Selected Shorts: Wanting More

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Guest host Neil Gaiman presents two ironic stories about wish fulfillment.

In D.H. Lawrence’s classic, “The Rocking Horse Winner,” a young boy tries to help a family obsessed by money.   In the show, SHORTS literary commentator and guest host Gaiman discuss its unusual qualities.  Unlike Lawrence’s well-known novels of class conflict and adult desire, like Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Women in Love, this tale has a fairy-tale quality, says Gaiman, with hints of the Oedipus legend, Tinti notes.  It was originally published in 1926, and is performed here by the Irish actress Fionnula Flanagan, who bewitches Symphony Space audiences each year with her reading of Molly Bloom’s sexy soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses

Our second story is Ben Loory’s provocative short, “The Book.”  It imagines an unusual bestseller—a book with, seemingly, no text.  Gaiman and Tinti discuss what this idea reveals about both readers—the main character is a woman enraged by the book—and writers, with Gaiman saying a blank book is an invitation to reveal.

“The Book” is from Ben Loory’s first collection, Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, which was published in 2011 by Penguin. It is performed by Jane Kaczmarek.  Her credits include the television series “Whitney” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” 

“The Rocking Horse Winner,” by Steven Millhauser, performed by Fionnula Flanagan

“The Book” by Ben Loory performed by Jane Kaczmarek

The SELECTED SHORTS theme is David Peterson's “That's the Deal,” performed by the Deardorf/Peterson Group.

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit

We’re interested in your response to these programs.  Please comment on this site or visit

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

Announcing the 2013 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize.  Check this link for details.

Hosted by:

Neil Gaiman


Hannah Tinti

Comments [3]

Terry Last from New Jersey.

All of it is fabulous. Keep it up.

Jan. 13 2014 03:47 PM

From the Producers

Unfortunately, copyright restrictions prevent us from archiving these programs for downloading but they are available for a limited time as podcasts on iTunes,; and at See the icon in the upper right hand corner, under "About Selected Shorts" to subscribe to the podcast for this program and selected past episodes.

And some individual stories have been made available on cassettes or CD anthologies; please see our website, for information about these.

Apr. 15 2013 10:25 AM
Eugene Berkun

Where can I download the program "wanting more." I would like to make a CD copy for my grandchildren.

Apr. 11 2013 08:13 PM

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