A story by the writer Brit Bennett, "Ain't That Good News" is tender, sad, and packs a wallop. You'll be completely hooked.
Bennett's debut novel The Mothers made a splash in 2016 (soon to be a movie starring Kerry Washington), the same year she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Her new novel, The Vanishing Half, published in June, is already a New York Times bestseller and has garnered reviews like, "This is sure to be one of 2020’s best and boldest," Elle, and Bookpage compares her work to Toni Morrison, Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Strout.
She has written essays for The Paris Review, The New York Times and The New Yorker, but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune cookies, propulsive and full of canny observations. Our actor Karen Pittman absolutely nails this reading. Pittman has been in series including The Americans and Luke Cage, and has appeared on Broadway in plays such as Disgraced and Good People.
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...