“An Hour of Short Stories” is a one-hour radio program hosted by John Pritchett and produced by North Texas Radio for the Blind, Dallas. Devoted to this relatively modern form of fiction, its objective is to educate and entertain visually impaired listeners.
Variety of authors. Stories come from all over the world and authors range from 18th Century masters to 21st Century O. Henry Award winners. “An Hour of Short Stories” includes not only classic short stories, but also lesser-known comedies, mysteries, crime stories, war stories, and science fiction, to name only a few categories. A list of authors whose works have thus far been showcased in “An Hour of Short Stories” is included below.
Informative story introductions. A brief biography of the author, with special emphasis on experiences that influenced their writing, precedes each story. Major themes in their works, particularly ones that appear in the story, are mentioned. Usually one bit of information or piece of trivia about the author or story that will surprise listeners is included. Words of phrases with which listeners might not be familiar, are also explained. Copy from each program is included below.
Dramatic presentations. The narrator and individual characters in each short story are read dramatically. John Pritchett, a voice actor, narrated the first 60 programs and has since been joined by guest readers from Reading & Radio Resource, including: Alex Burton, Barbara Daly, Alison Doherty, Sugie Dotson, David Horton, Catherine Ritchie, Susan Sipe, Marianne Szabo, Joan Tallis, Midge Verhein, Burt Kehoe, and Patti Wynne.
 
Very brief excerpts from a few short stories are included below.
Almos' a Man, 0:20 - Narrator, African-American man and boy
Barking at Butterflies, 0:31 - Southern narrator
Blitzed, 0:38 - Elder British woman, policeman
Luck, 0:39 - Exasperated older narrator
The Pocketbook Game, 0:28 - Female housemaid
The Devil and Daniel Webster, 0:59 - Narrator, Devil, juryman
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 0:33 - Walter Mitty, wife
Absent-mindedness in a Parish Choir, 0:23 - Irish narrator
Program format. Each 57:55 program contains a brief welcome and synopsis followed by 2-4 stories, each with a short biography of its author, mentioned above. Available in 22,050, 16 bit WAV and 48 kbps MP3 files, programs contain stories of various lengths which makes them suitable for filling out other broadcast programs.
Audio introduction. The following audio file is a two-minute interview with John Pritchett regarding "An Hour of Short Stories."
Introduction to "An Hour of Short Stories", 2:01 - Hosted by Steve Cumming
Broadcast and distribution of "An Hour of Short Stories."
Logo of Reading and Radio Resource “An Hour of Short Stories” originally aired on North Texas Radio for the Blind, Dallas, on Sundays at 1:00 pm on the schedule below.
Logo of International Association of Audio Information Services Members of the International Association of Audio Information Services can download programs if they have a Download Agreement in effect. 
Simply look below and right click the I.A.A.I.S. logo opposite the program you would like to download, select "Save target as...," and have your user name and password available. The programs are on the I.A.A.I.S. Program Share Library as 48 kbps .mp3 files and should be converted to 22,050 16 bit .wav files, the format in which they were originally recorded.
For more information about the I.A.A.I.S. Internet Program Exchange, click here.
For additional information about broadcasting “An Hour of Short Stories,” contact Steve Cumming, Station Manager, N.T.R.B.
Steve Cumming
Steve @ readingresource.org
 
    
Program Schedule
ProgramAuthorsN.T.R.B.
001James Thurber, Katherine Anne Porter, Stephen CraneRight click to download program 001
002Graham Greene, Richard Wright, Ambrose BierceRight click to download program 002
003Herbert Goldstone, Oliver Goldsmith, O. Henry, Ed McBainRight click to download program 003
004Antony Mann, Herman Melville, Nelson AlgrenRight click to download program 004
005Philip Roth, Phil LoveseyRight click to download program 005
006Guy de Maupassant, W. Somerset Maugham, Sholem Aleichem, Patrick WaddingtonRight click to download program 006
007Ring Lardner, James T. Farrell, Liam O'FlahertyRight click to download program 007
008Peter Orner, John Collier, Stephen Vincent BenétRight click to download program 008
009Kurt Vonnegut, Charles DickensRight click to download program 009
010Samuel Clemens, Bret Harte, Saki (H.H. Munro)Right click to download program 010
011G.E.M. Skues, Charles Dudley Warner, Stephen Vincent BenétRight click to download program 011
012Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson, Alice ChildressRight click to download program 012
013James Yaffe, Ernest HemingwayRight click to download program 013
014Ian Rankin, Washington IrvingRight click to download program 014
015Damon Runyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Ambrose BierceRight click to download program 015
016Alphonse Daudet, Dorothy L. Sayers, Walter de la MareRight click to download program 016
017Dorothy Parker, Henry JamesRight click to download program 017
018Leo Tolstoy, Kevin Brockmeier, E.B. WhiteRight click to download program 018
019Woody Allen, D.H. LawrenceRight click to download program 019
020P.G. Wodehouse, Tobias Wolff, James ThurberRight click to download program 020
021Evelyn Waugh, Philip HensherRight click to download program 021
022Leo Tolstoy, Ha Jin, Donald BarthelmeRight click to download program 022
023Stephen Leacock, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Gregorio Lopez y FuentesRight click to download program 023
024Nedra Tyre, Guy de Maupassant, Robert BlochRight click to download program 024
025Maxim Gorky, Walter Bernstein, Stephen Crane, H.L. MenckenRight click to download program 025
026Edward Crebbin, Irwin ShawRight click to download program 026
027Sherman Alexie, Larissa AmirRight click to download program 027
028J.A. Jance, Jack London, Liam O'Flaherty, Oscar WildeRight click to download program 028
029Barry Gifford, Anton Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Richard MathesonRight click to download program 029
030Mary Lavin, Katherine Anne Porter, Ian FrazierRight click to download program 030
031Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Haycox, W. Somerset MaughamRight click to download program 031
032Anthony Wynne, Tim PridgenRight click to download program 032
033Margaret Drabble, Dorothy WestRight click to download program 033
034Shirley Jackson, Booth TarkingtonRight click to download program 034
035John Steinbeck, Madame de VilleneuveRight click to download program 035
036Mark Twain, Lawrence BlockRight click to download program 036
037Nadine Gordimer, Edgar Allen Poe, Ring LardnerRight click to download program 037
038William Sansom, Washington Irving, William FaulknerRight click to download program 038
039Mackinlay Kantor, Q. Patrick, Eudora WeltyRight click to download program 039
040S.J. Perlman, Luigi Pirandello, John MasefieldRight click to download program 040
041Wendell Berry, James Gould Cozzens, John UpdikeRight click to download program 041
042Robert Benchley, William Saroyan, Truman CapoteRight click to download program 042
043W.E. Johns, Ray Bradbury, Laura WolfRight click to download program 043
044A.M. Burrage, Frances Gray PattonRight click to download program 044
045Hal Ellson, Prosper Mérimée, Elizabeth BowenRight click to download program 045
046F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rod KesslerRight click to download program 046
047Károly Kisfaludy, R. Chetwynd-HayesRight click to download program 047
048H.G. Wells, Penelope LivelyRight click to download program 048
049John Collier, Arthur Conan DoyleRight click to download program 049
050Bruce Jay Friedman, Erle Stanley Gardner, Guy de MaupassantRight click to download program 050
051Flannery O'Connor, Colette, Nathaniel HawthorneRight click to download program 051
052Brendan Gill, Damon RunyonRight click to download program 052
053Palacio Valdés, E.M. Forster, Honoré de BalzacRight click to download program 053
054Katherine Mansfield, Joanna Scott, Rudyard Kipling, Alphonse DaudetRight click to download program 054
055Katherine Anne Porter, H.E. Bates, O. HenryRight click to download program 055
056Agatha Christie, Mary Mann, Mark TwainRight click to download program 056
057Miriam Allen deFord, Saki (H.H. Munro), John GalsworthyRight click to download program 057
058Bill Pronzini, James Thurber, Andrew LamRight click to download program 058
059Theodore Dreiser, Ronald FrameRight click to download program 059
060Hernando Téllez, Mark Twain, Frank O'ConnorRight click to download program 060
061Ring Lardner, Raymond CarverRight click to download program 061
062Zdravka Evtimova, D.H. Lawrence, John UpdikeRight click to download program 062
063William Saroyan, Katherine Mansfield, James JoyceRight click to download program 063
064Rhian Roberts, Becky Birtha, Luigi PirandelloRight click to download program 064
065Rudyard Kipling, Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. Randisi, Grace PaleyRight click to download program 065
066F. Scott Fitzgerald, John UpdikeRight click to download program 066
067Eudora Welty, Bill PronziniRight click to download program 067
068P.G. Wodehouse, Joyce Carol OatesRight click to download program 068
069Angelica Gibbs, P.D. JamesRight click to download program 069
070Ernest Hemingway, Celia Fremlin, O. HenryRight click to download program 070
071Amy Hempel, Katherine MansfieldRight click to download program 071
072Syliva Townsend Warner, Arthur C. Clarke, George GarrettRight click to download program 072
073George Baxt, Margery WilliamsRight click to download program 073
074Eleazar Lipsky, Kaatje HurlbutRight click to download program 074
075Robert Grossmith, Carol Edelstein, Carson McCullersRight click to download program 075
076C.S. Forester, Bret Harte, Saki (H.H. Munro)Right click to download program 076
077Alan Sillitoe, John CheeverRight click to download program 077
078Dashiell Hammett, A.E. CoppardRight click to download program 078
079Katherine Anne Porter, Nedra TyreRight click to download program 079
080Alex Burton, Horacio Quiroga, Rod SerlingRight click to download program 080
081Janet Peery, Jack LondonRight click to download program 081
082Dorothy Parker, Bernard MacLaverty, Sam DavisRight click to download program 082
083Dorothy Parker, Pearl S. BuckRight click to download program 083
084Elizabeth Bowen, Arthur C. Clarke, ColetteRight click to download program 084
085Judith Ortiz Cofer, Shirley Jackson, Nina Kiriki HoffmanRight click to download program 085
086Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mary Gordon, Adrian DannattRight click to download program 086
087Paul HorganRight click to download program 087
088Doris Lessing, Phyllis Bottome, Harriette Simpson ArnowRight click to download program 088
089Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Steve Rasnic TemRight click to download program 089
090Nadine Gordimer, James Joyce, Eudora WeltyRight click to download program 090
091Grace Paley, John Sayles, Fred ChappellRight click to download program 091
092Barry N. Malzberg, Leelila Strogov, Ring LardnerRight click to download program 092
093Jenny Hall, Nancy EtchemendyRight click to download program 093
094Bernard MacLaverty, Thorp McCluskyRight click to download program 094
095Jessamyn West, Chrissy Kolaya, Arthur C. ClarkeRight click to download program 095
096Ursula Hegi, Ernest Hemingway, Fritz LeiberRight click to download program 096
097Kate Chopin, James C. Glass, Julia AlvarezRight click to download program 097
098Ambrose Bierce, Katherine Susannah PrichardRight click to download program 098
099Pamela Sewell, Flannery O'ConnorRight click to download program 099
100Alice Walker, Leo Tolstoy, Dorothy ParkerRight click to download program 100
101Shirley Jackson, Richard Hughes, Raymond CarverRight click to download program 101
102Will F. Jenkins, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Sheila Barry, Edith NesbitRight click to download program 102
103Marlene Buono, Berlie Doherty, E. Nesbit, Mary RobisonRight click to download program 103
Short Stories Alphabetical by Author
AuthorTitleLengthProgram
Sholem AleichemA Wedding Without Musicians12:40006
Sherman AlexieWhat You Pawn, I Will Redeem42:40027
Nelson AlgrenHe Swung and He Missed16:50004
Woody AllenThe Kuglemass Episode26:32019
Julia AlvarezSnow03:33097
Larissa AmirBefore and Again11:17027
Sherwood AndersonI Am a Fool24:48031
Harriette Simpson ArnowThe Washerwoman's Day12:45088
Honoré de BalzacThe Mysterious Mansion28:04053
Sheila BarryCorners04:21102
Donald BarthelmeGame13:19022
H.E. BatesNo Trouble at All12:56055
George BaxtThe Woman I Envied24:20073
Robert BenchleyThe Sunday Menace11:15042
Stephen Vincent BenétThe Devil and Daniel Webster39:10008
Stephen Vincent BenétAn End to Dreams31:43011
Walter BernsteinHouseparty06:03025
Wendell BerryThe Hurt Man24:08041
Ambrose BierceParker Adderson, Philosopher16:39002
Ambrose BierceThe Boarded Widow11:00015
Ambrose BierceAn Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge27:48098
Becky BirthaThe Saints and Sinners Run21:11064
Robert BlochA Home Away from Home17:04024
Lawrence BlockThe Dettweiler Solution34:41036
Phyllis BottomeThe Liqueur Glass21:01088
Elizabeth BowenA Queer Heart28:15045
Elizabeth BowenThe Demon Lover24:46084
Ray BradburyI See You Never09:38043
Mary Elizabeth BraddonThe Cold Embrace23:07086
Kevin BrockmeierThe Brief History of Dead34:25018
Pearl S. BuckThe Old Demon35:10083
Marlene BuonoOfferings05:28103
A.M. BurrageI'm Sure It Was No. 3112:48044
Alex BurtonPenelope the Plumber and Her Fairy Godmother23:57080
Truman CapoteAmong the Paths to Eden36:42042
Raymond CarverWhere is Everyone?27:27061
Raymond CarverCathedral36:50101
Fred ChappellMiss Prue10:09091
John CheeverThe Chaste Clarissa30:46077
Anton ChekhovGooseberries28:34029
R. Chetwynd-HayesThe Limping Ghost46:16047
Alice ChildressThe Pocketbook Game03:20012
Kate ChopinThe Recovery09:21097
Agatha ChristieAccident23:09056
Arthur C. ClarkeThe Nine Billion Names of God16:21072
Arthur C. ClarkeThe Star16:12084
Arthur C. ClarkeThe Sentinel23:45095
Samuel ClemensLuck12:38010
Judith Ortiz CoferNada23:29085
ColetteThe Other Wife08:24051
ColetteThe Gentle Libertine14:38084
John CollierThe Chaser07:52008
John CollierEvening Primrose32:28049
A.E. CoppardSome Talk of Alexander20:44078
James Gould CozzensClerical Error09:26041
Stephen CraneThe Upturned Face10:18001
Stephen CraneThe Dark-Brown Dog14:33025
Edward CrebbinWebster18:49026
Adrian DannattCard Trick with Hearts18:04086
Alphonse DaudetThe Last Lesson10:17016
Alphonse DaudetThe Death of the Dauphin07:12054
Sam DavisThe First Piano in a Mining Camp17:41082
Charles DickensThe Poor Relation's Story25:06009
Berlie DohertyThe Bad Boy20:07103
Arthur Conan DoyleThe American's Tale23:22049
Margaret DrabbleThe Gifts of War35:36033
Theodore DreiserThe Lost Phoebe45:14059
Carol Edelstein232-997904:47075
Hal EllsonThe Back Stairway22:39045
Nancy EtchemendyCat in Glass50:01093
Zdravka EvtimovaBlood09:12062
James T. FarrellThe Scoop08:01007
William FaulknerA Rose for Emily25:54038
F. Scott FitzgeraldA Man in the Way12:40046
F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Baby Party35:18066
C.S. ForesterThe Bedchamber Mystery11:25076
E.M. ForsterMr. Andrews12:42053
Ronald FrameA Piece of Sky10:04059
Ian FrazierTomorrow's Bird10:18030
Mary E. Wilkins FreemanThe Revolt of 'Mother'47:35089
Celia FremlinDon't Tell Cissie30:46070
Bruce Jay FriedmanBlack Angels15:46050
Gregorio Lopez y FuentesA Letter to God06:31023
John GalsworthyTimber25:09057
Erle Stanley GardnerDanger Out of the Past31:50050
George GarrettFeeling Good, Feeling Fine11:50072
Angelica GibbsThe Test09:27069
Barry GiffordRosa Blanca10:18029
Brendan GillThe Test18:41052
James C. GlassHelen's Last Will41:53097
Oliver GoldsmithThe Disabled Soldier12:18003
Herbert GoldstoneVirtuoso14:50003
Nadine GordimerHomage09:11037
Nadine GordimerThe Train from Rhodesia13:11090
Mary GordonThe Thorn14:02086
Maxim GorkyHer Lover14:14025
Graham GreeneProof Positive10:41002
Robert GrossmithThe Book of Ands22:11075
Jenny HallFab 406:27093
Dashiell HammettThey Can Only Hang You Once34:57078
Thomas HardyAbsent-mindedness in a Parish Choir06:50029
Bret HarteThe Outcasts of Poker Flat27:46010
Bret HarteTennessee's Partner27:23076
Nathaniel HawthorneThe Man of Adamant21:33051
Ernest HaycoxA Question of Blood09:40031
Ursula HegiStolen Chocolates09:20096
Ernest HemingwaySoldier's Home16:17013
Ernest HemingwayTen Indians11:24070
Ernest HemingwayBig Two-Hearted River: Part I25:07096
Amy HempelIn the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried24:18071
O. HenryThe Exact Science of Matrimony14:56003
O. HenryThe Gift of the Magi15:34055
O. HenryThe Love-Philtre of Ikey Shoenstein13:31070
Philip HensherDead Languages13:51021
Nina Kiriki HoffmanComing Home20:20085
Paul HorganThe Peach Stone56:14087
Richard HughesThe Ghost10:25101
Kaatje HurlbutEve in Darkness14:53074
Washington IrvingRip Van Winkle35:17014
Washington IrvingThe Wife18:03038
Shirley JacksonThe Lottery21:04012
Shirley JacksonCharles11:10034
Shirley JacksonOf Course11:21085
Shirley JacksonAfter You, My Dear Alphonse07:56101
Henry JamesThe Real Thing41:52017
P.D. JamesThe Victim46:29069
J.A. JanceA Flash of Chrysanthemum14:51028
Will F. JenkinsSide Bet24:39102
Ha JinSaboteur23:29022
W.E. JohnsBiggles to the Rescue17:17043
James JoyceThe Boarding House19:03063
James JoyceEveline11:10090
Stuart M. KaminskySnow25:05023
Mackinlay KantorThen Came the Legions08:48039
Rod KesslerHow to Touch a Bleeding Dog05:24046
Rudyard KiplingHow the Whale Got His Throat08:11054
Rudyard KiplingWee Willie Winkie27:12065
Károly KisfaludyThe Assignation10:14047
Chrissy KolayaSwimming for Shore11:39095
Andrew LamThe Palmist13:28058
Ring LardnerThe Golden Honeymoon37:13007
Ring LardnerHaircut29:50037
Ring LardnerEx Parte27:34061
Ring LardnerWho Dealt?30:06092
Mary LavinThe Story of the Widow's Son26:50030
D.H. LawrenceTickets, Please29:11019
D.H. LawrenceThe Rocking-Horse Winner38:54062
Stephen LeacockGertrude the Governess22:21023
Fritz LeiberA Bad Day for Sales19:31096
Doris LessingA Sunrise on the Veld21:15088
Eleazar LipskyThe Quality of Mercy40:45074
Penelope LivelyThe Five Thousand and One Nights25:48048
Jack LondonThe Law of Life17:47028
Jack LondonThe Enemy of All the World36:53081
Phil LoveseyBlitzed15:25005
Bernard MacLavertyWords the Happy Say19:55082
Bernard MacLavertyThe Assessment29:42094
Barry N. MalzbergGehenna14:40092
Antony MannTaking Care of Frank22:18004
Mary MannLittle Brother09:19056
Katherine MansfieldThe Dill Pickle18:55054
Katherine MansfieldMiss Brill18:03063
Katherine MansfieldBliss31:02071
Walter de la MareThe Riddle09:27016
John MasefieldAnty Bligh13:15040
Richard MathesonBorn of Man and Woman08:18029
W. Somerset MaughamThe Ant and The Grasshopper10:57006
W. Somerset MaughamSeptember's Bird20:39031
Guy de MaupassantThe Jewels of M. Lantin16:01006
Guy de MaupassantThe Diamond Necklace18:20024
Guy de MaupassantUgly07:30050
Ed McBainBarking at Butterflies13:47003
Thorp McCluskyDark Mummery25:30094
Carson McCullersMadame Zilensky and the King of Finland27:52075
Herman MelvilleThe Fiddler16:41004
H.L. MenckenRecollections of Notable Cops18:45025
Saki (H.H. Munro)The Mouse11:35010
Saki (H.H. Munro)The Open Window09:09057
Saki (H.H. Munro)The Storyteller15:55076
Prosper MériméeThe Pearl of Toledo04:39045
E. NesbitNo. 1722:08103
Edith NesbitUncle Abraham's Romance09:39102
Flannery O'ConnorThe Crop24:53051
Flannery O'ConnorA Stroke of Good Fortune31:12099
Frank O'ConnorJudas25:18060
Liam O'FlahertyThe Sniper09:31007
Liam O'FlahertyThe Hawk10:35028
Joyce Carol OatesThe Temple08:51068
Peter OrnerThe Raft08:48008
Grace PaleyWants06:20065
Grace PaleyThe Loudest Voice14:08091
Dorothy ParkerThe Standard of Living13:08017
Dorothy ParkerLady With a Lamp17:29082
Dorothy ParkerHere We Are20:19083
Dorothy ParkerYou Were Perfectly Fine12:10100
Q. PatrickMurder in One Scene24:16039
Frances Gray PattonRemold it Nearer42:42044
Janet PeeryWhat the Thunder Said19:01081
S.J. PerlmanFarewell, My Lovely Appetizer18:11040
Luigi PirandelloThe Wreath23:56040
Luigi PirandelloWar11:59064
Edgar Allen PoeThe Oblong Box29:33012
Edgar Allen PoeThe Tell-tale Heart15:17037
Katherine Anne PorterThe Jilting of Granny Weatherall24:27001
Katherine Anne PorterRope16:53030
Katherine Anne PorterHe27:00055
Katherine Anne PorterVirgin Violeta25:44079
Katherine Susannah PrichardThe Gray Horse27:32098
Tim PridgenEighteen Oak Ties14:31032
Bill PronziniA Craving for Originality25:53058
Bill PronziniFlood17:37067
Horacio QuirogaThree Letters… and a Footnote09:54080
Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. RandisiI Love Everything About You21:30065
Ian RankinThe Hanged Man19:24014
Marjorie Kinnan RawlingsMiriam's Houses16:08102
Rhian RobertsKeep Up Appearances21:35064
Mary RobisonYours05:55103
Philip RothThe Conversion of the Jews38:28005
Damon RunyonA Dangerous Guy Indeed07:46015
Damon RunyonButch Minds the Baby36:54052
William SansomThe Kiss10:46038
William SaroyanThe Shepherd's Daughter07:19042
William SaroyanThe Summer of the Beautiful White Horse17:36063
Dorothy L. SayersSuspicion34:33016
Dorothy L. SayersThe Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste37:50046
John SaylesDillinger in Hollywood30:42091
Joanna ScottConcerning Mold upon the Skin, Etc.20:42054
Rod SerlingReturn from Oblivion20:32080
Pamela SewellPrelude24:24099
Irwin ShawThe Eighty-yard Run35:06026
Alan SillitoeEnoch's Two Letters24:31077
G.E.M. SkuesWell I'm -!07:33011
John SteinbeckOver the Hill06:34035
Leelila StrogovPaper Slippers11:15092
Booth TarkingtonMary Smith44:31034
Steve Rasnic TemDaddy08:00089
James ThurberThe Greatest Man in the World20:12001
James ThurberThe Secret Life of Walter Mitty13:46020
James ThurberThe Breakingup of the Winships15:09058
Leo TolstoyThe Three Questions09:58018
Leo TolstoyThe Long Exile17:45022
Leo TolstoyHow Much Land Does a Man Need?21:48100
Mark TwainThe McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm20:15036
Mark TwainLost in the Snow21:41056
Mark TwainThe Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County16:53060
Nedra TyreKilled by Kindness18:09024
Nedra TyreA Nice Place to Stay29:47079
Hernando TéllezJust Lather, That's All12:51060
John UpdikeThe Alligators19:59041
John UpdikeThe Widow06:07062
John UpdikeLifeguard19:43066
Palacio ValdésThe Crime on Calle de la Persequida14:49053
Madame de VilleneuveBeauty and the Beast48:35035
Kurt VonnegutThe Foster Portfolio30:47009
Patrick WaddingtonThe Street That Got Mislaid14:19006
Alice WalkerEveryday Use21:21100
Charles Dudley WarnerA Fight with a Trout15:48011
Syliva Townsend WarnerA Widow's Quilt25:56072
Evelyn WaughAn Englishman's Home41:08021
H.G. WellsThe Truth about Pyecraft29:07048
Eudora WeltyA Worn Path21:39039
Eudora WeltyWhy I Live at the P.O.37:34067
Eudora WeltyPetrified Man30:56090
Dorothy WestMy Baby …20:31033
Jessamyn WestLead Her Like a Pigeon19:37095
E.B. WhiteThe Hour of Letdown10:05018
Oscar WildeThe Selfish Giant10:25028
Margery WilliamsThe Velveteen Rabbit32:43073
P.G. WodehouseThe Fiery Wooing of Mordred36:09015
P.G. WodehouseUp from the Depths31:18020
P.G. WodehouseThe Reverent Wooing of Archibald47:22068
Laura WolfAmore29:35043
Tobias WolffPowder09:02020
Richard WrightAlmos' a Man28:04002
Anthony WynneThe Cyprian Bees40:23032
James YaffeMom Sings an Aria37:39013
Miriam Allen deFordThe Oleander20:10057

