Selected Shorts: Too Hot For Radio
Summary: Over the years, Selected Shorts has had to say no to some amazing stories that, due to language issues or content advisories were, well, too hot for radio. But no more!
From actor, writer, comedian and the former Senior Middle East Correspondent on The Daily Show. a sweet, funny story about nerdom and outsider culture taken from his memoir, No Man's Land. Published in 2014, No Man’s Land chronicles Aasif’s life as an Indo-Muslim-British-American and gives a first-hand look at the American immigration experience. After the story, Aasif calls in to talk to Aparna about his book and the current state of affairs.
From Julia Slavin's collection, The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club, a dark and funny story about not being able to leave your childhood behind. As you'll hear, reader Alec Baldwin finds the humor, absurdity and, ultimately, the humanity through his reading. Later in this episode, host Aparna Nancherla chats with Julia Slavin about the origins of "Covered."
Actor Sam Underwood (The Following) reads a Sedaris story you're never going to hear on Public Radio. Also, guest host Lorin Stein (Editor of The Paris Review) talks to Sedaris about his work, and what stories he would love to hear on Too Hot For Radio.
Guest host Lorin Stein, editor in chief of The Paris Review, introduces a story by the late English novelist and critic Angela Carter. Carter was known for her work reinventing fairy tales and counted among her fans director Neil Jordan, who made "The Company of Wolves" into a movie, as well as author Neil Gaiman, who is heard on this episode talking about why he loves Carter's stories. Later in the podcast, Lorin talks to Slate critic Laura Miller, about Carter's fascinating life and what fueled her work.
The first chapter of Hubert Selby, Jr's classic, Last Exit To Brooklyn is many things: it's profane, violent and contains a number of racial slurs. But it's also a window into the gritty life on a Brooklyn street written by a man who had lived a horrible life and had come out the other side. In a powerful reading, actor John Turturro (Do The Right Thing, Barton Fink, The Night Of) transports us to those mean, grim streets. Also in the episode, guest host Lorin Stein, Editor of The Paris Review, talks to novelist and screenplay writer Richard Price about what it was about Last Exit To Brooklyn and Selby as a person that made him a fan.
From the best-selling author Beautiful Ruins, a story about a drug dealing Portland con artist voiced by actor Denis O'Hare who seems to have the perfect scam going, until it all goes wrong. Jess Walter talks to Aparna about where he gets his inspiration from, reading his reviews, and how he handles the dreaded writer's block.
From the the author of Flings, The Gospel of Anarchy, and Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever comes a story about a couple questioning the inevitability of their relationship. Read by Criminal Minds actress Kirsten Vangsness, it's a story that our friends at Electric Literature described as “a veritable potpourri of intellectual, neurotic, literary delights." After the story, Aparna chats with the Executive Editor of Electric Literature, Halimah Marcus, about what it all means as well as literature in pop culture.
A story by the widely respected American author Denis Johnson. Johnson is many things: a poet, playwright, novelist and the writer of the incredible linked short story collection, Jesus’ Son, where we found "Emergency." Published in 1992, the collection is considered one of the best works of fiction in recent years.
Josh Radnor steps into the hosting chair to introduce a story by a frequent Shorts' contributor, Aimee Bender, but one that never had a chance to make the radio show. "Quiet Please" has been described as a "racy modern fairy tale," and we think you'll agree after hearing actress Valorie Curry bring it to life. After the story, Josh and Aimee talk about writing, reading, and dinner parties.
Today's story isn't about the eternal being who created and preserves all things, but another kind of god, a god that manages to take down a frat house. The idea for Benjamin Nugent's story “God" came from one of his students. He explains: “One of my best creative writing students, Megan Kidder, a well mannered girl from rural Maine with dyed black hair, a silver nose ring, and a studded belt dropped by my office and informed me, ‘I wrote a poem about how this one guy prematurely ejaculated…'” "God" was published in The Paris Review and host Aparna Nancherla talks to the editor of that magazine, Lorin Stein, in this program. The story is read by actor Justin Kirk, best known for his roles in the screen adaptation of Angels in America and his years on the TV show Weeds.
From award-winning American feminist writer, Roxane Gay, we feature a powerful story about feeling trapped and wanting to run away. "How" is from Gay's new story collection Difficult Women which explores women's lives and issues of race, class and sex. Yes, it's a dark story, but hopeful, too. Reader Amber Tamblyn, a friend of Gay's, is known for her work on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Joan of Arcadia and Two and A Half Men.
The well known comedic writer, Casper Kelly, brings a hilarious story that starts with a simple premise that quickly goes off the rails. Kelly is well known to Adult Swim fans as the writer and director of the viral video hit, "Too Many Cooks," as well as the shows Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, and Stroker and Hoop. "Frequently Asked Questions" is from his short story collection, More Stories About Spaceships and Cancer. Today's reader, Peter Sagal, is well known to NPR fans from his hosting duties from the popular quiz show, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me.
Annie is a market researcher for the feminine hygiene division of a health & beauty company. While the cool people work on marketing skin creams and cosmetics, she finds out how women feel about menstruation. It's a story complete with humor and humanity, differences and common bonds, and a recognition that sometimes it’s who you run into in the ladies’ room that matters. After the story, Aparna Nancherla talks to fellow writer and comedian Emily Heller about the differences between men and women and how they could both relate to Annie.
From the New York Times bestselling mystery author of acclaimed stand-alones and the award-winning Tess Monaghan series comes a darkly humorous story filled with delightfully unanticipated twists. The reader, This American Life regular Elna Baker, coincidentally brought a very personal angle to the story which she explains in an interview to host Aparna Nancherla.
A story from the author of the best-sellers Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies and her most recent, the controversial and often wicked short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, in which we found the story you are about to hear. “The Long QT” features a standard, modern-day dilemma that delivers an entirely unexpected sort of fright at the end. Host Aparna Nancherla chats with champion open water swimmer, Lynne Cox, a real life survivor of the disorder Mantel's story is based upon.