read “Closure.” In Miranda July’s ...
Guest host Jane Curtin presents a program of stories by humorist BJ Novak from his book One More Thing. Novak reads his re-mix of the tortoise and the hare fable, “The Rematch.” He’s joined by Aasif Mandvi and Anthony Rapp for “Great Writers Steal,” and then he reads a comic coming-of- age ...
Guest host David Sedaris presents a program celebrating the late David Rakoff, and praising him as a great reader and lover of language. Rakoff reads Leonard Michaels’ “Cryptology” in which a neurotic mathematician has a strange encounter, and Roberto Bolano’ s “Gomez Palacio,” which is ...
An abduction, a rejection, and a reconciliation in three stories presented by David Sedaris. A flirtatious girl is in peril in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, read by Christine Baranski. A tender-hearted librarian parts company with her feral cats in Belle Boggs’ ...
Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about choices. In Amy Hempel’s “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” two old friends face death together and apart. The reader is Mary Beth Hurt. In Tobias Wolff’s “The Night in Question” a sister and brother disagree about the right ...
David Sedaris presents the three unconventional stories about family ties. In Amy Hempel’s “The Dog of the Marriage,” a discarded wife finds abiding love among seeing- eye dogs. The reader is Joan Allen. Veronica Geng makes fun of traditional wedding announcements in “Partners”, read by ...
Cynthia Nixon presents the second of two programs devoted to a reading of James Joyce’s most memorable short story, “The Dead,” first published in his collection Dubliners. “The Dead” takes place at a New Year’s dinner-dance in Dublin in 1904, and is filled with colorful characters, period ...
Cynthia Nixon presents the first of two programs devoted to a reading of James Joyce’s most memorable short story, “The Dead,” first published in his collection Dubliners. “The Dead” takes place at a New Year’s dinner-dance in Dublin in 1904, and is filled with colorful characters, period ...
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, ...
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