 
Program 001
James Thurber, Katherine Anne Porter, Stephen Crane
Welcome to the inaugural program of “An Hour of Short Stories.” I’m your host, John Pritchett. Each week we will be bringing you a selection of short stories by a wide variety of authors. From our extensive library of anthologies, we plan to choose short stories that are entertaining and meaningful. For example, today we have works from James Thurber, Katherine Anne Porter, and Stephen Crane.

Our first selection is James Thurber’s “The Greatest Man in the World.” This American humorist lived from 1894 to 1961. A prolific contributor to The New Yorker, his many popular quotations include, “One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” Nearly blinded when a brother shot an arrow into his eye trying to duplicate William Tell’s feat of shooting an apple from the head of a son, he was unable to play sports and concentrated instead on literature. His other works include “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which we plan to broadcast in a later program. And now please meet “The Greatest Man in the World.”
“The Greatest Man in the World” by James Thurber (20:12)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 2,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

The Pulitzer-prize winning author of our next short story, Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890. Many of her works, like the one we are presenting today “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall,” deal with dark themes such as death and betrayal. Her only education beyond grammar school was one year at the Thomas School in San Antonio. Other works include Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Ship of Fools. Married and divorced four times, she never had children. Katherine died September 18, 1980 in Maryland and is buried next to her mother at Indian Creek.
“The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter (24:27)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 2,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

Stephen Crane, the author of today’s third short story, was born in New Jersey in 1871, the 14th child of a Methodist minister, and by age 16 was writing newspaper articles. He is known for Red Badge of Courage, about the American Civil War. Although never a soldier himself, he interviewed many veterans who suffered with what we would call today, post-traumatic stress syndrome. Many of his works, like the one we are presenting today, “The Upturned Face,” are set in Cuba. Crane settled in England in 1897 and died in Germany at age 28. He is buried in Hillside, New Jersey.
“The Upturned Face” by Stephen Crane (10:18)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 002
Graham Greene, Richard Wright, Ambrose Bierce
Our authors today are Graham Green, who was born to an influential English family, his contemporary Richard Wright who was born on a Mississippi plantation, and Ambrose Bierce who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Graham Greene was a prolific author of novels, plays, and short stories, including The Third Man, The Power and the Glory, Brighton Rock, Our Man in Havana, and End of the Affair, all of which were made into movies. Green was born in England in 1904 into a wealthy and influential family. In 1926 he converted to Catholicism, which was often the subject of his works. Indeed you will note a religious theme in “Proof Positive,” his short story we have selected for today. Graham died in 1991.
“Proof Positive” by Graham Greene (10:41)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Richard Wright was born on a Mississippi cotton plantation in 1908, grew up in poverty, and was subjected to the onerous Jim Crow standards of Black conduct, which he deeply resented. After experiencing Depression-era Chicago, he moved to New York where he joined the staff of the Daily Worker, a communist newspaper. Later breaking with Communism, he wrote Native Son, which, with Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, was the most powerful fiction to emerge from the Depression years. His other works have the common theme of escaping bondage, something you will recognize in his following work, “Almos’ a Man.”
“Almos' a Man” by Richard Wright (28:04)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 1,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

Born in Ohio in 1842, Ambrose Bierce, the author of our third story in An Hour of Short Stories was only 17 when he enlisted in the Union Army and his experiences during the Civil War colored his writing. Other common themes in his works are skepticism about American values and the philosophy that reversals in our lives are not arbitrary -- we contribute to them. He also enjoys shocking the reader with a trick or surprise ending, as you will detect in the following selection from his work, “Parker Adderson, Philosopher.”
“Parker Adderson, Philosopher” by Ambrose Bierce (16:39)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 1,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

 
Program 003
Herbert Goldstone, Oliver Goldsmith, O. Henry, Ed McBain
Today we are bringing you four short stories. The first will be a vintage science fiction work, Virtuoso, by Herbert Goldstone which has appeared in several science fiction anthologies. And once you hear it you will understand why. This will be followed by an entertaining 18th century short story from novelist Oliver Goldsmith, a story with a surprise ending from the master of that technique, O. Henry, and another with a bit of a twist from mystery writer Ed McBain.

Here now is “Virtuoso,” by Herbert Goldstone.
“Virtuoso” by Herbert Goldstone (14:50)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Irishman Oliver Goldsmith lived from 1730 to 1774, and authored also the novel the Vicar of Wakefield and the comedy She Stoops to Conquer. He is also thought to have written the classic children’s tale, “The History of Little Goody Two Shoes,” giving the world a popular phrase that continues to today.
“The Disabled Soldier” by Oliver Goldsmith (12:18)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

William Sydney Porter, who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, was born in 1862 on a plantation near Greensboro, North Carolina, but moved to Texas in 1882 where he worked as a bookkeeper and druggist. Porter resigned as a teller at the First National Bank of Austin after being accused of embezzlement and moved to Houston where he wrote for the Houston Post. Before his trial he fled to New Orleans and then Honduras, where he coined the phrase ‘Banana Republic.’ Porter returned and surrendered in 1897 when he learned his wife was dying. Eventually found guilty, he served three years in the Ohio State Penitentiary. An alcoholic, Porter died of cirrhosis of the liver in New York in 1910 and is buried in Ashville, North Carolina. Although attempts have been made to seek a presidential pardon, none have been successful. An annual prize for short stories is the O. Henry Award. Considering Porter’s conviction for embezzlement, it is notable that O. Henry would dedicate one of his surprise-ending short stories to precisely that subject. Here is “The Exact Science of Matrimony.”
“The Exact Science of Matrimony” by O. Henry (14:56)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Ed McBain is the pseudonym of Evan Hunter, who was born Salvatore Albert Lombino in New York City in 1926. Before starting his writing career, he taught at Bronx Vocational High School, which would later be the basis for his novel, The Blackboard Jungle. A screenwriter, he is also credited for the screenplay for Hitchcock’s The Birds. So as not to sully his literary reputation, he wrote crime stories under a variety of pseudonyms, most often Ed McBain whose 87th Precinct Mysteries span five decades and are world-wide best-sellers. Evan Hunter died of cancer in 2005.
“Barking at Butterflies” by Ed McBain (13:47)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

 
Program 004
Antony Mann, Herman Melville, Nelson Algren
We are bringing you three short stories today. The first is by Australian Anthony Mann and the second and third by Americans Herman Melville who wrote in the 19th century and Nelson Algren, a 20th Century author.

Although Antony Mann is an Australian he lives in England and his short fiction has appeared in a wide range of British magazines and journals. For two years he wrote sports humor for the national broadsheet The Guardian. He has a witty and acerbic style, which you will easily detect in our next feature, “Taking Care of Frank.”
“Taking Care of Frank” by Antony Mann (22:18)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

Our next short story, “The Fiddler,” is by Herman Melville who was born in New York City in 1819. A sailor, he served on the whaler, the Acushnet, for 18 months. It was this experience that ultimately gave him the knowledge about whaling that he included in Moby Dick, the novel upon which his reputation rests almost solely. He is also known for the short stories “Benito Cereno” and “Bartleby the Scrivener.” At his death in 1891 he left the manuscript for Billy Budd that was published after his death and which is considered his finest work after Moby Dick.
“The Fiddler” by Herman Melville (16:41)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Legendary American writer Nelson Algren was born Nelson Ahlgren Abraham in Detroit in 1909. While writing and pumping gas in Texas, he was caught stealing a typewriter and was jailed five months. His stories would later be populated with has-beens: “drunks, pimps, prostitutes, freaks, drug addicts, prize fighters, corrupt politicians, and hoodlums.” Indeed his short story we have selected for today, “He Swung and He Missed,” is, as you might have guessed, is about prize fighters. His other works have included The Man with the Golden Arm and A Walk on the Wild Side, the latter of which was the inspiration for Lou Reed’s song of the same name. Nelson, who had a brief torrid affair with French author Simone de Bouvier, died in New York in 1981.
“He Swung and He Missed” by Nelson Algren (16:50)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 005
Philip Roth, Phil Lovesey
Today our two short stories come from established novelist Philip Roth and from a relative newcomer and crime-writer Phil Lovesey.

“The Conversion of the Jews” is by Philip Roth who was born in 1933 into a middle-class Jewish family. Both his first short story collection, Goodbye Columbus, and his comic novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, have been made into movies. As with most of his work, they both had Jewish themes, as does, of course, “The Conversion of the Jews.”
“The Conversion of the Jews” by Philip Roth (38:28)
Collected in: The American Tradition in Literature Vol. 2, Seventh Edition,
edited by George Perkins, et.al. (McGraw-Hill)

Phil Lovesey is a second-generation crime writer, being the son of award-winning Peter Lovesey. A former advertising copywriter, he is the author of three novels: Ploughing Potter’s Field, Death Duties, and When the Ashes Burn. He has also published a number of short stories and is a regular contributor to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, in which the following short story, “Blitzed,” appeared in June 1999. It can also be found in The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, edited by Ed Gorman
“Blitzed” by Phil Lovesey (15:25)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

 
Program 006
Guy de Maupassant, W. Somerset Maugham, Sholem Aleichem, Patrick Waddington
Today we bring you four short stories. “The Jewels of M. Lantin” is on the subject of love and marriage and “The Ant and the Grasshopper” is an entertaining perspective on the fable of the same name. “A Wedding without Musicians” and “The Street That Got Mislaid” deal with carefully organized plans that go awry.

French author Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the world’s greatest short story writers. Born in Normandy in 1850, de Maupassant learned literary technique from his godfather Gustave Flaubert. He was often sarcastic and pessimistic and wrote sympathetically only about the poor, all of which you can detect in “The Jewels of M. Lantin” that follows. From 1880 until his death in an insane asylum in 1893, de Maupassant wrote about 250 short stories. The subjects included government officials, like M. Lantin, the middle class, peasants, the Franco-Prussian War, animals, and ghosts.
“The Jewels of M. Lantin” by Guy de Maupassant (16:01)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874, the son of a British embassy official and served in the British secret service during World War I. He is considered one of the most popular British authors of the 1900s. He established himself as a serious writer with his semi-autobiographical work, Of Human Bondage, and was also an author of many sophisticated plays and collections of short stories. I have in my library The Maugham Reader containing 20 of his most popular short stories. Unfortunately nearly all are too long to include on this program, which is devoted to the shorter variety. Here, however, is a ten minute short story, called “The Ant and The Grasshopper.”
“The Ant and The Grasshopper” by W. Somerset Maugham (10:57)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Sholom Aleichem is the pseudonym used by Sholem Yakov Rabinovitsh or Rabinowitz. Born in 1859 in Russia, Sholom was a popular humorist and Russian Jewish author of Yiddish literature. His most popular character was Tevye, the milkman, whose stories were made into the Broadway musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Sholom Aleichem died in New York in 1916 at the age of 57, while still working on his novel, Mottel the Cantor’s Son, and was laid to rest at the Brooklyn cemetery. At the time, his funeral was one of the largest in New York City history, with an estimated 100,000 mourners.”
No doubt all our listeners are familiar with Fiddler on the Roof and the anticipation of a pogrom that permeates the story. “A Wedding without Musicians” is another comic twist on the same subject.
“A Wedding Without Musicians” by Sholem Aleichem (12:40)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Patrick Waddington is presumably identical to the character actor of this name who portrayed British military officers and officials in movies from the 1920s to the 1960s.
“The Street That Got Mislaid” by Patrick Waddington (14:19)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 007
Ring Lardner, James T. Farrell, Liam O'Flaherty
Today’s program brings you three short stories: two by Americans and one by an Irishman, all of whom were contemporaries, born around the beginning of the 20th century. In each you will detect how their own experiences influenced the subject of their story.

