What is Real?

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On this program, stories about apartments and neighbors take a strange turn.

Our first story, “A Woman at the Window,” by James Lasdun, could be considered a cautionary tale for men who want to rescue damsels in distress.  London-born Lasdun now lives in upstate New York.  The reader is cabaret artist Leenya Rideout, whose credits include featured rolls in Symphony Space’s political cabaret The Thalia Follies.

Next, an extraordinary story about a man with a shape-shifting apartment, by the Ukranian-born Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, who died in 1950.  Krzhizhanovsky created philosophical, satirical, and fantastical tales that ignored the Soviet government mandate to portray the state in a positive light, and for this he remained unpublished for decades.  This story, “Quadraturin,” about the changing, evolving dimensions of its hero’s living space—and his mind—and is read by author/actor David Rakoff.  Rakoff is the author of the collections “Fraud” and “Don’t Get Too Comfortable,” and has just published a new book, “Half Empty.”

This program concludes with the winner of the annual Stella Kupferberg Short Story Prize contest (see below) which asks writers for original short shorts on an assigned topic.  The subject for 2009 was “neighbors,” and  Deborah Joy Corey’s winning entry, “Flight,” was inspired by her neighbor, an Alzheimer’s sufferer.  Corey was born in Canada, and lives in Maine.  “Flight” is read by Leenya Rideout. 

The musical interlude is Igor Stravinsky’s “Tango for Violin and Piano” from “Histoire du Soldat, Premieres & Rarities.” Mark Peskanov & Doris Stevenson performers.  The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/genres/seriesPage.php?seriesId=71&genreId=4

We’re interested in your response to these programs.  Please comment on this site or visit www.selectedshorts.org

Announcing the 2011 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize.  This year's theme is stories set in restaurants and bars.  The judge is the author Jennifer Egan and the deadline is March 1, 2011.