Passionate Pursuits

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Two stories about passionate pursuits—cerebral and visceral.   

In Daniel Kehlman’s “The Mathematician”, a young math wizard grapples to understand the world on his own brilliant terms, alternatively dazzling and alienating his mentors along the way.  Kehlmann was born in Munich and lives in Vienna.  The story is derived from his novel Measuring the World, about the eccentric 19th-century mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, and was translated by Carol Brown Janeway. The reader is the multiple award-winning Broadway actor and television star, B.D. Wong. 

The late food writer M.F.K. Fisher, was celebrated for her lavish descriptions of favorite foods and meals, and none can rival this epic memoir of a perfect meal taken at a French country inn, “I Was Really Very Hungry.”  Fisher’s other gourmet writings include The Gastronomical Me; Serve It Forth; and How to Cook a Wolf.  The reader, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, was five-time Emmy nominee (“St. Elsewhere”) Christina Pickles, and you can hear her relishing every bite.

“The Mathematician” by Daniel Kehlmann, read by B.D. Wong

“I Was Really Very Hungry” by M.F.K. Fisher, read by Christina Pickles

The musical interlude is Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach.  The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit Symphony Space

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Listener’s choice!

On June 9th, 2010, SELECTED SHORTS at Symphony Space in New York will feature stories selected by our nationwide audience.  Go to

to submit your suggestions for a published story you think we should read.  Then in the spring, you’ll vote for your favorite from among the final contenders.