Strong Men, Stronger Women

This Selected Shorts program features two stories about remarkable couples, each featuring a pretty impressive male in an encounter with an even more impressive female counterpart.

We start with Rita Dove’s story, “Second-Hand Man.”  Rita Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1987 novel Thomas and Beaulah, and in 1993 was appointed Poet Laureate by President Clinton. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.  And Virginia is the name of the heroine of “Second-Hand Man,” a woman who knows what she wants and simply will not settle for second best—or for being second best.  The reader is Broadway star, and Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald.

Our second story about a remarkable couple is Padgett Powell’s eccentric chronicle “The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping” which, in addition to being a quirky Southern romance, set on the edge of a Florida swamp, is a real lesson in what to do with clutter!  Padgett Powell teaches creative writing at the University of Florida, and is the author of  the provocative volume The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? as well as Mrs. Hollingsworth’s Men. His short story collections include Typical and Aliens of Affection. This tour de force reading of “The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts is by the Tony-winning actor and director, James Naughton.

The musical interlude is “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” by Robert Johnson. The Selected Shorts theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

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