Ringgold William Lardner, known as Ring Lardner, was an American sports columnist and short story author. Most of his works are satirical takes on marriage, sports, and theater. Born in Niles, Michigan, in 1885, he achieved his ambition by becoming a sportswriter, but eventually became known as one of America’s finest short story writers. Ring died in New York at age 48 from complication of Tuberculosis. The following short story, “The Golden Honeymoon,” you will recognize as a satirical look at, of course, marriage.
“The Golden Honeymoon” by Ring Lardner (37:13)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 2,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

James T. Farrell was born in Chicago in 1904 and began writing when he was 21 years of age. His novels and short stories portray working-class Irishmen on Chicago’s south side. One of his most famous works, the Studs Lonigan Trilogy, was ranked among the top 100 novels of the 20th Century by Modern Library and was made into a television series. Farrell, who died in 1979, believed people’s destinies are influenced by the place and era in which they lived.
You will recognize this view, and the influence of Chicago’s south side in the following work entitled “The Scoop.”
“The Scoop” by James T. Farrell (08:01)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Novelist and short story writer Liam O’Flaherty was born in Ireland in 1896. Injured and shell-shocked during World War I, he later suffered mental illness, which the shock presumably triggered.
He also fought during the Irish war of independence and the Irish civil war. Liam later helped establish the Communist Party of Ireland and opposed all religion, perhaps costing him his due literary recognition. Among his novels is The Informer, which his cousin John Ford, produced as a movie in 1935. Liam died in Dublin in 1984.
“The Sniper,” which follows, is told from the viewpoint of a Republican sniper near the Four Courts in Dublin during the first weeks of the Irish civil war.
“The Sniper” by Liam O'Flaherty (09:31)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 008
Peter Orner, John Collier, Stephen Vincent Benét
Today we have for you three very diverse short stories. The first two, both by Californians, are quite short. Although comic, both have a dark side. The third short story is a classic by Stephen Vincent Benet.

Peter Orner was born in Chicago, lives in San Francisco, and is the author of the novel, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and a story collection, Esther Stories, winner of the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction, and a Finalist for the Pen Hemingway Award. His fiction has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and the Paris Review, as well as the Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Stories. He teaches in the graduate writing program at San Francisco State University. In 2006, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.
Orner’s short story which follows, “The Raft,” appeared first in The Atlantic Monthly and was published also in The Best American Short Stories of 2001, edited by Barbara Kingsolver.
“The Raft” by Peter Orner (08:48)
Collected in: The Best American Short Stories 2001,
selected by Barbara Kingsolver and Katrina Kenison (Houghton Mifflin)

John Collier was born in London in 1901. Dedicated first to poetry, he never attended a university. His short stories are best described as fantasies and are often dark, like the one which we shall read next, “The Chaser.” Several were even adapted to television for the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Collier later moved to Hollywood turning his attention to screenplays including contributing to The African Queen. A television musical by Stephen Sondheim was based on the Collier short story “Evening Primrose” about people who lived in a department store, hiding during the day and coming out at night. Collier died in Pacific Palisades in 1980.
“The Chaser” by John Collier (07:52)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Stephen Vincent Benét is best known for the long poem “John’s Brown Body” dramatizing the Civil War, for which he received his first Pulitzer Prize. Benet was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1898, and died in 1943.
The “Devil and Daniel Webster,” which follows, is a fantasy which interleaves at least a half dozen distinct themes borrowed from sources as remote the American tall tale, the Book of Job, and the Faust story.
“The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benét (39:10)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

 
Program 009
Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens
Today’s short stories are by two very diverse authors: Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Charles Dickens. The first by Mr. Vonnegut is about a rich man who lives as though he is poor and the second is about a poor man who lives a very rich life.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. is an American novelist known best for Slaughterhouse Five, Cat’s Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions. During World War II he fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war, surviving the bombing of Dresden in an underground meat packing cellar known as Slaughterhouse Five. Kurt is the father of artist Edith Vonnegut who was once married to Geraldo Rivera. Mr. Vonnegut, who was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, lived with his second wife in New York City until his death in 2007.
From among Mr. Vonnegut’s collection of short stories, we have chosen “The Foster Portfolio.”
“The Foster Portfolio” by Kurt Vonnegut (30:47)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Charles Dickens needs no introduction. Surely one of the most popular writers of all time, he was born in 1812 and died in 1870. He was a keen observer of life and his love of theatre is reflected in his ability to create superb dramatic scenes. During the 1840s, Dickens view of Victorian society grew darker and his humor more bitter. His novels and short stories were often sympathetic to the poor and critical to the selfish and cruel.
Indeed you can clearly detect some of these themes in the following work, “The Poor Relations Story.”
“The Poor Relation's Story” by Charles Dickens (25:06)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 010
Samuel Clemens, Bret Harte, Saki (H.H. Munro)
Today’s short stories are by three masters, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, and the lesser known H.H. Munro.

Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain, hardly needs an introduction. Best known for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he also authored travel books, based on his many trips out West, abroad, and around the world. Twain was first and foremost a humorist, generally considered America’s greatest. Yet, despite his extraordinary sense of humor, Twain was melancholy and often depressed. Many of his works are satirical attacks on current events. Twain, who was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, died in 1910 in Elmira, New York, where he is buried.
Today we are bringing you “Luck,” Twain’s humorous and satirical look at the military.
“Luck” by Samuel Clemens (12:38)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Bret Harte was born in Albany, New York, in 1836, but moved to California in 1854. His works reflect the pioneering spirit of California where he worked as a minor, messenger, journalist, and teacher. The Outcasts of Poker Flat, which follows was twice made into a movie and it and another of Harte’s works, The Luck of Roaring Camp, were the basis for the Spaghetti western Four of the Apocalypse. Harte moved to New York and then Boston to pursue his literary career and became a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He settled in London in 1885 and was buried in Surrey County, England, in 1902.
Incidentally, early in “The Outcasts of Poker Flat” you will hear mention of a “Secret Committee,” which is a vigilance committee organized in the West to protect life and property.
“The Outcasts of Poker Flat” by Bret Harte (27:46)
Collected in: The American Tradition in Literature Vol. 2, Seventh Edition,
edited by George Perkins, et.al. (McGraw-Hill)

Hector Hugo Munro wrote under the pen name Saki. A short story master, he is often compared to Dorothy Parker and O. Henry. Munro was born in 1870 in Burma, then part of the British Empire, where his father was a police official. After his mother’s death caused by the charging of a cow, Hector was brought up in England by his very straight-laced grandmother and aunts. Although he followed his father as a Burmese police official, ill health forced his return to England where he began work as a journalist. Although technically too old to serve, he joined the British Army during World War I and was killed in France in 1916. Having grown up in the care of his strict aunts, he often wrote disapprovingly of women. Yet, as you will detect in the following story, “The Mouse,” he also could portray strong-willed, independent women very favorably. Saki often contrasted the effete conventions and hypocrisies of Edwardian England with the ruthless but straightforward life-and-death struggles of nature, in this case man vs. mouse.
Incidentally a term used in this piece, “Wanderjar,” refers to a year of travel, specifically by the mouse.
Note also that the male character of “The Mouse” was screened as a youth from the course realities of life, undoubtedly an autobiographical allusion.
“The Mouse” by Saki (H.H. Munro) (11:35)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 011
G.E.M. Skues, Charles Dudley Warner, Stephen Vincent Benét
Our first two short stories are both comic, fanciful tales on the subject of fly-fishing. The first is by a renowned fly fisherman and second by a journalist, both of whom happened to be lawyers. The third is by Pulitzer-prize winning author Stephen Vincent Benet.

Our first selection is by George Edward MacKenzie Skues who was, without doubt, one of the greatest trout fishermen that ever lived. Skues’ ground-breaking ideas left him exposed to a great deal of criticism, which he bore with good grace. He was saved from serious personal attack partly because he was a lawyer with an assertive character and partly his new technique meant that he could catch fish under circumstances that defeated everyone else. Born in 1858, Skues died in 1949. He is the author of The Essential G.E.M. Skues, Nymph Fishing For Chalk Stream Trout & Minor Tactics, and The Way of a Trout With a Fly.
The title of this work is the abbreviated censored phrase, “We’ll I’m -!”
“Well I'm -!” by G.E.M. Skues (07:33)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Charles Dudley Warner was born in Massachusetts in 1829. He lived briefly in the West before returning to Philadelphia where he practiced law. He later moved to Hartford where he worked for the Courant and was later on the editorial staff of Harper’s Magazine. Warner died in Hartford in 1900. During his lifetime he collaborated with Mark Twain and the following short story “A Fight with a Trout” may be found in Mark Twain’s Library of Humor.
As with many stories of landing a fish, it contains a wealth of exaggeration.
“A Fight with a Trout” by Charles Dudley Warner (15:48)
Collected in: Mark Twain's Library of Humor,
edited by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, et.al. (Bonanza Books)

Our next short story is by Stephen Vincent Benet who is best known for the long poem John Brown’s Body dramatizing the Civil War, for which he received his first Pulitzer Prize. Benet was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1898, and died in 1943. You will recall three programs ago we presented Benet’s “The Devil and Daniel Webster.”
Today you will hear Benet’s “An End to Dreams,” which will remind you a bit of “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” which was about a dying woman’s recollection of her life. In “An End to Dreams,” a man is recalling the turning points in his life while drifting in and out of consciousness as he recovers in a hospital.
“An End to Dreams” by Stephen Vincent Benét (31:43)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 012
Edgar Allen Poe, Shirley Jackson, Alice Childress
Today’s program includes three quite different stories — one by one of America’s greatest short story writers, Edgar Allen Poe, and two by women, Shirley Jackson and Alice Childress, both of whom were born in 1916.

Edgar Allen Poe was one of America’s greatest short story writers and the father of the modern mystery and detective story. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was reared by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia, after his father deserted the family and his mother died. Poe’s most popular tales have strange, bizarre, and terrible themes, which he considered simply an expression of psychological and moral realities and not simple sensationalism. You will detect these themes in the work we are presenting next, “The Oblong Box.” Poe was a prodigious author. In 1845 alone, he published 12 stories and 30 poems, including “The Raven.” Poe married first his 14-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm who died of tuberculosis in 1847. Just before his wedding to his boyhood sweetheart, Sarah (Royster) Shelton, in 1849, he went to pickup his Aunt Maria Clemm but was mysteriously found lying on a Baltimore Street and died four days later, never regaining consciousness.
“The Oblong Box” by Edgar Allen Poe (29:33)
Collected in: The Works of Edgar Allen Poe,
Edgar Allen Poe (Black's Reader Service Company)

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco and died at age 48 of heart failure. She was interested in witchcraft and believed she had supernatural powers, which perhaps explains why the style of her work has influenced Stephen King. She received the 1966 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Short Story: “The Possibility of Evil.” Her best known short story, which follows, “The Lottery,” was published in The New Yorker in 1948 and received more response than any that had been previously published. And when you hear it, you will understand why.
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson (21:04)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

Alice Childress was born in Charleston, SC, in 1916 but moved to Harlem to live with her grandmother after her parents separated. A playwright and author, she is the first African-American woman to have a play professionally produced and to win an Obie Award. We have chosen one of her brief short stories, “The Pocketbook Game,” which portrays the have-nots of society, a frequent subject of her work.
“The Pocketbook Game” by Alice Childress (03:20)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 013
James Yaffe, Ernest Hemingway
Today’s program includes works by new-comer and mystery writer James Yaffe and one of the most famous and influential American writers of his time, Ernest Hemingway.

Our first short story, “Mom Sings an Aria,” by James Yaffe, appeared first in 1966 in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and was republished in Manhattan Mysteries, edited by Ed Gorman.
“Mom Sings an Aria” by James Yaffe (37:39)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Born in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was one of the most famous and influential American writers of his time. His works strayed little from his own life, which was very colorful. Married four times, he was a soldier and war correspondent, big game hunter, and survived several near-fatal accidents. “Soldier’s Home,” the short story that follows, reflects Hemingway’s pessimistic views on the life of a soldier after the Spanish-American War. You will also detect another theme that appears frequently in Hemingway’s works -- that a man’s worth is measured by his ability to cope with violence. His most notable works include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway committed suicide in 1961 after becoming extremely ill.
“Soldier's Home” by Ernest Hemingway (16:17)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 1,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

 
Program 014
Ian Rankin, Washington Irving
Continuing our practice of presenting a variety of short stories, today’s program includes works by contemporary Scottish-born crime-writer Ian Rankin and by one of America’s most beloved authors, Washington Irving.

Ian Rankin is one of the best-selling crime writers in the UK. Born in Scotland in 1950, he resides in Edinburgh. “The Hanged Man,” which follows, first appeared in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and may be found in The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 1999, edited by Ed Gorman.
“The Hanged Man” by Ian Rankin (19:24)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

Born in 1783 in New York City, the last of 11 children, Washington Irving was named for George Washington. Irving was a charming, humorous individual with a pleasant disposition, which was often reflected in his works. Matilda Hoffman died around 1808 while engaged to Irving and he never married. Although a lawyer, he preferred to visit the Dutch farmers in the Sleepy Hollow region of New York or sail the Mohawk and Hudson rivers. After the hardware business he ran with his brothers failed, he began to support himself as an author. He purchased Sunnyside on the Hudson River near Sleepy Hollow where he entertained his nieces. One of America’s most popular writers in Europe, Irving served as Minster to Spain four years beginning in 1842. Irving retired to Sunnyside where he died in 1859 and is buried near Sleepy Hollow.
“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving (35:17)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 015
Damon Runyon, P.G. Wodehouse, Ambrose Bierce
Two of our works today are by Americans — Ambrose Bierce from the 19th century and Damon Runyon from the 20th. Our third author is the English short story master and Runyon contemporary P.G. Wodehouse.

Damon Runyon was born in 1884 in Manhattan, Kansas, and followed his father as a newspaperman in the Rocky Mountain area. In 1910 he moved to New York City where he was a sportswriter, covering the New York Giants, among others, and was eventually inducted into the writer’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. While covering professional boxing, he dubbed James J. Braddock the “Cinderella Man.” A common theme in his writings was gambling, which he himself practiced to an extreme. He was known to say, “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet,” paraphrasing Ecclesiastes. Most of Runyon’s works, which are about gamblers, gangsters, and thieves, are written in a unique style, omitting contractions and mixing slang with overly-formal English. More than a dozen movies are based on his works including Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando, Little Miss Marker that launched Shirley Temple’s career, The Lemon Drop Kid with Bob Hope, It Ain’t Hay with Abbott and Costello, and Money from Home with Martin and Lewis.
“A Dangerous Guy Indeed” by Damon Runyon (07:46)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (WOOD house), known as P.G. Wodehouse, was born in 1881. A master of English Prose and comic genius, his characters were often eccentric or buffoons, and relatives, generally aunts and uncles, were introduced for the purpose of making the protagonists life miserable. In many of his works, foolish masters are saved from dire straits by their brighter servants, such as Jeeves who always comes to Bertie Wooster’s aid. Although not officially acknowledged, the movie Arthur, staring Dudley Moore, and Sir John Gielgud, was based on these two Wodehouse characters. Wodehouse was a master of using a “sidekick” in his plots and patterned many of his stories after Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Indeed, the phrase “Elementary, My Dear Watson,” that Conan Doyle never wrote, is attributed to Wodehouse. Residing in France in 1939, he failed to recognize the German threat and was imprisoned for one year. Criticized by England for allegedly cooperating with the Nazis, he moved permanently to New York and became an American citizen in 1955. Shortly before his death at age 93, he was knighted. In the following work, “The Fiery Wooing of Mordred,” you will detect a number of typical Wodehouse themes.
“The Fiery Wooing of Mordred” by P.G. Wodehouse (36:09)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Born in Ohio in 1842, Ambrose Bierce was only 17 when he enlisted in the Union Army and his experiences during the Civil War colored his writing. Other common themes in his works are skepticism about American values and the philosophy that reversals in our lives are not arbitrary -- we contribute to them. He also enjoys shocking the reader with a trick or surprise ending, as you will detect in “The Boarded Widow.”
“The Boarded Widow” by Ambrose Bierce (11:00)
Collected in: The American Tradition in Literature Vol. 2, Seventh Edition,
edited by George Perkins, et.al. (McGraw-Hill)

 
Program 016
Alphonse Daudet, Dorothy L. Sayers, Walter de la Mare
Today’s program features works by 19th century Frenchman Alphonse Daudet and 20th century authors, American Dorothy L. Sayers, and Englishman Walter de la Mare. All have some bit of mystery to them.

