Selected Shorts: All Tangled Up

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A real whopper, a weird dream, and tweeting Jane Austen, in stories hosted by Wyatt Cenac.

A character playing hooky from work gets trapped by “The Lie,” in this story by T.C. Boyle read by Stephen Colbert.  T.C. Boyle’s novels include World's End, The Road to Wellville, The Women, and San Miguel.  His short-story collections include Tooth and Claw, After the Plague, If the River Was Whiskey, and most recently, T.C. Boyle Stories II

In a reprise of one of our favorite tales, the author Thomas Meehan has a great party in “Yma Dream,” until it turns into a nightmare.  The story’s “joke” is wonderfully sonic, so we won’t give it away here.  Christine Baranski performs this almost-musical farce with gusto.  Meehan has contributed regularly to The New Yorker, where “Yma Dream” first appeared, and is also an award-winning librettist for operas and musicals.

Guest host Wyatt Cenac finishes up with “Pride and Prejudice.”  But don’t turn that dial.  This version happens in a quick twenty tweets.  It’s from Alexander Aciman’s and Emmett Rensin’s Twitterature, and Aciman talked with Cenac about this handy anthology of all the world’s great lit in all the time you have available in the digital age.  Listen to that talk, and a special read by Aciman of Twitterature's somewhat naughty interpretations of Moby Dick and Hamlet, here:

“The Lie,” by T.C. Boyle, performed by Stephen Colbert

“Yma Dream,” by Thomas Meehan, performed by Christine Baranski

“Pride and Prejudice,” from Twitterature, performed by Wyatt Cenac

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

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And for more thoughts on the stories in SHORTS, check out literary commentator Hannah Tinti’s site at