Guest host Tayari Jones helps us to celebrate this American master, who died in 2019. Her novels, including Beloved, Jazz and Song of Solomon, have become an indelible part of the American canon. Her fierce, poetic visions earned her the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was also an editor, advocate, teacher, and mother. This program features her essay “A Knowing So Deep,” read by Jones; an excerpt from The Bluest Eye, read by Anika Noni Rose; an excerpt from Jazz, read by S. Epatha Merkerson; “Sweetness,” read by Phylicia Rashad, and a tribute by Fran Lebowitz.
Actor Robin Lord Taylor (You, Gotham) performs a story about a single mom with two unruly sons. And later in the podcast, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Sarah Thyre about how she chose this story for a night at Selected Shorts.
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen class “A Wild Swan,” in a reading by Valorie Curry. Next, an excerpt from George Saunders’ touching and hilarious novella, Fox 8, read by John Cameron Mitchell.
Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families. A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “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...