French novelist, Alphonse Daudet (do DAY) was born in France in 1840 and worked first as a schoolteacher in the south of France. Unable to tolerate his pupils, he joined a brother in Paris and began to make a living as a journalist. He created characters that were real, much in the same way as Charles Dickens, whom he was even accused of imitating. The characters who populated his fiction were generally individuals with whom he had come in contact. The following short story, “The Last Lesson,” takes place in Alsace, which is presently a small region of France adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. King Louis 14 of France gradually annexed Alsace in the 17th Century but it became part of the German Empire following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, during the lifetime of Daudet. Ironically, the scene is a schoolhouse.
“The Last Lesson” by Alphonse Daudet (10:17)
Collected in: The World's One Hundred Best Short Stories - Vol. 5 - Drama,
editor-in-chief Grant Overton (Funk & Wagnalls)

Mystery-writer Dorothy L. Sayers, who was born in England in 1893, is best known for creating Lord Peter Wimsey, the English aristocrat and amateur sleuth. Heartbroken after a failed relationship with author John Cournos, Dorothy became involved with an out-of-work auto salesman by whom she became pregnant. The mores of the time making it impossible to reveal her condition, she feigned exhaustion and retired secretly to a “mothers hospital” where her son was born. As her aunt and cousin ran a foster home, Dorothy was able to place John Anthony there anonymously. Dorothy later married “Mac” Fleming who adopted her son, who went by the name John Anthony Fleming. Sayers died of a stroke in 1957.
The following work, Suspicion, may be found in Handbook for Poisoners as selected by Raymond T. Bond and published by Collier Books.
“Suspicion” by Dorothy L. Sayers (34:33)
Collected in: Handbook for Poisoners,
selected and introduced by Raymond T. Bond (Collier)

English poet, novelist and short story writer, Walter John de la Mare was born in 1873. One of de la Mare’s favorite themes was imagination. He believed that a child’s imagination was different from an adult’s. Further, he often introduced horror into his works with subtle techniques. With all of that in mind, let’s listen carefully to “The Riddle” by Walter de la Mare.
“The Riddle” by Walter de la Mare (09:27)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 017
Dorothy Parker, Henry James
Coming up today are two stories — both by New Yorkers: Dorothy Parker and Henry James. Although quite different, Ms. Parker’s story is about two young ladies who want to imagine they’re the real thing, and the other is about a couple who are the real thing. Ladies first.

Witty New York writer Dorothy Rothschild was born in 1893 and became Dorothy Parker after a brief marriage to Wall Street broker Edwin Parker. After a poem she wrote was published in Vanity Fair, she was hired by a sister publication Vogue. After moving two years later to Vanity Fair as movie critic, her career took off. Fired from the magazine that claimed her criticisms had become too harsh, she later went to work at the newly-formed The New Yorker. Moving with a second husband to Hollywood she worked on screenplays including A Star is Born. A declared Communist; she was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Returning to New York, Dorothy wrote book reviews for Esquire from 1957 to 1962. Following her death from a heart attack in 1967, her estate eventually passed, per her own will, to the NAACP, which placed her ashes in a memorial garden outside their Baltimore headquarters.
“The Standard of Living” by Dorothy Parker (13:08)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Novelist and short story author Henry James was born in New York City in 1843. A prodigious writer, he contributed to Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and The Nation, penned 22 novels, and wrote many plays and non-fiction essays. Never married, Henry moved permanently to England in 1876 and became a British citizen out of protest after America hesitated to enter World War I. He suffered a stroke in London in December 1915 and died three months later. His works frequently juxtapose characters from different cultures and he often portrays internal conflicts in the protagonist, both themes you will detect in the short story that follows, “The Real Thing.”
“The Real Thing” by Henry James (41:52)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 018
Leo Tolstoy, Kevin Brockmeier, E.B. White
Today’s program includes short stories from three very different authors, each born in a different century. The first story is a philosophical work by the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. The second is a fantasy by American new-comer Kevin Brockmeier, and the third is a comic piece by renowned American children’s book author E.B. White.

Leo Tolstoy, born in 1828 in Central Russia, is considered one of the world’s greatest novelists, his most notable works being War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His desire to understand the rational and moral justification for life led him to eventually embrace the teachings of Jesus and his ideas on non-violent resistance influenced both Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
In the short story that follows, you can sense Tolstoy’s interest in the purpose of life and detect Christianity’s influence. An educational reformer, Tolstoy published a pedagogical magazine in which he contended that it was not the intellectuals who should teach the peasants, but rather the peasants the intellectuals, another view that is reflected in the Tolstoy’s short story we are reading today, “The Three Questions.” The father of 13 children, of whom five died in their youth, Tolstoy died in 1910.
“The Three Questions” by Leo Tolstoy (09:58)
Collected in: The Works of Leo Tolstoi,
Leo Tolstoy (Black's Reader Service Company)

Kevin Brockmeier was born in 1974 in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he still lives. He is the author of adult and children’s novels as well as numerous short stories, which have appeared in The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Brockmeier has twice received the O. Henry Prize for short stories. The first was in 2002 for “The Ceiling.” His second award was in 2005 for “The Brief History of the Dead,” which follows.
“The Brief History of Dead” by Kevin Brockmeier (34:25)
Collected in: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005,
edited by Laura Furman (Anchor)

Our next work, “The Hour of Letdown,” is by E.B. White who is known for three children’s books, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. For years I have referred to a little a handbook of grammatical dos and don’ts called The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, before realizing that it was E.B. White who was the co-author. Of White, James Thurber once remarked that “No one can write a sentence like White.” Mr. White, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his body of work, was born in New York in 1899 and died in Maine in 1985.
“The Hour of Letdown” by E.B. White (10:05)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 019
Woody Allen, D.H. Lawrence
Today’s short stories come from quite divers individuals: American cerebral comic Woody Allen and controversial Englishman D.H. Lawrence.

Born in New York in 1935 to a Jewish family, three time Academy Award winner Woody Allen has done it all. He is an actor, writer, director, comedian, playwright, and musician. His first movie production was What’s New, Pussycat? in 1965 and he continues to make movies including the recently released Match Point and Scoop.
Allen was married to Harlene Rosen until their acrimonious divorce in 1966. Hearing a report that she had been violated outside her apartment, he was heard to have commented that knowing his ex-wife, it was probably not a moving violation. His second wife was Louise Lasser.
Although he married neither, he had long relationships with Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow. After separating from Farrow, Allen had a relationship with Farrow’s 22-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn and they later married. A passionate jazz fan and clarinet player, he selected his stage name after famed clarinetist Woody Herman. Our next short story is “The Kuglemass Episode,” takes place in Woody Allen’s beloved New York City. And it begins, of course, in an analyst’s office.
“The Kuglemass Episode” by Woody Allen (26:32)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

Born in 1885 in the U.K., D.H. Lawrence is considered an important though controversial English writer. Among his most famous novels are Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Incidentally, the manuscript for Sons and Lovers was exchanged for a ranch near Taos, New Mexico, where Lawrence lived for two years and where he is buried.
His works, which are diverse and prolific, reflect interest in emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and instinctive behavior, themes you will detect in the short story that follows, “Tickets, Please.”
“Tickets, Please” by D.H. Lawrence (29:11)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 020
P.G. Wodehouse, Tobias Wolff, James Thurber
Today’s program includes a very short and endearing work by American Tobias Wolff, who is still writing, sandwiched between the works of masters of comic fiction, P.G. Wodehouse and James Thurber.

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, known as P.G. Wodehouse, was born in 1881. Residing in France in 1939, he failed to recognize the German threat and was imprisoned for one year. Criticized by England for allegedly cooperating with the Nazis, he moved permanently to New York and became an American citizen in 1955.
A master of English Prose and comic genius, his characters were often eccentric or buffoons, and relatives, generally aunts and uncles, were introduced for the purpose of making the protagonists life miserable, as in “The Fiery Wooing of Mordred,” which we presented in a previous program.
I have in my library The Golf Omnibus, which contains 31 humorous tales from the green by this master of comic fiction. In “Up from the Depths,” which follows, our protagonist, a golfer, of course, encounters his misery in the form of a tennis player.
“Up from the Depths” by P.G. Wodehouse (31:18)
Collected in: The Golf Omnibus,
P.G. Wodehouse (Wings Book)

Tobias Wolff was born in Alabama in 1945. Although he has written two novels, he is best known for his short stories. His memoir, This Boys Life, was made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCapria, Ellen Barkin, and Robert DeNiro. He is presently on the faculty of Stanford University and has been the editor of The Best American Short Stories.
“Powder,” the short story that follows, appears in New Sudden Fiction, which is devoted to short-short stories from America and beyond and is edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas.
“Powder” by Tobias Wolff (09:02)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

American humorist James Thurber lived from 1894 to 1961 and was a prolific contributor to The New Yorker. Nearly blinded when a brother shot an arrow into his eye trying to duplicate William’ Tell’s feat of shooting an apple from the head of a son, he was unable to play sports and concentrated instead on literature.
Our inaugural program of “An Hour of Short Stories” included Thurber’s “The Greatest Man in the World.” I then promised that we would eventually broadcast “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Here it is.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber (13:46)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 021
Evelyn Waugh, Philip Hensher
Both stories today come from The Oxford Book of English Short Stories. Both Evelyn Waugh and Philip Hensher were educated at fine English schools, but were not contemporaries. Indeed, Hensher was born just a year before the death of Evelyn Waugh.

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh is known for satirical, generally dark, humorous novels and more serious works such as Brideshead Revisited. Not only was Brideshead Revisited made into a TV miniseries in 1981, it is now being produced as a movie.
Once asked if he competed in sports in college, he famously replied, “I drank for Hertford.” Although he had bad eyesight and was unsuited for the military, during World War II he used connections to receive a commission in the Royal Marines. Considered by William F. Buckley Jr., the greatest English novelist of the 20th Century, Waugh was born in 1903, and died on Easter, 1966. As you will detect in our selection from Waugh’s short story collection, “A Englishman’s Home,” he frequently satirized aristocracy and high society.
“An Englishman's Home” by Evelyn Waugh (41:08)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

Philip Hensher was born in London in 1965 one year before the death of Evelyn Waugh. He has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge and now teaches creative writing at Exeter University. He serves as a judge for the Booker Prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel written in the English language by a citizen of the British Commonwealth. Here is “Dead Languages.”
“Dead Languages” by Philip Hensher (13:51)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

 
Program 022
Leo Tolstoy, Ha Jin, Donald Barthelme
Our first two short stories are on the subject of false imprisonment. The first, which takes place in Russia, is by Leo Tolstoy and the other is set in the fictional Muji City in China and is by Chinese-American Ha Jin. Today’s final story is a dark comedy about two men who have been confined in an underground bunker for 133 days due to an oversight.

Leo Tolstoy, born in 1828 in Central Russia, is considered one of the world’s greatest novelists, his most notable works being War and Peace and Anna Karenina both of which included realistic depictions of Russian life.
His desire to understand the rational and moral justification for life led him to eventually embrace the teachings of Jesus. Further, his ideas on non-violent resistance, which influenced both Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are evident in the following short story, “The Long Exile. “
The father of 13 children, of whom five died in their youth, Tolstoy died in 1910.
“The Long Exile” by Leo Tolstoy (17:45)
Collected in: The World's One Hundred Best Short Stories - Vol. 5 - Drama,
editor-in-chief Grant Overton (Funk & Wagnalls)

Ha Jin is the pen name of a contemporary Chinese-American. Born in China in 1956 he was attending Brandeis University on scholarship when the 1989 Tiananmen incident happened. Consequently, he remained in the US where he teaches at Boston University. “Saboteur,” which follows, incorporates Ha Jin’s own observations of how persecuted Chinese intellectuals often turn cruel and also the true stories about a hepatitis outbreak and the treatment of a lawyer who was willing to represent a man who was arrested.
“Saboteur” by Ha Jin (23:29)
Collected in: The Best American Short Stories 1997,
edited by E. Annie Proulx and Katrina Kenison (Houghton Mifflin)

Donald Barthelme was born in Philadelphia in 1931 and at age 2 moved to Houston where he lived until his death in 1989 to cancer. Drafted into the Army, he arrived in Korea the day the cease-fire was signed. He was one of the original founders of The University of Houston Creative Writing Program. The author of more than 100 short stories, he often avoided plot structures relying instead on a steady accumulation of seemingly-unrelated detail, which you will understand better after listening to “Game,” which follows.
“Game” by Donald Barthelme (13:19)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

 
Program 023
Stephen Leacock, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes
Today’s program is devoted to works by three North Americans. Stephen Leacock of Canada, Stuart Kaminsky of the US, and Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes of Mexico. Mr. Kaminsky’s work is a mystery while the other authors, from north and south of the border, bring us comedies.

Stephen Leacock was born in England in 1869 but he and his family came to Ontario, Canada, when he was 6. Although educated as an economist, he turned to humor after his income from his stories quickly exceeded that of his regular job. By 1911 it was said that more people knew of Stephen Leacock than had heard of Canada. Leacock died in 1944 of throat cancer.
The Stephen Leacock Award recognizes the best in Canadian literary humor and his image has appeared on a Canadian postage stamp. The short story we are presenting to day is “Gertrude the Governess,” appeared in Leacock’s Nonsense Novels. It includes one of Leacock’s most popular lines and is indicative of the kind of humor for which he was known, “Sir Ronald… flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”
“Gertrude the Governess” by Stephen Leacock (22:21)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

Stuart M. Kaminsky is at home in nearly any historical period or genre. His Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov, to whom you will be introduced to in a moment, is a sharp Moscow policeman who is always being assigned impossible cases and his detective Toby Peters takes on cases for the Marx Brothers and Judy Garland. A former president of Mystery Writers of America, he has also written biographies of director John Huston and actor and director Clint Eastwood.
“Snow” by Stuart M. Kaminsky (25:05)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

Born and reared in Veracruz among the Indians of Mexico, Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes has insight into their lives. A writer and journalist as well as a fiction writer, he won the National Prize of Mexico in 1935 for his novel El Indio. Born in 1895, he died in 1966. You will enjoy the surprise ending of “A Letter to God.”
“A Letter to God” by Gregorio Lopez y Fuentes (06:31)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 024
Nedra Tyre, Guy de Maupassant, Robert Bloch
Today’s program features short stories by American contemporaries Nedra Tyre and Robert Bloch, and French author Guy de Maupassant. Although the stories are very different, they all have one thing in common -- quite surprising endings. Let’s being with the lady.

Nedra Tyre was born in 1921 in Georgia and educated at Emory University, Atlanta, and Richmond School of Social Work. She has worked as a copywriter, teacher, librarian, and social worker. Her mysteries, which generally reflect her interest in the South, have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She died in Richmond in 1990.
Here is “Killed by Kindness,” by Nedra Tyre.
“Killed by Kindness” by Nedra Tyre (18:09)
Collected in: Tales of Terror,
edited by Eleanor Sullivan (Galahad Books)

French author Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the world’s greatest short story writers. Born in Normandy in 1850, de Maupassant learned literary technique from his godfather Gustave Flaubert. He was often sarcastic and pessimistic and wrote sympathetically only about the poor, all of which you can detect in “The Diamond Necklace,” which follows. From 1880 until his death in an insane asylum in 1893, de Maupassant wrote about 250 short stories. The subjects included government officials, like our protagonist, the middle class, peasants, the Franco-Prussian War, animals, and ghosts.
“The Diamond Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant (18:20)
Collected in: The Works of Guy de Maupassant,
Guy de Maupassant (Black's Reader Service Company)

Robert Bloch, who was born in Chicago in 1917, wrote hundreds of horror, crime, and science fiction short stories and more than twenty novels, the most recognizable being Psycho. After he successfully created a fictional story around Jack the Ripper, he went on to do the same for the Man in the Iron Mask, the Marquis de Sade, and Lizzie Borden. Although he crafted several of the early “Star Trek” television programs, he found greater satisfaction writing for the Boris Karloff TV series “Thriller.” Bloch, who served one year as president of Mystery Writers of America, died in 1994 in Los Angeles.
The horror story that follows, “A Home Away from Home,” is pure Bloch.
“A Home Away from Home” by Robert Bloch (17:04)
Collected in: Tales of Terror,
edited by Eleanor Sullivan (Galahad Books)

 
Program 025
Maxim Gorky, Walter Bernstein, Stephen Crane, H.L. Mencken
Today we have four short stories. The first is by Maxim Gorky, an early supporter of the Russian Communist Party, and the second is by American Walter Bernstein, whose alleged connection to the same party cost him work as a screenwriter. The latter two are by American journalists: Stephen Crane and H.L. Mencken.

Aleksei Peshkov, better known as Maxim Gorky, was born in Russia in 1868. Orphaned at ten, he was reared by his storytelling grandmother until her death. Grieved by her loss, Gorky, which literally means “bitter,” spent five years crossing Russia by foot, gathering impressions that he would later employ in his works. A central theme of his stories was a belief in the worth and potential of all humans, a theme which comes through clearly in “Her Lover,” which follows. Although a Bolshevik, he came to appreciate the boldness of the American spirit after a visit here to raise money for the party. Yet only two weeks after the October Revolution of 1917, he attacked Lenin and Trotsky for their corruption and disrespect for human rights and left the country. Coerced back to Russia from Italy by Stalin in 1932 for propaganda reasons, he was given a mansion in Moscow, which is now the Gorky Museum. Gorky died in 1936.
“Her Lover” by Maxim Gorky (14:14)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Screenwriter and film producer Walter Bernstein was born in Brooklyn in 1919. While attending Dartmouth College in 1937 he joined the Young Communist League. A writer for The New Yorker, he was also a war correspondent during World War II and interviewed Josep Tito, who later became president of Yugoslavia. Bernstein’s Communist ties brought him before McCarthy’s House on Un-American Activities Committee, where he was uncooperative and thus blacklisted by Hollywood. Recollecting his experience, Bernstein wrote “The Front,” starring Wood Allen as a front for blacklisted screenwriters. He later directed “Little Miss Marker.”
The following short story, “Houseparty,” takes place at a fraternity house at Bernstein’s alma mater, Dartmouth.
“Houseparty” by Walter Bernstein (06:03)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Stephen Crane was born in New Jersey in 1871, the 14th child of a Methodist minister, and by age 16 was writing newspaper articles. He is known best for Red Badge of Courage, about the American Civil War. Although never a soldier himself, he interviewed many veterans who suffered with what we would call today, post-traumatic stress syndrome. Crane settled in England in 1897, died in Germany at age 28, and is buried in Hillside, New Jersey. Here is “The Dark-Brown Dog” by Stephen Crane.
“The Dark-Brown Dog” by Stephen Crane (14:33)
Collected in: The World's One Hundred Best Short Stories - Vol. 5 - Drama,
editor-in-chief Grant Overton (Funk & Wagnalls)

H.L. Mencken, perhaps one of the most influential American writer of the early 20th Century, was born in 1880 in Baltimore where he lived his entire life. While a reporter, he covered the Scopes trial, giving the name “Monkey Trial,” to the proceedings. The play “Inherit the Wind,” about the trial includes the character E.K. Hornbeck, who corresponds to Mencken. Incidentally, “Inherit the Wind” had its world premiere in Dallas, Texas. Mencken’s scathing criticisms of American culture and politics accounts for the protagonist saying to the Mencken character in the play, “You never push a noun against a verb without trying to blow up something.” Mencken was also elitist and racist. His major contribution to American literature was satire, which you can clearly detect in the following work, “Recollections of Notable Cops.” Mencken died in 1956 at age 75 and is buried in Baltimore.
“Recollections of Notable Cops” by H.L. Mencken (18:45)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

 
Program 026
Edward Crebbin, Irwin Shaw
Today’s short stories come from Englishman Edward Crebbin and American Irwin Shaw. The works of both were influenced by war: Crebbin by the first and Shaw by the second world war.

