Hollywood in the Serengeti

“Safari,” by Jennifer Egan performed by Hope Davis

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

A family’s trip to Africa changes everything in this excerpt from Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Hollywood in the Serengeti: this entire program is given over to a single story, “Safari,” in which a very successful Hollywood record producer takes his young son and daughter along on an African safari, accompanied by his new young girlfriend and an assortment of other vivid characters.   In the course of the trip acts will be committed, and decisions made, that mark the characters for the rest of their lives.  “Safari,” is told from multiple points of view, notes author and editor Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief), who joins the SELECTED SHORTS team as Literary Commentator with this program.  “Jennifer Egan pulls it off fantastically because she stays on the shared emotional pulse that runs through all the characters.”  Tinti and host Isaiah Sheffer spoke to Jennifer Egan about the story; listen to that interview here: 

The reader is Hope Davis, who regularly adds her strong but delicate shadings to SHORTS fiction, and whose film credits include “About Schmidt,” “Hearts in Atlantis,” and “American Splendor.”   

The musical interludes are “Pokot Dance,” and “Funeral Dance,” Kenya, from “East Africa Witchcraft & Ritual Music” 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

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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. 


Hope Davis

Comments [2]

Kathy Mc from NE Oregon

"Hollywood in the Serengeti" is such a wonderfully crafted story. Ms. Egan breathed so much life into the characters that I was lefting wanting more. I look forward to reading more of her stories.

Feb. 20 2011 04:21 AM
Harrietlou from Philadelphia, PA

I just listened to this story for the second time - wonderful. I haven't read anything by Jennifer Egan but have ordered several of her novels & can't wait to read them.

Jan. 23 2011 08:27 PM

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