Miracles Can Happen

“The Fall of Texas” by Joyce Johnson, performed by Cynthia Nixon “Personal Letter 2,” by Sonia Sanchez, performed by Staceyann Chin “The Fix,” by Percival Everett, performed by Isaiah Sheffer

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

On this program, remembering the ‘60s, and an uncanny go-to guy.

This program includes two stories featuring improbable events.  The first comes from an evening at Symphony Space devoted to the legendary 1960s.  Author Joyce Johnson published “The Fall of Texas” in The New Yorker years after the moment in 1962 that it chronicles, when both the terrestrial world and the personal life of the heroine seemed about to collapse. 

Johnson is the author of Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, which remembers her years as Jack Kerouac’s girlfriend, and she spoke about the era, which she describes as characterized by “an enormous amount of self-destruction, and a kind of promise that was never quite lived through,” with host Isaiah Sheffer, after the reading by stage and television star, Cynthia Nixon.

Continuing the theme of the 1960s, activist poet Staceyann Chin reads a work by ‘60s poet Sonia Sanchez, “Personal Letter #2.”  You can also hear a poem of her own, here:


Sheffer takes center stage for the second story on this program, Percival Everett’s deceptively humorous “The Fix.”  The story’s central character can fix anything—anything.  Toasters; love affairs; lives.  Who is he?  Percival Everett is the author of such SELECTED SHORTS favorites as “The Appropriation of Cultures,” and his novels include American Desert, Wounded, and

I Am Not Sidney Poitier.  His story collections include: The Weather and Women Treat Me Fair and Damned if I Do.

Listen to Isaiah Sheffer’s interview with Everett here:


The musical interludes are from “Twist and Shout,” performed by Isley Brothers, and “After the Rain,” by John Coltrane.

The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

We’re interested in your response to these programs.  Please comment on this site or visit

Announcing the 2011 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize.  This year's theme is stories set in restaurants and bars.  The judge is the author Jennifer Egan and the deadline is March 1, 2011. 


Joyce Johnson and Cynthia Nixon

Comments [2]

From the producer

Unfortunately, copyright restrictions prevent us from streaming or archiving these programs, but they are available for a limited time as podcasts on iTunes,; and at And some individual stories have been made available on cassettes or CD anthologies; please see our website, for information about these.
However, all the details about the authors and readers can be found on the individual program pages, and more information on where the stories featured on SELECTED SHORTS are available in print can be found at,

Dec. 20 2010 09:17 AM
Vic from !

Dear Selected Shorts & WNYC,
I enjoy very much the readings on this program, & I'm glad WNYC is making Selected Shorts available for listening on their web-site.
In the archive listing of these individual programs, I wish WNYC would also give the names of the authors, their stories, as well as, the readers.
When you're looking through weeks of files in the archives, having this information brings you closer to the point.
Vic Offray

after, The Fall Of Texas -
do you remember that song from the psychedelic 60's ~ WOW ~ Woh ~
" i just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in...oh, yeah "

now, fast forward > > >

a life in transition... 0 O 0 O 0 &

then lost in isolation ( hikikomori )

"Shutting Out The Sun"

" It's better to be confused than depressed "

oh, yeah, it feels better...( )

Nov. 22 2010 03:04 PM

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