Edward Crebbin, who wrote under the pseudonym “Sea Wrack,” which is a form of seaweed, was born in 1889 and died in 1964. He was a prolific author of naval fiction. The following selection, “Webster” appeared first in the collection, Sea Trails in 1931, and was republished in Modern War Stories.
“Webster” by Edward Crebbin (18:49)
Collected in: The Mammoth Book of Modern War Stories,
edited by Jon E. Lewis (Carroll & Graf)

Irwin Shaw was born in 1913 in New York to Russian-Jewish immigrants. A playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, he spent most of his life in Brooklyn. Shaw wrote The Young Lions about his experiences as a warrant officer during World War II and it was later made into a movie. Blacklisted by the House on Un-American Activities Committee, he left the United States in 1951, living mostly in Switzerland and Paris, for 25 years. His best-selling books in included Lucy Crown, Two Weeks in Another Town, Rich Man, Poor Man, and Evening in Byzantium. His short stories appeared in Esquire, Collier’s, and The Saturday Evening Post and he earned two O. Henry Awards. Shaw died in 1984 in Davos, Switzerland, then 71 years of age.
The following is Shaw’s short story, “The Eighty-yard Run.”
“The Eighty-yard Run” by Irwin Shaw (35:06)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 027
Sherman Alexie, Larissa Amir
The authors of our two works today both live in Seattle and, ironically, both stories touch on homelessness. Yet they are very differennt.

Award-winning author Sherman Alexie Jr. was born in 1966 in Spokane, Washington. As in the following work, “What You Pawn, I Will Redeem,” Alexie draws on his experiences as a Native American who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington. Hydrocephalic at birth, he was expected to become mentally retarded but instead learned to read by age three. He attended both Gonzaga and Washington State universities and now resides in Seattle. Although the following work depicts the protagonist and several characters as alcoholics, Sherman himself gave up drinking at age 23.
“What You Pawn, I Will Redeem” by Sherman Alexie (42:40)
Collected in: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005,
edited by Laura Furman (Anchor)

Larissa Amir grew up in Livermore, California, where the following short story, “Before and Again” is placed. She and her husband live in Seattle where she works as a stockbroker. Her stories have appeared in the Portland Review. “Before and Again” appears in New Sudden Fiction, devoted to the very short variety of the short story.
“Before and Again” by Larissa Amir (11:17)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

 
Program 028
J.A. Jance, Jack London, Liam O'Flaherty, Oscar Wilde
Although all are quite different, our four short stories today are on the subject of death. Their authors include two Californians: Judy Jance, who is still writing, and Jack London who died in 1916. They are joined by Irishmen Liam O’Flaherty and Oscar Wilde.

”A Flash of Chrysanthemum,” by Judy A. Jance appeared in Murder on Route 66 and has been reprinted in The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories.
“A Flash of Chrysanthemum” by J.A. Jance (14:51)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

Novelist and short story author Jack London, who was born in 1876 in San Francisco, was among the first Americans to become a financial success from writing. A teenager seeking a way out of life as a laborer, London bought a sloop and became an oyster pirate. After his craft was damaged, he joined the other side of the law as a member of the California Fish Patrol. In 1897 with his brother-in-law he joined the Klondike Gold Rush, the setting for many of his later stories. Looking for a way out of poverty, he entered the University of California, but left for financial reasons. Around 1900, after printing became inexpensive, many magazines went into publication seeking popular fiction to fill their pages. A short story for The Saturday Evening Post, “The Call of the Wild,” which ran too long, became London’s most well-known work. In 1900 he was just 24 when he made the equivalent of $75,000 from just writing. Married twice and the father of two daughters, Jack London died in 1916 and is buried in Jack London Historic State Park, in Glen Ellen, California.
From among London’s short stories, we have selected “The Law of Life” for today’s program.
“The Law of Life” by Jack London (17:47)
Collected in: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2,
edited by Ronald Gottesman, et.al. (W.W. Norton)

Novelist and short story writer Liam O’Flaherty was born in Ireland in 1896. Injured and shell-shocked during World War I, he later suffered mental illness, which the shock presumably triggered. He also fought during the Irish war of independence and the Irish civil war. Liam later helped establish the Communist Party of Ireland and opposed all religion, perhaps costing him his due literary recognition. Among his novels is The Informer, which his cousin John Ford, produced as a movie in 1935. Liam died in Dublin in 1984.
”The Hawk” which follows, is by Liam O’Flaherty.
“The Hawk” by Liam O'Flaherty (10:35)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Oscar Wilde, who was born in Dublin in 1854, was one of the most successful playwrights of late Victorian London and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. His plays include “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “A Woman of No Importance,” and “Salome” and his novels include The Canterville Ghost and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Exposed as a homosexual he suffered a dramatic downfall and served two years hard labor. He died in 1900, three years after his release, penniless and in self-imposed exile. He is buried in Paris.
We have chosen “The Selfish Giant” from among Wilde’s works
“The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde (10:25)
Collected in: The Book of Virtues,
edited by William J. Bennett (Simon & Schuster)

 
Program 029
Barry Gifford, Anton Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Richard Matheson
In this hour we are presenting stories by four authors. Russian Anton Chekhov and Englishman Thomas Hardy were 19th Century short story masters while Americans Barry Gifford and Richard Matheson are still writing.

Award-winning American author, poet, and screenwriter Barry Gifford was born in 1946 and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He co-wrote the 1997-film Lost Highway that starred Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, and Robert Blake.
“Rosa Blanca” by Barry Gifford (10:18)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

Anton Chekhov, who was born in Southern Russia in 1860, is considered the finest playwright after Shakespeare, and his short stories are considered by some an even greater achievement. A doctor who treated only peasants, he recognized at age 24 that he had contracted Tuberculosis, the news of which he kept from his family and which eventually killed him in 1904 at age 44. Several Chekhov themes emerge in the following work, entitled “Goosberries.” For example, hypocrites, like the ones portrayed here, were often based on his father, a religious fanatic who often beat his children. Having met many peasants on his medical rounds, Chekhov presented them in a positive light. Checkov also believed that as an artist, his role was to ask questions of morality, not answer them, a feature you will also detect in “Gooseberries.”
Incidentally, in this story you will hear the narrator refer to his father as a “kantonist,” which is the son of a private, registered at birth in the army and trained in a military school.
“Gooseberries” by Anton Chekhov (28:34)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

English novelist, poet, and short story writer, Thomas Hardy, was born in 1840. His novels include Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Jude the Obscure, and Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Although he later married his secretary, 40 years his junior, he never overcame his grief from the death of his first wife, Emma Gifford, whom he married when he was 34 and who was buried in Stinsford Parish where Hardy was born. After Hardy’s death in 1928, a controversy arose over where he was to be buried. As a compromise his heart was buried in Stinsford near his first wife, and his ashes in poet’s corner of Westminster Abbey with other luminaries including Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, John Dryden, Laurence Olivier, and Edmund Spenser. Although he was an agnostic, Hardy maintained an attachment to church rituals, particularly those he experienced as a youth. You will detect this influence in “The Absent-mindedness in the Parish Choir,” which follows.
“Absent-mindedness in a Parish Choir” by Thomas Hardy (06:50)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

American author and screenwriter Richard Matheson was born in New Jersey in 1926. He is known for horror, fantasy, and science fiction. A half dozen of his novels have been turned into movies, including Omega Man, Somewhere in Time, and The Legend of Hell House, and he has also contributed to the television series “Twilight Zone,” and “Kolchak: Night Stalker.” His first short story, which follows, is entitled “Born of Man and Woman.”
Incidentally, it is written as a journal, so I will pause between each day.
“Born of Man and Woman” by Richard Matheson (08:18)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

 
Program 030
Mary Lavin, Katherine Anne Porter, Ian Frazier
Today’s program begins with works by two 20th Century contemporary women writers. Irish Mary Lavin and American Katherine Anne Porter both endured difficult lives: Lavin was widowed twice and Porter divorced four times. Our third author is American humorist Ian Frazier. Born in 1951, he is still writing.

Noted short story author Mary Lavin, was born in Massachusetts in 1912 to Irish immigrants and lived in America until age ten when her parents returned to Ireland. She published her first short story in 1938 and Atlantic Monthly serialized her first novel, The House in Clewe Street, before it was published in 1945. Widowed in 1954, Mary reared three daughters while continuing her already well-established literary career. Several of her stories deal with widowhood, including the following one which we have chosen for today, “The Story of the Widow’s Son.” Married and widowed a second time, Mary died in an Irish nursing home in 1996.
“The Story of the Widow's Son” by Mary Lavin (26:50)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

The Pulitzer-prize winning author of our next short story, Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890. Although many of her works deal with dark themes such as death and betrayal, one we are presenting today, entitled “Rope” is a bit more upbeat. Her only education beyond grammar school was one year at the Thomas School in San Antonio. Other works include Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Ship of Fools. Married and divorced four times, she never had children. Katherine died September 18, 1980 in Maryland and is buried next to her mother at Indian Creek.
“Rope” by Katherine Anne Porter (16:53)
Collected in: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter,
Katherine Anne Porter (Harvest)

Ian Frazier was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio. While attending Harvard University, he was on the staff of the Harvard Lampoon. After graduation, he worked briefly in Chicago as a magazine writer before joining the staff of The New Yorker magazine where he wrote both non-fiction articles and humor pieces. He has published many non-fiction books including Great Plains and the autobiographical Family. The following short story, “Tomorrow’s Bird,” is one of Frazier’s fine humor pieces.
“Tomorrow's Bird” by Ian Frazier (10:18)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

 
Program 031
Sherwood Anderson, Ernest Haycox, W. Somerset Maugham
Our program today features three men, all near contemporaries. Our two Americans, Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Haycox, both influenced the writings of Ernest Hemingway and William Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular British authors of the 1900s. From Anderson we have a comedy, from Haycox, a drama, and from Maugham, a parable.

Influential American short story writer Sherwood Anderson was born in Ohio in 1876. His writing style can be detected in that of Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Thomas Wolfe. Beginning in 1924 Anderson lived near Jackson Square in New Orleans, where he entertained William Faulkner and Carl Sandburg. Married four times, Anderson died in Panama in 1941 and is buried in Virginia where his epitaph reads, “Life Not Death is the Great Adventure.” Here is “I Am a Fool,” by Sherwood Anderson.
“I Am a Fool” by Sherwood Anderson (24:48)
Collected in: The American Short Story Volume 1,
edited with an introduction by Calvin Skaggs (Laurel)

Western fiction writer Ernest Haycox was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1899 and received a journalism degree from the University of Oregon. The author of more than 300 short stories and a couple dozen novels, he began his literary career contributing to pulp magazines in the 1920s. His stories later appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s Weekly. Nine of his novels were made into movies including Stagecoach that made John Wayne a star, Union Pacific that featured Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea, and The Far Country that starred James Stewart. The Western Writers of America voted Haycox, who died in 1950, one of the 24 best Western writers of the 20th Century. Here is “A Question of Blood,” by Ernest Haycox.
“A Question of Blood” by Ernest Haycox (09:40)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874, the son of a British embassy official and served in the British secret service during World War I. He is considered one of the most popular British authors of the 1900s. He established himself as a serious writer with his semi-autobiographical work, Of Human Bondage, and was also an author of many sophisticated plays and collections of short stories. I have in my library The Maugham Reader containing 20 of his most popular short stories. Unfortunately nearly all are too long to include on this program, which is devoted to the shorter variety. Here, however, is the 20 minute classic, “September’s Bird.”
“September's Bird” by W. Somerset Maugham (20:39)
Collected in: The Maugham Reader,
W. Somerset Maugham (Doubleday)

 
Program 032
Anthony Wynne, Tim Pridgen
Today’s short stories some from two little-known authors. Anthony Wynne of Scotland and Tim Pridgen who was born in North Carolina.

Anthony Wynne is the pseudonym of Robert McNair Wilson, a medical doctor who had qualified at Glasgow University. An author of science-based detective fiction, he created the highly-observant Dr. Eustace Hailey who specialized in psychiatry and mental disorders. Dr. Hailey, who takes snuff to stay awake, uses inductive reasoning to catch criminals. He is assisted by Lieutenant Biles, a personal friend and police inspector. Here is “The Cyprian Bees,” by Anthony Wynne.
“The Cyprian Bees” by Anthony Wynne (40:23)
Collected in: Handbook for Poisoners,
selected and introduced by Raymond T. Bond (Collier)

Tim Pridgen, who was born in Bladen County, North Carolina, wrote for the Charlotte News. His first book, Tory Oath, the story of the Revolution in Bladen County, was published in 1941, and it was followed by Courage, a Story of Modern Cockfighting,. After moving to Tennessee, he wrote West Goes the Road tracing early movement into that state. The following work, “Eighteen Oak Ties,” was first published in Cavalcade Magazine. Incidentally gallouses, mentioned in the first paragraph, are suspenders and “tires” is how the characters in the story pronounce ties.
“Eighteen Oak Ties” by Tim Pridgen (14:31)
Collected in: More Stories to Remember - Vol. 2,
selected by Thomas B. Costain and John Beecroft (Doubleday)

 
Program 033
Margaret Drabble, Dorothy West
Our program today includes works by two women, both contemporaries. The first is by Cambridge educated Margaret Drabble and the second is by the daughter of an American slave, Dorothy West.

Margaret Drabble was born in 1939 in Yorkshire, England. Graduating in English with exceptionally high grades from Cambridge, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, serving briefly as understudy to Vanessa Redgrave. From 1960 to 1975 she was married to Clive Swift, whom you would immediately recognize as having appeared in many movies and TV series. The mother of three and an extraordinarily brilliant woman, her works often deal with the conflict between motherhood and intellectual pursuits, as you will detect in “The Gifts of War,” which follows.
“The Gifts of War” by Margaret Drabble (35:36)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

The daughter of an emancipated slave, Dorothy West was born in Boston in 1907 and was one of the widely read authors of the Harlem Renaissance era. She reportedly began writing at age 7 and was winning writing competitions by age 14. She later wrote works for the New York Daily News. Although very popular during the 1940s, her subsequent works were seldom published, until she was rediscovered in 1995. Dorothy died in 1998 at 91 years of age, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance.
The story that follows, “My Baby…,” was written in 1938 while Dorothy was a member of the Works Progress Administration’s New York Writers’ Project, it but was not published until 2000 in the Connecticut Review.
“My Baby …” by Dorothy West (20:31)
Collected in: The Best American Short Stories 2001,
selected by Barbara Kingsolver and Katrina Kenison (Houghton Mifflin)

 
Program 034
Shirley Jackson, Booth Tarkington
Today’s program includes two short stories, both comedies with surprise endings and both titled with a person’s name: the first is “Charles” by Shirley Jackson, and the other is “Mary Smith” by Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Booth Tarkington. We have heard a short story by Jackson before but this will be the first by Tarkington, one of the most popular novelists of his time.

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco and died at age 48 of heart failure. She was interested in witchcraft and believed she had supernatural powers, which perhaps explains why the style of her work has influenced Stephen King. She received the 1966 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Short Story: “The Possibility of Evil.” Her best known short story, which we have previously presented, was the very unsettling “The Lottery.” Here, however, is one of her more entertaining works entitled “Charles.”
“Charles” by Shirley Jackson (11:10)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Author Booth Tarkington was born in 1869 in Indianapolis. Named for his maternal uncle and California governor Newton Booth he attended Purdue and graduated from Princeton University. Tarkington was one of the most popular novelists of his time and is best known for his Pulitzer-prize novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams. Booth died in Indianapolis in 1946. From among Tarkington’s works we have chosen the very entertaining short story entitled “Mary Smith.”
“Mary Smith” by Booth Tarkington (44:31)
Collected in: More Stories to Remember - Vol. 2,
selected by Thomas B. Costain and John Beecroft (Doubleday)

 
Program 035
John Steinbeck, Madame de Villeneuve
Today we have two very distinct short stories. First is “Over the Hill,” by Pulitzer Prize author John Steinbeck. Our second author is Madame de Villeneuve, whose name I doubt many recognize. But you will certainly recognize the name of her most notable short story, “Beauty and the Beast.”

