What unites this program's two rather different stories is that both are tales of deepening insight, stories whose main characters undergo profound and life-altering experiences. The program begins with "The Seventh Man," by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, and it starts with an old fashioned device: On a dark and stormy night, a group of men sit around a circle and tell their stories. The reader is John Shea. In our second tale, Aimee Bender's "The Rememberer," the heroine's lover undergoes a remarkable transformation that changes both their lives forever. The reader is Tony Award-winner Marian Seldes. A brief interview with Seldes follows the reading.
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’ “Havahart,” read by Merritt Wever. In George Saunders’ “Sticks,” read by Anthony Rapp, a dysfunctional father reaches out to his family in a strange way.
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 thing to do. Lou Antonio reads. And Sedaris gives an hilarious performance of Frank Gannon’s “I Know What I’m Doing About All the Attention I’ve Been Getting,” about a narcissist with an existential wardrobe crisis.
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 Michael Cerveris, Patricia Kalember, and Isaiah Sheffer. And William Hurt reads Tobias Wolff’s moving father-son story “Nightingale.”
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 detail, humor and poignancy. In this second part, the guests are leaving, and Gabriel Conroy longs to be alone with his wife Gretta, who has a secret. Nixon and prize winning author Colum McCann are the readers.
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 detail, humor and poignancy. In this first part, the main character, Gabriel Conroy, arrives at his aunts’ house with his beautiful wife, Gretta. Nixon is the reader.