Selected Shorts: Food and Flight

A culinary mutiny and citrus lust in two contemporary tales in which taste buds rule.

First a nautical fantasy by the irrepressible T.C. Boyle, “Rapture of the Deep”.  Host Isaiah Sheffer, who reads this story, comments, “One reason I admire Boyle so is that each of his stories requires acceptance of an outrageous premise, whether it’s going to be a revisionist version of the “Lassie” legend or a tale of a full-body condom. In this story, the premise is that the chef of Jean-Jacques Cousteau’s oceanographic research vessel is fomenting a mutiny! 

T.C. Boyle is the author of twenty-two books of fiction, his most recent being When the Killing's Done. He has won many literary awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best novel of the year and the PEN/Malamud Prize for the short story. His work is often selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Short Stories and the PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories.

Larry Woiwode’s “Wanting an Orange,” the second work on this program, is a luscious recounting of a boyhood longing for the exotic oranges that would be shipped to the author’s North Dakota home.  Woiwode is the Poet Laureate of North Dakota and the award-winning author of fourteen books, his most recent being Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture and the children’s book, The Invention of Lefse.  The reader is Michael Keck.

"Rapture of the Deep,” by T.C. Boyle, performed by Isaiah Sheffer

“Wanting an Orange,” by Larry Woiwode, performed by Michael Keck

The  SELECTED SHORTS theme is David Peterson's “That's the Deal,” performed by the Deardorf/Peterson Group.

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

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 And for more thoughts on the stories in SHORTS, check out literary commentator Hannah Tinti’s site at

Announcing the 2012 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize.  This year's theme is “objects of desire.”  The judge is the author Maile Meloy and the deadline is March 2, 2012.