Pulitzer and Nobel prize recipient John Steinbeck was born in California in 1902 and became one of the most widely read American authors of the 20th Century. Of his many novels, 17 were made into movies including East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Pearl. During World War II, Steinbeck was a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, which included his accompanying Douglas Fairbanks Jr. on Mediterranean raids against German-held islands. He also reported on the Viet Nam War, in which two sons served. His stories were often populated by struggling characters and dealt with real historical conditions, both qualities of which apply to the following very brief short story entitled “Over the Hill.” John Steinbeck died in New York City in 1968.
“Over the Hill” by John Steinbeck (06:34)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve is considered the original author of “Beauty and the Beast,” published in 1740, although based perhaps on an earlier fairy tale. Born about 1695, Madame de Villeneuve died in Paris in 1755. The 1991 Disney animated version, nominated for an Academy Award, varies considerably from de Villeneuve’s original, predominately with the introduction of Gaston, who also seeks the hand of Belle, French for “beauty,” of course. For his portrayal of Beast in a 1976 television version, George C. Scott received an Emmy nomination. The story has also influenced television programs: “The Beauty and the Geek,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the latter starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. The movie, “The Beautician and the Beast,” was also, of course, influenced by this very charming story. Here is “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Beauty and the Beast” by Madame de Villeneuve (48:35)
Collected in: A Child's Book of Stories,
Childrens Classics (New York)

 
Program 036
Mark Twain, Lawrence Block
For this program, we have two humor pieces. The first short story is by famed American humorist Mark Twain, and the second by crime writer Lawrence Block.

Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain, is best known for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and he authored travel books, based on his many trips to the West, abroad, and around the world. Twain is generally considered America’s greatest humorist. Yet, despite his extraordinary sense of humor, Twain was melancholy and often depressed. Many of his works are satirical attacks on current events. Twain, who was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, died in 1910 in Elmira, New York, where he is buried. Here is “The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm” which was a challenge to record because I kept bursting into laughter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm” by Mark Twain (20:15)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

Crimewriter Lawrence Block was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1938. He has published more than 50 novels and 100 short stories, most set in New York where he lives, along with a series of books for writers. He was named a Grand Master by Mystery Writers of America and was thrice the recipient of the Edgar Award. His most popular characters are thief Bernie Rhodenbarr and private investigator and recovering alcoholic Matthew Scudder. A Bernie Rhodenbarr work, entitled “The Burglar in the Closet,” was made into the film Burglar with Whoopi Goldberg as Bernice. From among Block’s works, we have chosen “The Dettweiler Solution.”
“The Dettweiler Solution” by Lawrence Block (34:41)
Collected in: Tales of Terror,
edited by Eleanor Sullivan (Galahad Books)

 
Program 037
Nadine Gordimer, Edgar Allen Poe, Ring Lardner
Works today come from Americans Edgar Allen Poe and Ring Lardner, and from South African political activist Nadine Gordimer. From Poe comes a tale of psychological terror and Lardner brings us a comic and satiric look at a small town from the perspective of a barber. Gordimer’s work, which we lead off with, is brief and dramatic.

Nadine Gordimer was born in South Africa in 1923. A political activist and Nobel Prize winner, she has dealt with moral and political issues. Active in apartheid issues, she has more recently been involved in HIV/AIDS causes. Many of her short stories have been published in The New Yorker.
“Homage” by Nadine Gordimer (09:11)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

A prodigious author, Edgar Allen Poe was one of America’s greatest short story writers and the father of the modern mystery and detective story. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was reared by John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia, after his father deserted the family and his mother died. Poe’s most popular tales have strange, bizarre, and terrible themes, which he considered simply an expression of psychological and moral realities and not simple sensationalism. You will detect these themes in the work we are presenting next, “The Tell-tale Heart.”
Poe married first his 14-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm who died of tuberculosis in 1847. Just before his wedding to his boyhood sweetheart, Sarah (Royster) Shelton, in 1849, he went to pickup his Aunt Maria Clemm but was mysteriously found lying on a Baltimore Street and died four days later, never regaining consciousness.
“The Tell-tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe (15:17)
Collected in: The Works of Edgar Allen Poe,
Edgar Allen Poe (Black's Reader Service Company)

Ringgold William Lardner, known as Ring Lardner, was an American sports columnist and short story author. Most of his works are satirical takes on marriage, sports, and theater. Born in Niles, Michigan, in 1885, he achieved his ambition by becoming a sportswriter, but eventually became known as one of America’s finest short story authors. Ring died in New York at age 48 from complication of Tuberculosis. The following short story, “Haircut,” takes place in a fictional town in Michigan.
“Haircut” by Ring Lardner (29:50)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 038
William Sansom, Washington Irving, William Faulkner
Our program today includes stories by William Sansom, Washington Irving, and William Faulkner. Irving wrote during the 19th Century while British author Sansom and American Southern author Faulkner were 20th Century contemporaries. Although our authors today are men, a woman is central to all three stories entitled “The Kiss,” “The Wife,” and “A Rose for Emily.”

British novelist and short story writer Willam Sansom was born in 1912 and died in 1976. He based a number of his works found in the collection Fireman Flower on his experiences as a London firefighter during the Blitz of World War II. He is known for his highly-descriptive prose style, which you will clearly detect in “The Kiss,” which follows.
“The Kiss” by William Sansom (10:46)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Born in 1783 in New York City, the last of 11 children, Washington Irving was named for George Washington. Irving was a charming, humorous individual with a pleasant disposition, which was often reflected in his works. Matilda Hoffman died around 1808 while engaged to Irving and he never married. Although a lawyer, he preferred to visit the Dutch farmers in the Sleepy Hollow region of New York or sail the Mohawk and Hudson rivers. He began to support himself as an author after the hardware business he ran with his brothers failed. He purchased Sunnyside on the Hudson River near Sleepy Hollow, the locale of many of his stories. One of America’s most popular writers in Europe, Irving served as Minster to Spain four years beginning in 1842. Irving retired to Sunnyside where he died in 1859. Here is “The Wife,” by Washington Irving.
“The Wife” by Washington Irving (18:03)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Pulitzer and Nobel prize recipient William Faulkner was born in Mississippi in 1897 and lived most of his life in Oxford, Mississippi, depicted as the fictional town of Jefferson in most of his writing, including the following short story. We have previously read a story by Sherwood Anderson; and, it was he who encouraged Faulkner to try his hand at fiction. Faulkner is probably the most famous of all the contemporary writers of the South, of whom there were many. Although a prolific author of short stories, Faulkner wrote many novels, the most popular being The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. In later years, Faulkner lived in Hollywood where he worked as a screenwriter. Faulkner’s last few years were spent as writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia and he died in Mississippi in 1962. A fund he established to encourage new fiction writers eventually became the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. As you will hear in “A Rose for Emily,” which follows, Faulkner often portrayed the emotional stress connected with the decline of the South from its glorious romantic past. Incidentally, the character of Colonel Sartoris was based on Faulkner’s great-grandfather, a colonel in the Confederate Army.
“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner (25:54)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

 
Program 039
Mackinlay Kantor, Q. Patrick, Eudora Welty
Our three authors today are Americans, all of whom wrote in the 20th Century. Northerner Mackinley Kantor and Southerner Eudora Welty were contemporaries while detective author Q. Patrick is actually a collaboration of four individuals. I hope you enjoy all three short stories.

MacKinley Kantor was an American novelist and screenwriter, best known for Andersonville, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, and the long poem “Glory for Me,” which was the basis of the Academy Award winning film The Best Years of Our lives. Born in 1904 in Iowa, Kantor knew Civil War veterans as a boy, and began collecting their first-hand recollections of the war. Consequently, his poems, novels, and short stories about the war, are very realistic, including the one which follows, “Then Came the Legions.”
“Then Came the Legions” by Mackinlay Kantor (08:48)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Q. Patrick and Patrick Quentin are the pen names of four individuals who collaborated on detective fiction: Hugh Wheeler, Richard Wilson Webb, Martha Mott Kelly, and Mary Louise Aswell. Most were written by Wheeler alone or with Webb. Beginning in the 1960s, Wheeler’s output slowed but he found success as a playwright and librettist, receiving Tony Awards for “Sweeny Todd,” “A Little Night Music,” and “Candide.” Q. Patrick’s early works were of the traditional “whodunit” genre, introducing amateur sleuth Peter Duluth, a Broadway director who with wife, Iris, stumbles across murders, country doctor Hugh Cavendish Westlake, and the principle character of our next short story, Lieutenant Timothy Trant of the New York City police, a Princeton-educated dandy. Although many Q. Patrick stories have been made into movies, popularity in this author has been waning.
“Murder in One Scene” by Q. Patrick (24:16)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, where she spent most of her life. With William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Robert Penn Warren, and others, Welty was a prominent contributor to the Southern literary renaissance of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. She received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1980. Welty died of pneumonia in 2001 in Jackson where her home has been preserved. According to Canadian author Alice Munro, Welty’s short story, which follows, “A Worn Path,” is possibly the most perfect short story ever written. Incidentally, the Eudora email program, which uses a “post office” protocol to retrieve email, was named for Eudora Welty, and is an allusion to her short story “Why I Live at the P.O.”
“A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty (21:39)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 040
S.J. Perlman, Luigi Pirandello, John Masefield
Today’s program includes very diverse works by authors from America, Italy, and Britain: S.J. Perleman, Luigi Pirandello, and John Masefield. All three works are very entertaining, in their own ways.

Born in 1904, Sidney Joseph Perelman, S.J. Perelman, was an American humorist, author, and screenwriter who wrote many humor pieces for The New Yorker in his very unique style. He also co-wrote scripts for Horse Feathers and Monkey Business starring the Marx Brothers and won an Academy Award, with others, for the screenplay for Around the World in Eighty Days. He was influenced by Ring Lardner and in turn influenced Woody Allen. A poor husband and father, he preferred pampering his MG and his bird. The Oxford Book of Humorous Prose, lauds Perelman as perhaps the best American comic writer of all time. One classic Perelman line is “I’ve got Bright’s Disease, and he’s got mine.” Perelman died in 1979. Here is the very brief “Farewell My Lovely Appetizer,” which is, of course, an allusion to the Raymond Chandler novel, “Farewell, My Lovely.” Incidentally, one of Perelman’s techniques is the misuse of words to form ridiculous phrases, which he applies frequently in the following work.
“Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer” by S.J. Perlman (18:11)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

Italian Nobel Prize author Luigi Pirandello was born into an upper-class family in southern Sicily in 1867. He married Antonietta Portulano in 1894 and they became the parents of three. When sulfur mines in which they were heavily invested flooded, Antoinetta was so grieved that she was driven to insanity and eventually institutionalized, as we would call it today. In 1925, with the help of Mussolini, Pirandello was made artistic director of the Theatre of Art in Rome. Whether Pirandello was a supporter of Fascism or was simply exploiting his connection to Mussolini for his career is debatable. Pirandello died in Rome in 1936. The following work, “The Wreath,” by Luigi Pirandello was translated from Italian by Lily Duplaix.
“The Wreath” by Luigi Pirandello (23:56)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

British author John Masefield was born in 1878. To break his addiction to reading, his aunt, who reared him after his mother died in childbirth, sent him to sea. To the contrary this left him a great deal of time to listen to sea stories and read and write. Recognizing the hopelessness of sea life, he deserted ship in New York, where he worked at odd jobs, spending his earnings on books. By age 24, his poems were being published. Masefield volunteered to be a medical orderly during World War I, he being too old to serve at the front. When Robert Bridgers, the British poet laureate, died in 1930, Masefield was chosen over Rudyard Kipling to replace him and he served until his death in 1967. Perhaps his most famous line is, “All I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by.”
The following brief short story by Masefield entitled, “Anty Bligh” reflects the story-telling style he developed on ship. Incidentally, the word “mole” in the following work is a wall enclosing a harbor and “catch a crab” means a misapplied stroke of pulling an oar past the oarsman.
“Anty Bligh” by John Masefield (13:15)
Collected in: More Stories to Remember - Vol. 2,
selected by Thomas B. Costain and John Beecroft (Doubleday)

 
Program 041
Wendell Berry, James Gould Cozzens, John Updike
Our authors today, Wendell Berry, James Gould Cozzens, and John Updike, were born in the early 20th Century in Kentucky, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, respectively. Although neighbors, to a degree, their works are very different.

American author Wendell Berry was born in 1934 in Henry County, Kentucky, and lives on a tobacco farm in Port Royal. He is one of the most eloquent contemporary Christian authors. Most of his works, including the one that follows, take place in the fictional town of Port William and focus on virtues and values that Berry thinks important. From among his many works, we have selected “The Hurt Man.”
“The Hurt Man” by Wendell Berry (24:08)
Collected in: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2005,
edited by Laura Furman (Anchor)

Pulitzer Prize novelist James Gould Cozzens was born in Illinois in 1903 and grew up on Staten Island, New York. Although a Conservative Episcopalian, he married Sylvia Baumgarten who was Jewish and a liberal Democrat and their marriage lasted until their deaths in 1978. Cozzens twice received an O. Henry Award for short stories and his novel By Love Possessed, published in 1957, was 34 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. From among his works, we have chosen the very brief short story “Clerical Error.”
“Clerical Error” by James Gould Cozzens (09:26)
Collected in: More Stories to Remember - Vol. 2,
selected by Thomas B. Costain and John Beecroft (Doubleday)

Prolific Pulitzer prize author John Updike was born in Pennsylvania in 1932. He has published more than twenty novels and hundreds of short stories, many of which have appeared on the pages of The New Yorker. While at Harvard he was president of Harvard Lampoon. Updike lives on a farm in Massachusetts. From among his works, we have selected the brief humor piece, “The Alligators.”
“The Alligators” by John Updike (19:59)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 042
Robert Benchley, William Saroyan, Truman Capote
Our program today includes short stories from three diverse American authors: Robert Benchley, William Saroyan, and Truman Capote. Benchley’s work is a humor piece, from Saroyan we have a short fractured parable, and Capote’s piece is a charming New York tale.

American humorist and actor Robert Benchley, born in 1889 in Massachusetts, is best known for his contributions to The New Yorker. While at Harvard, Benchley contributed to the Harvard Lampoon and he was later theater critic with Dorothy Parker for Vanity Fair, until his resignation following a dispute with management. Benchley appeared in and narrated a Mellon Institute study on sleep, commissioned by the Simmons Mattress Company, which won an Academy Award in 1935. Robert Benchley, who died in New York City in 1945, is the grandfather of Peter Benchley, best known for the novel Jaws. The following work, “The Sunday Menace,” by Robert Benchley, was obviously written before the popularity of professional football. Incidentally, “Veronal,” mentioned near the end of the story is the brand name of Barbital, a sleeping aid used until the 1950s.
“The Sunday Menace” by Robert Benchley (11:15)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

Author and playwright William Saroyan (Sar-row’yan) was born in Fresno, California, in 1908. Orphaned at age 4, he was placed in an Oakland orphanage. After seeing some writings belonging to his late father, an Armenian immigrant who had been educated as a Presbyterian minister, Saroyan decided to be a writer. Most of his plays and short stories are about Armenian-Americans. Saroyan declined the Pulitzer Prize for The Time of Your Life, which was later made into a movie staring James Cagney. Saroyan also wrote the novel The Human Comedy, coincident with his screenplay being made into the movie of this name. Based on his experiences growing up in Fresno among many Armenian-Americans, it was later produced as a musical by Joseph Papp. Saroyan died of cancer in Fresno in 1981.
“The Shepherd's Daughter” by William Saroyan (07:19)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Novelist, playwright and short story author, Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924 and was obsessed with writing by age 11. At only 17 he began working for The New Yorker, although not as a writer. Many well-known magazines and quarterlies began to carry his work and he received an O. Henry Award in his 20s. His most notable works are Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, both of which were made into movies. Only 5-foot-4 and with a high-pitched voice, Capote, a homosexual, was a jet-setting celebrity who appeared often on talk shows and in the tabloids of the day. Addicted to drugs and alcohol, his last years were spent in and out of rehab. Capote died in 1984 in the Los Angeles home of Joanne Carson, ex-wife of Johnny Carson on whose program, The Tonight Show, he appeared many times. He was only 59 years of age.
Here is “Among the Paths to Eden,” a very charming short story by Truman Capote.
“Among the Paths to Eden” by Truman Capote (36:42)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 043
W.E. Johns, Ray Bradbury, Laura Wolf
Today we are bringing you three short stories. The first is by W.E Johns of Great Britain and author of popular World War I aviator stories. The latter two are by American authors Ray Bradbury and Laura Wolf, both of whom are still living.

Capt. William Earle Johns was born in Hertford, England, in 1893. First an infantryman during World War I, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on receiving his commission. Shot down after six weeks of active service, he was imprisoned until the end of the war. His most famous stories, including “Biggles to the Rescue,” which follows, featured aviator Capt. James Bigglesworth. Johns wrote Biggles books, which numbered nearly one hundred, until his death in 1968. Another series featured Joan Worralson, known as “Worrals,” an anti-male chauvinist female pilot, created by Johns at the request of the Air Ministry to encourage women to become pilots.
“Biggles to the Rescue” by W.E. Johns (17:17)
Collected in: The Mammoth Book of Modern War Stories,
edited by Jon E. Lewis (Carroll & Graf)

Author Ray Bradbury was born in Illinois in 1920. He is best known for the collection of short stories, Martian Chronicles, which was made into a television miniseries, and Fahrenheit 451, which became a feature movie starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. Eventually more than 35 of Bradbury’s works would be produced for TV, feature movies, or shorts. Although often described as a science fiction author, Bradbury describes science fiction as having a basis in realty and states that he writes fantasy, which has no basis in reality. Here is “I See You Never.”
“I See You Never” by Ray Bradbury (09:38)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Laura Wolf is the author of the bestselling comic novels Diary of a Mad Bride and Diary of a Mad Mother-to-Be. The following short story, “Amore,” is in the same style, as you will realize at its conclusion. It is found in the collection of American women authors entitled American Girls About Town.
“Amore” by Laura Wolf (29:35)
Collected in: American Girls About Town,
(Downtown Press)

 
Program 044
A.M. Burrage, Frances Gray Patton
We are bringing you two works today. The first is a ghost story by one of England’s best, A.M. Burrage, and the second is a charming story about a 15-year-old girl by American Frances Gray Patton.

