Selected Shorts: Asking for Directions

In two stories from contemporary American writers, people seek direction in their lives.

In the first, Barry Lopez’ “The Mappist,” a master mapmaker shows the way to a younger man in search of meaning in his life, telling him, “You represent a questing but lost generation of people ... You think an elegant order has disappeared, something that shows the way.” The reader at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is “Hill Street Blues” alum Joe Spano.

The late Roscoe Lee Browne (“Babe”) brings to wonderful life the quirky first person narrator of Walter Kirn’s “Devil of a Curve.”  Kirn hails from Livingston, Montana, and the story takes place in an isolated spot up country where a treacherous bit of road brings many a speeding car to grief, and seems to act as a moral judgment on the drivers’ thoughts and actions.

The musical interlude in this program is “Symphonic Ode”, by Aaron Copland. The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

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