Selected Shorts: What is Real?

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On this program, appearances are deceiving in stories about apartments and neighbors.

Our first story, “A Woman at the Window,” by James Lasdun, could be considered a cautionary tale for men who want to rescue damsels in distress.  London-born Lasdun now lives in upstate New York.  The reader is cabaret artist Leenya Rideout, whose credits include featured rolls in Symphony Space’s political cabaret The Thalia Follies.

Next, an extraordinary story about a man with a shape-shifting apartment, by the Ukranian-born Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, who died in 1950.  Krzhizhanovsky created philosophical, satirical, and fantastical tales that ignored the Soviet government mandate to portray the state in a positive light, and for this he remained unpublished for decades.  This story, “Quadraturin,” about the changing, evolving dimensions of its hero’s living space—and his mind—and is read by author/actor David Rakoff.  Rakoff is the author of the collections “Fraud” and “Don’t Get Too Comfortable,” and “Half Empty.”

This program concludes with the winner of the 2010 annual Stella Kupferberg Short Story Prize contest, which asks writers for original short shorts on an assigned topic.  The assigned subject was “neighbors,” and  Deborah Joy Corey’s winning entry, “Flight,” was inspired by her neighbor, an Alzheimer’s sufferer.  Corey was born in Canada, and lives in Maine.  “Flight” is read by Leenya Rideout. 

The musical interlude is Igor Stravinsky’s “Tango for Violin and Piano” from “Histoire du Soldat, Premieres & Rarities.” Mark Peskanov & Doris Stevenson performers.

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