A.M. Burrage, born in 1889, had his greatest success in 1930 with his novel War is War, but he is known mainly as one of Great Britian’s finest ghost story writers. This prolific author began writing at age 17 and his semi-autobiographical final work, which follows, entitled, “I’m Sure it was No. 31,” was published in the London Evening Standard in 1955, a year before his death. It has been included with more than forty others in The World’s Greatest Ghost Stories, edited by Richard Dalby.
“I'm Sure It Was No. 31” by A.M. Burrage (12:48)
Collected in: The World's Greatest Ghost Stories,
edited by Richard Dalby (Magpie Books, London)

American short story author and novelist Frances Gray Patton is best known for the 1954 best seller Good Morning Miss Dove, which was later made into a movie starring Jennifer Jones. Frances was born in North Carolina in 1906. Her mother was a writer and her father, a newspaper editor. Married to Lewis Patton, a Duke University professor, Frances was in her 40s when she began to focus on writing. The New Yorker would eventually publish more than two dozens of her short stories while others appeared in Harper’s, McCalls and Collier’s Weekly. Known as Jane Austen of the South, Patton died in Durham, North Carolina, in March 2000. The following short story, “Remold it Nearer” is by Frances Gray Patton.
“Remold it Nearer” by Frances Gray Patton (42:42)
Collected in: Fifty Modern Stories,
edited by Thomas M.H. Blair (Harper & Row)

 
Program 045
Hal Ellson, Prosper Mérimée, Elizabeth Bowen
We always try to present a variety of short stories, and we certainly accomplished that with today’s program. Our authors are American pulp fiction writer Hal Ellson, French dramatist Prosper Mérimée, and Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen.

The works of pulp fiction story author Hal Ellson, who was born in 1910, appeared in the 1950s, 60, and 70s in popular detective story magazines, such as Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, The Saint Detective Magazine, and Web Detective Stories. His popular short story, “Tomboy,” was the basis for the 1960 French film Terraine Vague. The story that follows, “The Back Stairway,” appeared first in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in November 1960. Ellson died in 1994.
“The Back Stairway” by Hal Ellson (22:39)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Prosper Mérimée was born in 1803 in Paris. A French dramatist, he is best known for Carmen, the basis of Bizet’s opera. Fluent in Greek, Spanish, English, and Russian, he interpreted a great deal of Russian literature into French. He was also an historian and archaeologist. Mérimée died in Cannes in 1870. Like Carmen, the following brief short story, “The Pearl of Toledo,” is placed in Spain, one of his favorite settings.
“The Pearl of Toledo” by Prosper Mérimée (04:39)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899 and was reared by aunts in Ireland and England after her father became insane and her mother died. During World War I she worked in a hospital in Ireland. Although married in 1923 to Alan Charles Cameron, she had an affair with Humphrey House, which continued after he married. Bowen died of lung cancer in 1973 and is buried with her husband in Cork. From among her works, we have selected “A Queer Heart.”
“A Queer Heart” by Elizabeth Bowen (28:15)
Collected in: Fifty Modern Stories,
edited by Thomas M.H. Blair (Harper & Row)

 
Program 046
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rod Kessler
This program includes works by contemporaries F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy L. Sayers, born respectively in Minnesota and England, and by American newcomer Rod Kessler.

One of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Minnesota in 1896 and named for Francis Scott Key, a relative. Although he dropped out of Princeton to join the army, World War I ended soon after his enlistment. Scott, as he was known, married Zelda Sayre in 1920, soon after the publication of This Side of Paradise, one of the most popular books of the year. He and Zelda settled in New York where he penned many short stories and the novels The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. After Zelda, with whom he had a difficult marriage, was institutionalized, Scott moved to Hollywood where he worked on scripts and completed The Last Tycoon, which was published after his death in 1940. Fitzgerald mocked himself in a series of short stories about Hollywood hack Pat Hobby, including “A Man in the Way,” which follows.
“A Man in the Way” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (12:40)
Collected in: Esquire's Big Book of Fiction,
edited by Adriene Miller (Context Books, New York)

Mystery-writer Dorothy L. Sayers was born in England in 1893 and died of a stroke in 1957. Heartbroken after a failed relationship with author John Cournos, Dorothy became involved with an out-of-work auto salesman by whom she became pregnant. The mores of the time making it impossible to reveal her condition, she feigned exhaustion and retired secretly to a “mothers hospital” where her son was born. As her aunt and cousin ran a foster home, Dorothy was able to place John Anthony there anonymously. Dorothy later married “Mac” Fleming who adopted her son, who went by the name John Anthony Fleming. From among her 21 short stories featuring aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, we have selected “The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste,” “bibulous” meaning convivial drinking.
“The Bibulous Business of a Matter of Taste” by Dorothy L. Sayers (37:50)
Collected in: Lord Peter,
Dorothy L. Sayers (Harper & Row)

The following work by Rod Kessler, entitled “How to Touch a Bleeding Dog,” appeared first in Magazine and was reprinted in his collection Off In Zimbabwa. I am reading it from a collection called Flash Fiction devoted to very short stories, and indeed it runs just five minutes.
“How to Touch a Bleeding Dog” by Rod Kessler (05:24)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

 
Program 047
Károly Kisfaludy, R. Chetwynd-Hayes
Our authors today are Hungarian Károly Kisfaludy, who was born in the 18th Century, and Londoner Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes who lived into the 21st Century.

Hungarian author Károly Kisfaludy lived from 1788 to 1830. Today’s Republic of Hungary, which is a member of NATO and the European Union, is a far cry from the time of Kisfaludy when serfdom still existed. In the following short story entitled “The Assignation,” is the word “hussar,” which is a Hungarian cavalryman.
“The Assignation” by Károly Kisfaludy (10:14)
Collected in: Classic Stories from Around the World,
introduction by Geraldine McCaughrean (Leopard, London)

British ghost story author Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes was born in London in 1919. Before his death in 2001, he authored more than ten novels, edited over 20 anthologies, and published more than 200 short stories. Known as Britain’s “Prince of Chill,” he received the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1988 and the British Fantasy Society Special Award in 1989. His most popular book, The Monster Club, was made into a motion picture starring Vincent Price and John Carradine. Here is “The Limping Ghost,” by R. Chetwynd-Hayes.
“The Limping Ghost” by R. Chetwynd-Hayes (46:16)
Collected in: The World's Greatest Ghost Stories,
edited by Richard Dalby (Magpie Books, London)

 
Program 048
H.G. Wells, Penelope Lively
Our stories today come from two Britishers: science fiction author H.G. Wells and children’s short story writer Penelope Lively.

Prolific science fiction author, H.G. Wells, was born in County Kent, England, in 1866. Bedridden with a broken leg as a child, he began to read, which stimulated his desire to write. Known best for The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon, and The Island of Dr. Moreau, all of which were made into movies, Wells shares the title, “The Father of Science Fiction” with Jules Verne. Wells left his first wife, a cousin, to marry a student, but continued to have affairs, fathering children by two other women. He died in London in 1946. Wells also wrote horror stories which by today’s standards are quite mild. The following is a science fiction piece entitled “The Truth About Pyecraft.” Incidentally, Santos-Dumont mentioned in the story was an aviation pioneer.
“The Truth about Pyecraft” by H.G. Wells (29:07)
Collected in: The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine and Selected Short Stories,
H.G. Wells (Platt & Munk)

Born in 1933 Penelope Lively is a prolific author of adult and children’s books. Although she was born in Egypt where she spent her childhood, she was sent to England for boarding school. She is the author of A Stitch in Time that won the Whitebread Award for best children’s book, and she was three times a candidate for the Booker Prize, eventually receiving the award for Moon Tiger in 1987. From among her works, we have selected the very entertaining “The Five Thousand and One Nights.”
“The Five Thousand and One Nights” by Penelope Lively (25:48)
Collected in: Best English Short Stories - 1989,
Edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes (Norton)

 
Program 049
John Collier, Arthur Conan Doyle
Although both of today’s authors are from Great Britain, their writing styles are very distinct. John Collier writes dark fantasies, while Sir Author Conan Doyle brought to life Sherlock Holmes.

John Collier was born in London in 1901. Dedicated first to poetry, he never attended a university. His short stories are best described as fantasies and are often dark, like the one which we shall read next, “Evening Primrose,” upon which Stephen Sondheim based a television musical. Several others were adapted to television for the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Collier later moved to Hollywood turning his attention to screenplays including contributing to The African Queen. He died in Pacific Palisades in 1980.
“Evening Primrose” by John Collier (32:28)
Collected in: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late at Night,
Random House

Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh. Although an ophthamologist by profession, he wrote while waiting for patients. His first significant work, A Study in Scarlet, introduced shrewd detective Sherlock Holmes who eventually appeared in 56 short stories and four novels. Knighted for a pamphlet he wrote supporting England’s role in the Boer War, he twice ran unsuccessfully for Parliament. A Spiritualist, he was convinced Harry Houdini had supernatural powers but their friendship failed when Houdini was unable to convince Conan Doyle his magic was only trickery. Conan Doyle died in 1930. Although I have all of the Sherlock Holmes short stories, many are too long to include in this program, which is devoted to the shorter variety. So here is one of his other stories, “The American’s Tale.” Incidentally, a “Greaser” mentioned in this work is a derogatory term for Mexican and a “Chartist” was a member of a British political reform group of the mid-19th Century.
“The American's Tale” by Arthur Conan Doyle (23:22)
Collected in: The Works of A. Conan Doyle,
Alfred Conan Doyle (Black's Reader Service Company)

 
Program 050
Bruce Jay Friedman, Erle Stanley Gardner, Guy de Maupassant
Welcome to our fiftieth program. If you have seen Heartbreak Kid or Stir Crazy, Perry Mason and Mademoiselle Fifi, you have seen works by today’s authors: Americans Bruce Jay Friedman and Erle Stanley Gardner and Frenchman Guy de Maupassant.

American novelist, screenwriter, and playwright Bruce Jay Friedman was born in 1930 and attended the University of Missouri. He is the author of eight novels and a half dozen short stories, including “Black Angels,” that follows. He also wrote the story for Neil Simon’s Heartbreak Kid and The Lonely Guy and was screenwriter for Doctor Detroit, Stir Crazy, Steambath, and Splash. Incidentally, “Black Angels” was published in 1964, when African-Americans were called Negroes.
“Black Angels” by Bruce Jay Friedman (15:46)
Collected in: Great Esquire Fiction - The Finest Stories from the First Fifty Years,
Edited by L. Rust Hills (Penguin Books)

Detective story author Erle Stanley Gardner was born in 1889 in Massachusetts but moved as a child to California where he practiced law for 20 years before becoming a full-time writer. He is known for characters Perry Mason, Della Street, Paul Drake, and Lieutenant Tragg. In 1968 he married his long-time secretary Agnes Jean Bethell, whom he called the real Della Street. Gardner died in 1970 in California. From among his works, we have chosen “Danger Out of the Past,” which reflects the rapid pace and convoluted plots for which he is known. It also includes a sympathetic crook, a protagonist that populated many of Gardner’s stories.
“Danger Out of the Past” by Erle Stanley Gardner (31:50)
Collected in: Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense,
Compiled by Martin H. Greenberg (St. Martin's Press)

French author Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the world’s greatest short story writers. Born in Normandy in 1850, de Maupassant learned literary technique from his godfather Gustave Flaubert. He was often sarcastic like in the following work, “Ugly.” From 1880 until his death in an insane asylum in 1893, de Maupassant wrote about 250 short stories. The subjects included government officials, the middle class, peasants, the Franco-Prussian War, animals, and ghosts.
“Ugly” by Guy de Maupassant (07:30)
Collected in: The Works of Guy de Maupassant,
Guy de Maupassant (Black's Reader Service Company)

 
Program 051
Flannery O'Connor, Colette, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Today’s authors are Southern literary giant Flannery O’Connor, famed New England novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, and one of France’s most beloved authors, Colette.

Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925 and died in 1964 at age 39 from complications from Lupus, a hereditary disease which killed her father when she was just 15. Flannery found fame first at age 5 by teaching a chicken to walk backwards, which was filmed and shown around the country. An annual prize for literature given by the University of Georgia Press is named for O’Connor, who wrote two novels and 31 short stories, including the following work, “The Crop” which was one of six in Flannery’s thesis for a Masters of Fine Arts. Her trademarks include foreshadowing and race is often a background issue, both features of which you will detect in “The Crop.”
“The Crop” by Flannery O'Connor (24:53)
Collected in: Flannery O'Connor - The Complete Stories,
Flannery O'Connor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York)

One of France’s greatest women novelists, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who wrote under the pen name Colette, was born in the Burgundy region of France in 1873. She is best known for Gigi, which was the basis of the Lerner and Lowe musical of that name. Her fifty or so novels, Gigi included, often deal with struggles in relationships and sexual love. Most are quasi-autobiographical as she was married three times and had affairs with men, women, and a stepson. Like “The Other Wife,” which follows, her stories are recognized for femininity, clever dialog, and astute observation. Colette, who died in 1954, was buried in Paris, receiving a state funeral.
“The Other Wife” by Colette (08:24)
Collected in: The World of the Short Story - A 20th Century Collection,
Edited by Clifton Fadiman (Houghton Mifflin & Co.)

Novelist and short story author, Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804 and died in New Hampshire in 1864. Although the author of notable novels, The Scarlet Letter, and The House of Seven Gables, Hawthorne is best known for his short stories, from which we have selected “The Man from Adamant.” Incidentally, the word “adamant” not only refers to someone with an unyielding opinion, but is also an impenetrable stone.
“The Man of Adamant” by Nathaniel Hawthorne (21:33)
Collected in: American Gothic Tales,
edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Plume)

 
Program 052
Brendan Gill, Damon Runyon
Our authors today are two New Yorkers: Brendan Gill and Damon Runyon.

Born in Hartford in 1914, Brendan Gill, a long-time resident of Bronxville, New York, wrote for The New Yorker for 60 years. He was also a champion of architectural preservation, chairing the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and authoring a biography of Frank Lloyd Wright. Brendon Gill died of natural causes in 1997, at age 83. From among his works, we have selected “The Test.”
“The Test” by Brendan Gill (18:41)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Damon Runyon was born in 1884 in Manhattan, Kansas, and followed his father as a newspaperman in the Rocky Mountain area. In 1910 he moved to New York City where he was a sportswriter, covering the New York Giants, among other teams, and was eventually inducted into the writer’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Most of Runyon’s works, which are about gamblers, gangsters, and thieves, are written in a unique style, omitting contractions and mixing slang with overly-formal English. More than a dozen movies are based on his works including Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando, Little Miss Marker that launched Shirley Temple’s career, The Lemon Drop Kid with Bob Hope, It Ain’t Hay with Abbott and Costello, and Money from Home with Martin and Lewis. The following piece, “Butch Minds the Baby,” begins in Mindy’s.
“Butch Minds the Baby” by Damon Runyon (36:54)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

 
Program 053
Palacio Valdés, E.M. Forster, Honoré de Balzac
Our three short story authors today, all men, are Palacio Valdés from Spain, E.M. Forster of England, and Honoré de Balzac of France.

Spanish novelist and critic Palacio Valdés was born in 1853 on the northern coast of Spain. His early writings were very humorous, as is the one we are presenting next. A collection of his short stories, including “The Crime on Calle de la Persequida,” which follows, appeared in English translation in 1935, three years before his death.
“The Crime on Calle de la Persequida” by Palacio Valdés (14:49)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

English novelist and short story author E.M. Forster was born in London in 1879. A large inheritance from an aunt enabled him to concentrate on writing. Of his many novels, several were made in to motion pictures, including, A Passage to India, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread, Howard’s End, and Maurice. The latter, portraying coming of age of a gay male character, was published after the death in 1970 of Forster, who never publicly revealed his own homosexuality. To fully understand the following work, “Mr. Andrews,” one must recognize that Forster was a secular humanist, a philosophy that focuses on how humans can lead good and happy lives by embracing ethics, reason, and justice, but rejecting religion.
“Mr. Andrews” by E.M. Forster (12:42)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac was born in the south of France in 1799. He is best known for The Human Comedy, a multi-volume series of interconnected novels, many of which were unfinished. A letter from a female admirer, Ewelina Hanska, who was in an arranged marriage to a man twenty years her senior, began a fifteen-year correspondence. Balzac won her hand after the death of her husband and they married in March 1850, only five months before Balzac’s death. Balzac attempted to give his characters an intensity of life, neither fully good nor fully evil. Also as you will note in the story that follows, “The Mysterious Mansion,” Balzac describes the locations of his stories with intricate details and concerns himself with the darker side of human nature.
“The Mysterious Mansion” by Honoré de Balzac (28:04)
Collected in: The World's One Hundred Best Short Stories - Vol. 5 - Drama,
editor-in-chief Grant Overton (Funk & Wagnalls)

 
Program 054
Katherine Mansfield, Joanna Scott, Rudyard Kipling, Alphonse Daudet
As our regular listeners know, we try in each program to present a variety of authors, and we have certainly achieved that objective today. Although Katherine Mansfield and Rudyard Kipling both lived in Britain, she was born in New Zealand and he, in India. Our other two authors are Joanna Scott, who was born in Connecticut, and Alphonse Daudet of France. We are going to let the ladies go first.

