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Selected Shorts: Holding Fast

This week's episode features “I Am Not a Jew” by John Biguenet, which is read by Denis O’Hare; and “Everything in this Country Must” by Colum McCann, which is read by Amy Ryan.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Holding fast. This program features two powerful stories about moral tests and holding fast to beliefs no matter what the cost.

The first story is John Biguenet’s “I Am Not a Jew,” in which a frightened tourist has a failure of nerve that resonates deeply. SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti notes: “What makes 'I Am Not a Jew' so disturbing is how it dissects the ways we collectively excuse ourselves from standing up for what’s right.”  Biguenet's story is read by Denis O’Hare, who won a Tony Award for the play “Take Me Out.” He also stars in the television series “True Blood.”  The story was presented at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, which was sponsored by JustTheRightBook.com.

Our second story is by the award-winning novelist Colum McCann, who hosted an evening of his favorite stories at Symphony Space. In “Everything in this Country Must,” the rescue of an endangered horse is colored by the owner’s tragic past and the Irish “troubles.”  Tinti comments: “This is a gut-wrenching story, beautifully told. It starts right in the middle of the action as the narrator and her father try to save a drowning horse. Each step of the drama takes the reader further and further into these characters’ private world.”

The reader is Amy Ryan, who was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for her performance in “Gone Baby Gone.” Her television work includes roles on “The Wire,” “The Office,” and “In Treatment.”

The musical interludes are from Music from the Reed Bed by Bill Campbell, Contemporary Music from Ireland (Volume 5), and “I Could Have Done More,” from the score for “Schindler’s List” by John Williams. The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, click here. We’re interested in your response to these programs. Please comment on this site or visit the Symphony Space Selected Shorts page. Also, 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. 

Guests:

Denis O'Hare and Amy Ryan
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Comments [9]

Linda Teller from Belmont, Massachusetts

Denis O'Hare's reading of "im Not a Jew put write into the story. And his turning of the pages was so vivid. After that, I listened to another WGBH radio offering: The Nina Simone story--one of my all time favorite performers in a documentary that took me to a side of her I didn't know--her Civil Rights acitivites. Patti Smith was interviewed in the documentary, and she remembered how Nina Simone looked at her while performing at the Village Vangate as if she was saying that you are too blame for all my people's having to face so much inequality. Patti Smith looked at her as if to say "Im just a skinny white kid." Well, Patti Smith should reazd "I'm not a Jew" to realize she and all white people [past and present are responsbie.]

Amy Ryan's reading of "Everything in this Countr4y Must" was and stil resonates with me. She is a truly gifted actor.

Thank you so much for introducting me two ery thoughtful and provoking short stories.

Aug. 27 2012 01:10 PM

From the producers:

Unfortunately, copyright restrictions prevent us from archiving or streaming these programs, but they are available for a limited time as podcasts on iTunes, audible.com; and at npr.org. See the icon in the upper right hand corner, under "About Selected Shorts" to subscribe to the podcast for this program and selected past episodes.

Mar. 07 2011 09:31 AM

From the producers:

To subscribe to the Selected Shorts podcast, click on the icon on the right hand side of this page, under "About Selected Shorts."

Mar. 07 2011 09:29 AM

From the producers:

Unfortunately, copyright restrictions prevent us from archiving or streaming these programs, but they are available for a limited time as podcasts on iTunes, audible.com; and at npr.org. See the icon in the upper right hand corner, under "About Selected Shorts" to link to the podcast for this program and selected past episodes.

Mar. 07 2011 09:27 AM

From the producers:

Yes indeed, that was Anne Enright's "(She Owns)
Every Thing," a favorite story of Colum McCann's. For information about where to find this story in print, go to selectedshorts.org

Mar. 07 2011 09:25 AM
Carmine from E Brunswick, NJ

I enjoyed 'I am not a jew' and I would like to know how I could hear it again because my car sterio lost signal several times during the reading ?

Mar. 06 2011 12:17 AM
beth from stamford, ct

what happened to the podacst link?

Mar. 05 2011 07:33 PM
mary leckie-gould from wnyc

I love selected shorts but do always get the chance to listen live. I am wondering why it is not possible to listed from the archives now. I have in the past - is this something new?
Thanks. ML-G

Mar. 03 2011 02:50 PM
jula from nyc

hi. there was another short story which was quite entertaining about a thirty something lady selling purses - did not catch the name of the story. could you post it? thx

Mar. 01 2011 11:09 PM

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