Guest host Hope Davis presents a program of Italian short fiction selected by the novelist and short-story writer Jhumpa Lahiri. The stories were drawn from The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories, which Lahiri edited. They range from the comic to the fantastical. In Leonardo Sciascia’s “The Long Voyage,” hopeful peasants try to make it to a mysterious place called “Trenton.” The reader is John Turturro. A couple hopes to restore pre-World War II elegance in “Invitation to Dinner,” by Alba de Cespedes, read by Dawn Akemi Saito. And there’s heat, sand, water, and magical realism on offer in Massimo Bontempelli’s “The Miraculous Beach, or, Prize for Modesty, read by Hugh Dancy.
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...