Selected Shorts: A Tribute to David Rakoff

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guest host David Sedaris presents a program celebrating the late writer and actor David Rakoff. 

Rakoff read often for SELECTED SHORTS, and in this special tribute show, featuring two of his performances, we hear his exceptional ability to pull emotion and meaning out of a text, without getting in its way.  David Sedaris, who was a friend of Rakoff’s, praises him as a “lover of language” who “could read anything.”  Here, Rakoff reads Leonard Michaels’ “Cryptology,” in which a neurotic mathematician has a strange encounter, and Roberto Bolano’s “Gomez Palacio,” which is the name a dead-end town where a young man’s life nevertheless takes a turn for the better.  Both stories feature bemused narrators with poetic turns of mind, and somewhat strange women. 

“Cryptology,” by Leonard Michaels, performed by David Rakoff

“Gomez Palacio,” by Roberto Bolano, performed by David Rakoff

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


David Sedaris
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