Selected Shorts: Loss and Recovery

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Four tales of loss and recovery in the past and present make up this varied program.

The first story on this provocative program is by Etgar Keret, the Israeli filmmaker and writer well known for his dark, somewhat outlandish fiction.  The author’s wild imagination is reflected in the titles of his story anthologies, such as The Nimrod Flip-out, The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God, and The Girl on the Fridge

Keret’s “Good Intentions,” features a professional hit man whose latest assignment calls him to question his line of work.  The reader is the distinguished actor Leonard Nimoy.

“Lost and Found” is Colson Whitehead’s meditation on walking through the constantly changing streets of New York City, collected in his book of essays, The Colussus of New York.  Whitehead returns to the city in a startling new vein in his most recent book, Zone 1, which has been hailed as a thinking person’s zombie tale.  The reader of “Lost and Found” is the multi-faceted star Alec Baldwin, Emmy winner for his comedy show “30 Rock” and most recently trying on a variety of hosting hats as the presenter of the Academy Awards, the New York Philharmonic and public radio’s “Studio 360.”

A mother and daughter rediscover one another in “My Mother,” a sinuous and fantastical memoir by Jamaica Kincaid, from her collection At the Bottom of the River.  The reader is Laurine Towler, whose films include Woody Allen’s “Small Time Crooks.”

Our final story is Charles Johnson’s “A Soldier for the Crown,” from his collection, Soul Catcher and Other Stories.   This touching story imagines the situation of the slaves who, at the time of the American Revolution, were offered manumission and freedom if they joined the British forces to fight against the colonists.  One soldier’s story reveals the risks and rewards of this life gamble—listen for the surprise ending.  The reader is the actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tony Award-winner for his work in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” and the author of the critically acclaimed “Lackawanna Blues.”

The musical interlude is “Autumn in New York,” performed by Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin from the album Menuhin And Grappelli Play "Jealousy" And Other Great Standards (EMI/Angel, ASIN B000002SDS).   The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

“Good Intentions,” by Etgar Keret, read by Leonard Nimoy

“Lost and Found,” by Colson Whitehead, read by Alec Baldwin  

“My Mother,” by Jamaica Kincaid, read by Laurine Towler

“A Soldier for the Crown,” by Charles Johnson, read by Ruben Santiago-Hudson 


For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

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