Selected Shorts: Wild Western Women

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Chance encounters with unusual women in a provocative tale by Meloy and a darkly comic story by Ford.

SELECTED SHORTS tours regularly to venues around the country, and the two stories on this program were presented in Missoula, Montana.  The first, “Liliana,” is by Montana-born Maile Meloy.   Meloy, who is now based in California, told host Isaiah Sheffer and SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti (in a phone interview) that the story’s unusual premise was the result of a comment by one reader that her fiction never included either ghosts or small boys. 

In this tale of a glamorous grandmother briefly invading the painfully constructed normal life of the narrator, Meloy says she explores the power of money to stand in for love.  And Tinti comments that “Liliana” is a larger-than-life, Auntie Mame-like creation.  Meloy’s story collections include “Half in Love: Stories,” and “Liars and Saints.”  “Liliana” was published in The Paris Review, and Meloy also contributes to The New Yorker and the New York Times, among other publications.

The reader is SHORTS regular James Naughton.

Isaiah Sheffer adds to his repertory of slightly besieged men with a virtuoso read of Richard Ford’s “Going to the Dogs,” in which the down-on-his-luck narrator meets two gun toting broads that turn his world upside-down in a day.   Ford is the Pulitzer Prize- winning author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day among many celebrated works.

The musical interludes are from ““Bei Dir War Es Immer So Schön,” from the album Musik Der Stunde Null.  The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

“Liliana,” by Maile Meloy, performed by James Naughton

“Going to the Dogs,” by Richard Ford, performed by Isaiah Sheffer

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.)