Who Am I?

“Neighbors,” by Julia Alvarez performed by Joanna Gleason “Flight Patterns,” by Sherman Alexie, performed by B.D. Wong

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Travelling to find yourself in two stories by contemporary American writers.

In each of the two stories that make up this program, the traveller encounters someone completely unlike herself or himself, learns something about that person, and perhaps, learns more about themselves.

Julia Alvarez’s brief  tale “Neighbors,” is set in the  Domincan Republic, from which author hails.  Alvarez is the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, among other works.  The reader is Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason.

In “Flight Patterns,” the wonderful story that makes up the remainder of this program, author Sherman Alexie’s protagonist, a middle class, business-suit-wearing Spokane Indian tribe member takes a taxi from his Seattle home to the airport.  His driver is an Ethiopian émigré, exiled from his country by violent choices made years ago.   In the course of their ride, the two non-white Americans make surprising revelations and discoveries about each other and their worlds.  This reading took place at The Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.   The reader, who has given powerful performances of other Alexie stories, was the multiple award-winning Broadway actor and regular star of “Law and Order SVU”, B.D. Wong. 

The musical interludes are from Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports,” and “Calunga,” from “The Caribbean: Island Songs and Dances,” in Nonesuch’s Explorer series.

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. 


Joanna Gleason and B.D. Wong

Comments [5]

karen kernan from Connecticut, USA

There is no information at all about Flight Patterns now showing (July 7) on your website.

Jul. 07 2012 04:29 PM

From the producers

Thank you for your kind words about SELECTED SHORTS, and your interest in "Flight Patterns."
Information about where the stories featured on SELECTED SHORTS are available in print can be found at our website,

Mar. 21 2011 11:11 AM
Brian from Chicago

I, too, have come to this page wondering where I can get a printed version of Sherman Alexie's "Flight Patterns". I was trying to recommend it to a friend--I read somewhere around in here that it was in an in-flight magazine, but I hope it will get another life on the page. Thanks for all the stories, gang.

Mar. 17 2011 07:40 AM

From the producers:

Thank you for your warm comments. Information about where the stories featured on SELECTED SHORTS are available in print can be found at our website,

Jan. 31 2011 09:19 AM
judith from Upper West Side; WNYC

Where might I find a print version of Sherman Alexie's "Flight Patterns", read on January 9? I'm guessing it's in the collection called "Ten Little Indians".
As you may guess, Selected Shorts has become more than a habit with me; I have to listen! Thank you for perpetuating an invaluable tradition.

Jan. 25 2011 04:11 PM

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