Selected Shorts: Hollywood in the Serengeti

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

A family’s trip to Africa changes everything in this excerpt from Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Good Squad.

Hollywood in the Serengeti: this entire program is given over to a single story, “Safari,” in which a very successful Hollywood record producer takes his young son and daughter along on an African safari, accompanied by his new young girlfriend and an assortment of other vivid characters.   In the course of the trip acts will be committed, and decisions made, that mark the characters for the rest of their lives.  “Safari,” is told from multiple points of view, notes author and editor Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief).  “Jennifer Egan pulls it off fantastically because she stays on the shared emotional pulse that runs through all the characters.”  Tinti and host Isaiah Sheffer spoke to Jennifer Egan about the story and you can hear that interview after the reading.

The reader is Hope Davis, who regularly adds her strong but delicate shadings to SHORTS fiction, and whose film credits include “About Schmidt,” “Hearts in Atlantis,” and “American Splendor.”   

The musical interludes are “Pokot Dance,” and “Funeral Dance,” Kenya, from “East Africa Witchcraft & Ritual Music” in Nonesuch’s Explorer series.

“Safari,” by Jennifer Egan performed by Hope Davis

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

 (This program first aired during our 2010 season.)


Hope Davis

Comments [1]


This show was fine with just Isaiah Sheffer and the old theme song. I get the sense that the theme song was jazzed up and Hanna Tinti (she's lovely; I have nothing against her) was thrown in out of some external pressure to make the show younger and more 'cool.' The show now has a forced feeling, in my opinion, that leaves a bad taste. It never needed the plastic surgery, and this change, together with some of the other recent changes in wnyc programming, reminds me of the kids in high school who tried a little too hard to be cool, and lost some of their appeal in the process.

Jul. 23 2012 12:18 AM

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