Selected Shorts: Valor

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A powerful tale of heroism reminds us of human courage and innate nobility.

It is the job of good fiction to make sense of the senseless.  In recognition of the extraordinary events in Boston last week, and the courage of its citizens, we are offering Richard Bausch’s powerful tale “Valor”, in which an ordinary—and imperfect—man becomes a hero in the face of disaster.  The gripping reading is by the Academy Award-winning actor William Hurt, and is introduced by SHORTS current guest host, Jane Curtin.

Bausch, an acknowledged master of the short story, is the author of  eleven novels and eight collections of stories, including the novels Rebel Powers, Violence, Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America And All The Ships At Sea, In The Night Season, Hello To The Cannibals, Thanksgiving Night, and Peace; and the story collections Spirits, The Fireman's Wife, Rare & Endangered Species, Someone To Watch Over Me—in which “Valor” appeared, The Stories of Richard Bausch, Wives & Lovers, and the recently released Something Is Out There

Bausch has just been named the winner of the prestigious Rea Award for the Short Story; other honors include the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The 2004 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Bausch is currently a professor at Chapman University in Orange, California.

“Valor,” by Richard Bausch, performed by William Hurt

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