Selected Shorts: Dogs and Dates

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John Lithgow walks the dog, and Rick Moody tweets for love, in two stories presented by guest host Parker Posey.


First Lithgow reads Lydia Millet’s charming “Sir Henry,” about a dignified dachshund, his aloof dog walker, and his celebrity owner, David Hasselhoff.  She discusses the story in an interview with SHORTS’ literary commentator Hannah Tinti, saying that she was interested exploring a character who could relate to dogs, but not to people, and in the combination of dignity and comedy elicited by dachshunds. 

The story was first published in the online journal Electric Literature, and subsequently as part of Millet’s collection Love in Infant Monkeys. Her other works include Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, How the Dead Dream, Ghost Lights, and Magnificence.

Listen to Millet’s interview with Hannah Tinti here:

“Sir Henry” was rendered tenderly and comically by award-winning actor John Lithgow.

In our second story, which also made its first appearance in Electric Literature,

Rick Moody accomplishes the nearly impossible—a love story told in tweets.  It appeared in increments, 140 characters at a time, with the well-known author of The Ice Storm ringing all the changes on hopeless love succinctly conveyed.   Comic Mike Birbiglia and actor Aya Cash scintillate as the mismatched couple in what Moody punningly titled, “Some Contemporary Characters.”

As part of its mission to offer a multi-layered reading experience, Electric Literature commissioned artists to create animations based on single line in each story.

You can see Luca DiPierro’s animation for “Sir Henry,” and Adam Thompson’s design for “Some Contemporary Characters,” by going to the magazine's website.

“Sir Henry,” by Lydia Millet, performed by John Lithgow

“Some Contemporary Characters,” by Rick Moody, performed by Mike Birbiglia and Aya Cash

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