The Rea Award for the Short Story: A Tribute
Sunday, September 13, 2009
A special program celebrates a sustaining gift to the literary community, The Rea Award for the Short Story.
A special program celebrates a sustaining gift to the literary community.
In 1987 the late Michael Rea and his wife Elizabeth established The Rea Award for the Short Story, to “foster a literary cause, to ennoble the form, and to give it prestige.” Given not for a single work but for contributions to the art of the short story, the Award honors one writer each year. In April 2007, a dazzling line up of past winners—including Cynthia Ozick, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, Grace Paley and 2006 winner John Updike—joined guest host Ann Beattie and SELECTED SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer at Symphony Space to celebrate the Award’s 20th anniversary. The resulting evening-long performance, generous and exciting enough for two special radio broadcasts, of which this is the first, included not only works by the writers, but their heartfelt tribute to the Rea Award and its founders. “How often,” says host Beattie, referring to the rigorous peer jury process, “does anyone sit and talk for hours about excellent writing?”
Included in this program: Cynthia Ozick’s devastating tale of vanquished motherhood and the death of a child in a Nazi concentration camp, “The Shawl,” and works and comments by Ozick, Deborah Eisenberg, Richard Ford, and Grace Paley. There is also an interview with Elizabeth Rea, who describes the creation of this special literary community and her friendship with the indomitable Grace Paley, who died in August 2007.
“The Shawl,” by Cynthia Ozick, read by Lois Smith
“Wants,” by Grace Paley, read by Tandy Cronyn
Excerpts from works by Deborah Eisenberg, Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, and Paley, read by the authors.
For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit Symphony Space
We’re interested in your response to these programs. Please comment on this site or visit www.selectedshorts.org