Selected Shorts: Miracles Can Happen

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This program includes two stories featuring improbable events, one involving the 1960s, the other an uncanny go-to guy. 

The first story comes from an evening at Symphony Space devoted to the legendary 1960s.  Author Joyce Johnson published “The Fall of Texas” in The New Yorker years after the moment in 1962 that it chronicles, when both the terrestrial world and the personal life of the heroine seemed about to collapse. 

Johnson is the author of Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, which remembers her years as Jack Kerouac’s girlfriend, and she spoke about the era, which she describes as characterized by “an enormous amount of self-destruction, and a kind of promise that was never quite lived through,” with host Isaiah Sheffer, after the reading by stage and television star, Cynthia Nixon.

Continuing the theme of the 1960s, activist poet Staceyann Chin reads a work by ‘60s poet Sonia Sanchez, “Personal Letter #2.”  You can also hear a poem of her own, here:

Sheffer takes center stage for the second story on this program, Percival Everett’s deceptively humorous “The Fix.”  The story’s central character can fix anything—anything.  Toasters; love affairs; lives.  Who is he?  Percival Everett is the author of such SELECTED SHORTS favorites as “The Appropriation of Cultures,” and his novels include American Desert, Wounded, and I Am Not Sidney Poitier.  His story collections include: The Weather and Women Treat Me Fair and Damned if I Do.

Listen here for an interview with Percival Everett:

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