Selected Shorts: Dogs, Dates, and Dilemmas

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Friday, July 04, 2014

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.

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.”

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



Mike Birbiglia, John Lithgow and Parker Posey

Produced by:

Sarah Montague

Sir Henry

This reading by John Lithgow of Lydia Millet’s “Sir Henry” is part of the SELECTED SHORTS program “Dogs, Dates, and Dilemmas” hosted by Parker Posey.



Some Contemporary Characters

This reading by Mike Birbiglia and Aya Cash of Rick Moody’s “Some Contemporary Characters,” is part of the SELECTED SHORTS program ““Dogs, Dates, and Dilemmas” hosted by Parker Posey.


Lydia Millet speaks with Hannah Tinti

SELECTED SHORTS’ literary commentator Hannah Tinti talks to Lydia Millet about “Sir Henry” and short fiction.


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