Selected Shorts: Who am I?

In each of the two stories that make up this program, the traveller encounters someone completely unlike herself or himself, learns something about that person, and perhaps, learn more about themselves.

Julia Alvarez’s brief  tale “Neighbors” is set in the  Dominican Republic, from which her family came.  Alvarez is the author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, among other works.  The reader is Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason.

In “Flight Patterns,” the substantial story that makes up the remainder of this program, author Sherman Alexie’s protagonist, a middle-class, business-suit-wearing Spokane Indian tribe member takes a taxi from his Seattle home to the airport.  His driver is an Ethopian émigré, exiled from his country by violent choices made years ago.   In the course of their ride, the two non-white Americans make surprising revelations and discoveries about each other and their worlds.  This reading took place at The Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.   The reader, who has given powerful performances of other Alexie stories, is the multiple award-winning Broadway actor B.D. Wong, who also appeared regularly on “Law and Order SVU” among other credits. 

The musical interludes are from Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports,” and “Calunga,” from “The Caribbean: Island Songs and Dances,” in Nonesuch’s Explorer series.

The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

“Neighbors,” by Julia Alvarez performed by Joanna Gleason

“Flight Patterns,” by Sherman Alexie, performed by B.D. Wong

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

 (This program first aired during our 2010 season.)