Selected Shorts: Love Songs?

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Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a program of stories about finding love in unexpected places.

First, from the fertile brain of Simon Rich, cave boy meets cave girl in “I Love Girl,” in which Cro-Magnon suitors via for the same woman.  The reader is Michael Ian Black, a writer, comedian, and actor who has created and starred in many television series, including “Stella” and “The State.”

Next, if Jonah had started a commune, it might have the same strange quality as the world of “When We Lived Together in the Belly of a Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect,” by Mara McCormick Sternberg, which was the winning entry in SELECTED SHORTS’ 2013 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize competition.  It is read by Tony Award-winning actor and SELECTED SHORTS’ live performance host BD Wong.

Our last work on this program of stories about finding love when and where you least expect it is N.M Kelby’s “Jubilation, Florida.” These lovers are gently used, a little cynical, and married to other people, but at least for one night, they seem to be destined for each other.  Amy Ryan performed “Jubilation, Florida” at the Boston University Theatre in Boston.   The story was original published in One Story magazine.   Kelby (Nicole Mary Kelby) is also the author of the novels In the Company of Angels and White Truffles in Winter.

“I Love Girl,” by Simon Rich; performed by Michael Ian Black 

“Then We Lived Together In the Belly of a Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect,” by Mara Sternberg, performed by BD Wong 

“Jubilation, Florida,” by N.M Kelby, performed by Amy Ryan

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