Modernist short fiction author Katherine Mansfield was born Katherine Mansfield Beachamp in New Zealand in 1888. She went away to school in London in 1902 and returned there again to live in 1908. Like many women artists and writers of that period, she fell into a bohemian/bisexual lifestyle. In three weeks, while pregnant by a family friend, she met, married, and left another man. Mansfield died of tuberculosis in 1923 at age 34. From among her works we have selected “The Dill Pickle,” in which you will note the mention of Russia, an allusion to Chekhov, of whom she was a literary follower. As in this story, plot was second to Mansfield. You will have to listen beneath the surface for what’s really happening.
“The Dill Pickle” by Katherine Mansfield (18:55)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

Award winning American author Joanna Scott was born in 1960, grew up in Darien, Connecticut, and is now a professor of English at the University of Rochester. The following short story entitled “Concerning Mold upon the Skin, Etc.” is a fictional tale which has as its main character Antony van Leeuwenhoek, the Father of Microbiology. Although van Leeuwenhoek created more than 400 different types of microscopes and made many scientific observations, he was considered an amateur. And you will get a sense of the implications of this in the story. You will also hear mention of a very small lens, which is relevant because the smaller the lens, the greater the magnification.
“Concerning Mold upon the Skin, Etc.” by Joanna Scott (20:42)
Collected in: The Best American Short Stories - 1993,
Edited by Louise Erdrich (Houghton Mifflin)

Named for Rudyard Lake in England where his British parents met, Rudyard Kipling was born in India in 1865. Considered a short story innovator, Kipling penned the classic children’s short story collections The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, Just So Stories, and Puck of Pook’s Hill. His most notable poems are “If—” and “Gunga Din” and his most notable novel is “Kim.” He is still the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Newly married, Rudyard and his wife, Carrie, lived in her native Vermont four years before returning to England where he died in 1936. His ashes are interred in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. From his “Just So Stories,” we have selected the brief “How the Whale Got His Throat.”
“How the Whale Got His Throat” by Rudyard Kipling (08:11)
Collected in: Kipling - A Selection of His Stories and Poems - Volume 1,
Rudyard Kipling (Doubleday)

French novelist, Alphonse Daudet was born in France in 1840 and worked first as a schoolteacher in the south of France. Unable to tolerate his pupils, he joined a brother in Paris and began to make a living as a journalist. He created characters that were real, much in the same way as Charles Dickens, whom he was even accused of imitating. The characters who populated his fiction were generally individuals with whom he had come in contact. The following short story, “The Death of the Dauphin,” has been admired by great story-tellers because it says so much with few words and without revealing many details. Incidentally, the Dauphin (dough-FAN), pronounced DAH-fin, in English, was the eldest son of the French king.
“The Death of the Dauphin” by Alphonse Daudet (07:12)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

 
Program 055
Katherine Anne Porter, H.E. Bates, O. Henry
Our authors for today’s program are British born H.E. Bates and two Americans, both named Porter: Katherine Anne Porter and William Sidney Porter, of whom the latter, of course, wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry. We hope you enjoy them all.

The Pulitzer-prize winning author of our next short story, Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890. Many of her works, like the one we are presenting today, entitled “He,” which was published in 1927, deal with dark themes. Her only education beyond grammar school was one year at the Thomas School in San Antonio. Other works include Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Ship of Fools. Katherine died September 18, 1980 in Maryland and is buried next to her mother at Indian Creek. Porter never names the subject of this story, simply referring to the child as He and Him, always capitalized. Although this story is about parents attitudes toward a retarded son, Porter never had children herself.
“He” by Katherine Anne Porter (27:00)
Collected in: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter,
Katherine Anne Porter (Harvest)

English author Herbert Ernest Bates was born in 1905 in Northamptonshire and his first novel was published when he was just twenty. Desiring to depict the human element of World War II, the RAF commissioned Bates to write stories about aviators. After the war he published a novel and collection of short stories each year, an incredible accomplishment. His most popular novel was The Darling Buds of May, which was serialized for television featuring Catherine Zeta-Jones. Bates died in 1974. The following short story, “No Trouble at All,” is from the collection The Greatest People in the World, published in 1942 and appears also in The Mammoth Book of Modern War Stories. Incidentally, Waafs mentioned here are members of the of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, (W.A.A.F.), the female auxiliary of the Royal Air Force.
“No Trouble at All” by H.E. Bates (12:56)
Collected in: The Mammoth Book of Modern War Stories,
edited by Jon E. Lewis (Carroll & Graf)

William Sydney Porter, who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, was born in 1862 on a plantation near Greensboro, North Carolina, but moved to Texas in 1882. Porter resigned as a teller at the First National Bank of Austin after being accused of embezzlement and moved to Houston where he wrote for the Houston Post. Before his trial he fled to New Orleans and then Honduras, where he coined the phrase ‘Banana Republic.’ Porter returned and surrendered in 1897 when he learned his wife was dying. Eventually found guilty, he served three years in the Ohio State Penitentiary. An alcoholic, Porter died of cirrhosis of the liver in New York in 1910 and is buried in Ashville, North Carolina. The following story, “The Gift of the Magi,” is one of Porter’s most charming stories, with, of course, his typical surprise ending.
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry (15:34)
Collected in: The Book of Virtues,
edited by William J. Bennett (Simon & Schuster)

 
Program 056
Agatha Christie, Mary Mann, Mark Twain
We begin our program with two British women authors: Agatha Christie who was born in Devon, in Southwest England in 1890 and Mary Mann who was born some forty years earlier in Norfolk on the east side of Southern England. Our third author is a contemporary of Mary Mann, America’s finest humorist, Mark Twain.

The “Queen of Crime,” Agatha Christie, was born in Devon in 1890 to an American father and British mother. More of her novels have been sold, some 2 billion world-wide, than of any other author and her play, The Mousetrap, is still running after more than 50 years and 20,000 performances. More than two dozen of her works have been adapted to movies. Known for characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, Christie was the first recipient of the Grand Master Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America. During World War I, she worked in a pharmacy, accounting for her frequent use of poison in her stories, including the one that follows, entitled “Accident.” Anticipating she would write no more, she released Curtain in 1975 killing off Poirot, who became the only fictional character to receive an obituary in The New York Times. Christie died the following year.
“Accident” by Agatha Christie (23:09)
Collected in: Handbook for Poisoners,
selected and introduced by Raymond T. Bond (Collier)

English writer Mary E. Mann was born in Norwich, Norfolk, in 1848. After her marriage to a farmer, she moved to the village of Shropham, which in her stories she calls Dulditch, an allusion to a boring and bleak place. As her husband was a churchwarden and parish guardian, Mary came in touch with the sick and poor of the neighborhood and her stories depict the unfortunates of their rural parish, as in the story that follows, “Little Brother.” Mary died in 1929 and is buried in Shropham.
“Little Brother” by Mary Mann (09:19)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain, is best known for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. He also authored travel books, based on his many trips out West, abroad, and around the world. Twain is generally considered America’s greatest humorist. Yet, despite his extraordinary sense of humor, Twain was melancholy and often depressed. Many of his works are satirical attacks on current events. Twain, who was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, died in 1910 in Elmira, New York, where he is buried. The following work, “Lost in a Snow Storm” is pure Twain.
“Lost in the Snow” by Mark Twain (21:41)
Collected in: Mark Twain's Library of Humor,
edited by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, et.al. (Bonanza Books)

 
Program 057
Miriam Allen deFord, Saki (H.H. Munro), John Galsworthy
Today’s program features stories by an American and two British subjects all of whom were contemporaries. Crime writer Miriam deFord was born in Philadelphia in 1888. Although Hector Hugo Monro, who wrote under the pen name Saki, was born in Burma in 1870, he spent most of his life in England where John Galsworthy was born three years before.

Miriam Allen deFord was born in 1888 in Philadelphia. First a news reporter, she began to write mystery fiction, including compiling several mystery anthologies. With an interest in historical crime she wrote The Real Bonnie and Clyde. She also penned The Overbury Affair involving events during the reign of James I for which she won a 1961 Edgar Award for the Best Fact Crime Book. After The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction appeared in 1961, Ms. deFord began to publish science fiction stories about nuclear devastation, alienation, and sexual roles. Ms. deFord died in 1975. Here is “The Oleander” by Miriam deFord.
“The Oleander” by Miriam Allen deFord (20:10)
Collected in: Handbook for Poisoners,
selected and introduced by Raymond T. Bond (Collier)

Hector Hugo Munro wrote under the pen name Saki. A short story master, he is often compared to Dorothy Parker and O. Henry. Munro was born in 1870 in Burma, then part of the British Empire, where his father was a police official. After his mother’s death caused by the charging of a cow, Hector was brought up in England by his very straight-laced grandmother and aunts. Although he followed his father as a Burmese police official, ill health forced his return to England where he began work as a journalist. Although technically too old to serve, he joined the British Army during World War I and was killed in France in 1916. Having grown up in the care of his strict aunts, he often wrote disapprovingly of women. The following brief story by Saki is entitled “The Open Window,” indeed has an aunt as a character.
“The Open Window” by Saki (H.H. Munro) (09:09)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

British Nobel Prize novelist and playwright John Galsworthy was born in 1867 in Surrey, England, to an established, wealthy family. He is best known for The Forsyte Saga, which was made into a miniseries and which dealt with upper-middle class lives. Although somewhat sympathetic to them, he could also depict them negatively, as you can detect in the following short story, “Timber.” Galsworthy had an affair with the wife of one of his cousins, they eventually married, and were together until his death in 1933 in London.
“Timber” by John Galsworthy (25:09)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

 
Program 058
Bill Pronzini, James Thurber, Andrew Lam
All our authors today are Americans, although not all were born here. We have already heard two stories by James Thurber. New authors to the program are Bill Pronzini and Andrew Lam, both of whom live in California.

Detective author Bill Pronzini was born in California in 1947. He is best known for his fictional Nameless Detective series of more than thirty works. His stories are more character driven than plot driven. In addition to being an author, Pronzini is an active anthologist. Indeed, the following work, “A Craving for Originality,” is included in Manhattan Mysteries, edited by Bill Pronzini.
“A Craving for Originality” by Bill Pronzini (25:53)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Next is the third James Thurber story we have presented. A prolific contributor to The New Yorker, American humorist James Thurber lived from 1894 to 1961. His other works which we have read are “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and “The Greatest Man in the World.” The next Thurber selection is “The Breaking Up of the Winships.”
“The Breakingup of the Winships” by James Thurber (15:09)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

Andrew Lam was born in Vietnam in 1964. The son of a South Vietnamese general, he fled the country with his family at the fall of Saigon in 1975. He lives in San Francisco where he is an editor for New American Media and a commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. From among his short stories, we have selected “The Palmist.”
“The Palmist” by Andrew Lam (13:28)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

 
Program 059
Theodore Dreiser, Ronald Frame
Today we bring you works by two authors, Theodore Dreiser who was born in Indiana and Ronald Frame who was born in Scotland. Both stories deal with the subject of “boy gets girl, boy loses the girl” but in very different ways.

American author Theodore Dreiser was born in Indiana in 1871, the twelfth of thirteen children. After dropping out of Indiana University, he took jobs writing for newspapers. His first commercial success was An American Tragedy, which has been adapted to opera and was the basis for the popular 1951 film A Place in the Sun starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters. Dreiser was known for realistic attention to details and character development. It has been said that all his works have the same plot: boy meets girl = tragedy, which is, indeed the plot for the following short story, “The Lost Phoebe.” Dreiser died in Hollywood in 1945.
“The Lost Phoebe” by Theodore Dreiser (45:14)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

Ronald Frame was born in Glascow, Scotland, in 1953 and educated there and at Oxford. Of his thirteen works of fiction, five have been published in the United States. He also writes for radio and television. His novel, The Lantern Bearers, is to be made into a motion picture. From among his works we have selected “A Piece of Sky.”
“A Piece of Sky” by Ronald Frame (10:04)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

 
Program 060
Hernando Téllez, Mark Twain, Frank O'Connor
Our three authors today, all gentlemen, are from Colombia, Ireland, and America and I will not have to tell you which author came from which country. Hernando Tellez and Frank O’Connor were contemporaries, both born in the first decade of the 20th century. They were preceded by humorist Mark Twain who died that same decade.

One of the most complete Colombian writers of his time, Hernando Téllez, was born in Colombia in 1908. He was an author, essayist, literary critic, journalist, national senator and consul to Marseilles. He died in 1966. Many of Téllez’ stories are trivial but deal with important social issues, like the one that follows, “Just Lather, That’s All,” which was translated by Donald A. Yates.
“Just Lather, That's All” by Hernando Téllez (12:51)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

Samuel Clemens, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Twain, hardly needs an introduction. Best known for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, he also authored travel books, based on his many trips out West, abroad, and around the world. Twain was first and foremost a humorist, generally considered America’s greatest. Yet, despite his extraordinary sense of humor, Twain was melancholy and often depressed. Many of his works are satirical attacks on current events. Twain, who was born in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, died in 1910 in Elmira, New York, where he is buried. Here is one of his most celebrated humor pieces, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain (16:53)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of Short Stories,
edited by V.S. Pritchett (Oxford University Press)

One of Ireland’s most complete man of letters, Frank O’Conner, was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1903. A prolific author of short stories, he gave his name to the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He was teaching at Stanford University when he suffered a stroke in 1961 and died in Ireland in 1966. As his father was an alcoholic, Frank adored his saintly mother, which undoubtedly influenced his depiction of the mother in the following O’Connor story, “Judas.” Incidentally, “storeen bawn” that you will hear near the end is Irish for “little fair-haired treasure.”
“Judas” by Frank O'Connor (25:18)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

 
Program 061
Ring Lardner, Raymond Carver
Today’s program features two American authors. Ring Lardner was one of America’s finest short story authors and Raymond Carver was a driving force in the revitalization of the short story in the 1980s. Both of today’s stories deal with marital problems. Humorist Lardner often took a satirical look at marriage while Carver belonged to the “dirty realist” movement. Listen for the difference.

Ringgold William Lardner, known as Ring Lardner, was an American sports columnist and short story author. Most of his works are satirical takes on marriage, sports, and theater. Born in Niles, Michigan, in 1885, he achieved his ambition by becoming a sportswriter, but eventually became known as one of America’s finest short story writers. Ring died in New York at age 48 from complication of Tuberculosis. The first Lardner short story we read on this program was “The Golden Honeymoon,” which was a satirical look at marriage. Here is another, called “Ex Parte.”
“Ex Parte” by Ring Lardner (27:34)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

American short story writer Raymond Carver was born in Oregon in 1938 and spent most of his life in California and Washington state. Carver divorced his first wife in 1982 after meeting poet Tess Gallagher in Dallas, Texas, in 1978. They married in Reno six weeks before his death in 1988. A New York Times article in 2006, citing the best fiction of the last 25 years, gave honorable mention to Carver. Carver grew up in a blue-collar family and had many menial jobs himself. Both he and his father were alcoholics, as are several characters in the following short story, “Where is Everyone?”
“Where is Everyone?” by Raymond Carver (27:27)
Collected in: TQ 20 - Twenty Years of the Best Contemporary Writing and Graphics from TriQuarterly Magazine,
Edited by Reginald Gibbons and Susan Hahn (Pushcart)

 
Program 062
Zdravka Evtimova, D.H. Lawrence, John Updike
Today’s program features short story authors from Bulgaria, the U.K., and the United States: Zdravka Evtimova, D.H. Lawrence, and John Updike. They have three very different styles. We will let the lady go first.

Bulgarian Zdravka Evtimova has published four short story collections and three novels in her native country and her works have been published also throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Argentina, and India. Evtimova works as a literary translator for the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, translating works from English and German into Bulgarian. From among her works we have selected “Blood.”
“Blood” by Zdravka Evtimova (09:12)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

Born in 1885 in the U.K., D.H. Lawrence is considered an important though controversial English writer. Among his most famous novels are Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterly’s Lover. Incidentally, the manuscript for Sons and Lovers was exchanged for a ranch near Taos, New Mexico, where Lawrence lived for two years and where he is buried. His works, which are diverse and prolific, reflect interest in emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, sexuality, and instinctive behavior. You may detect some of these themes in the short story that follows, “The Rocking-Horse Winner.”
“The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence (38:54)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

Prolific Pulitzer Prize author John Updike was born in Pennsylvania in 1932. He has published more than twenty novels and hundreds of short stories, many of which have appeared on the pages of The New Yorker. While at Harvard he was president of Harvard Lampoon. Updike lives on a farm in Massachusetts. From among his works, we have selected a five-minute story called, “The Widow.” It is organized as a Q&A, in interview, with a widow and contains a short aside by the interviewer toward the end.
“The Widow” by John Updike (06:07)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

 
Program 063
William Saroyan, Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce
Welcome back to “An Hour of Short Stories.” I’m your host, John Pritchett. As my loyal listeners know, I always introduce this program describing myself as narrator. But this week we are beginning something new. Guest narrators. I have invited some of the best voices from NTRB to join me in reading short stories. You are truly going to enjoy this new facet of the program.

Our program today includes stories from authors born in California, New Zealand, and Ireland. But that’s a bit misleading. Although William Saroyan was born in Fresno, his father was an Armenian immigrant, and although a native of New Zealand, Katherine Mansfield lived most of her life in Great Britain. Irishman James Joyce spent most of his life out of the country, preferring Paris, Zürich, and Trieste.
Author and playwright William Saroyan (Sar-row’yan) was born in Fresno, California, in 1908. Orphaned at age 4, he was placed in an Oakland orphanage. After seeing some writings belonging to his late father, an Armenian immigrant who had been educated as a Presbyterian minister, Saroyan decided to be a writer. Most of his plays and short stories, such as “The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” that follows, are about Armenian-Americans. Saroyan declined the Pulitzer Prize for The Time of Your Life, which was later made into a movie staring James Cagney. Saroyan also wrote the novel The Human Comedy, coincident with his screenplay being made into the movie of this name. Based on his experiences growing up in Fresno among many Armenian-Americans, it was later produced as a musical by Joseph Papp. Saroyan died of cancer in Fresno in 1981. Here is “The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” by William Saroyan.
“The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” by William Saroyan (17:36)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

Modernist short fiction author Katherine Mansfield was born Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp in New Zealand in 1888. She went away to school in London in 1902 and returned there again to live in 1908. Like many women artists and writers of that period, she fell into a bohemian/bisexual lifestyle. In three weeks, while pregnant by a family friend, she met, married, and left another man. Mansfield died of Tuberculosis in 1923 at age 34. The following work with the themes of loneliness and rejection, “Miss Brill,” which was first published in 1920, is narrated by Midge Verhein. Remember that to Mansfield, plot was second. So listen beneath the surface for what’s really happening.
“Miss Brill” by Katherine Mansfield (18:03)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

James Joyce was born in 1882 in a Dublin suburb. Considered one of the best writers of the 20th Century, he is best known for Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. Although he spent most of his life outside of Ireland, he placed most of his works within its borders including “The Boarding House” that follows. The story is about a young man who is attracted to a woman in a boarding house, undoubtedly an allusion to Joyce’s own life, he having married Nora Barnacle who was working as a chambermaid in a hotel when they met. Most of Joyce’s legacy is protected by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. Here is “The Boarding House,” by James Joyce.
“The Boarding House” by James Joyce (19:03)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

 
Program 064
Rhian Roberts, Becky Birtha, Luigi Pirandello
Today’s program includes stories from three authors: Rhian Roberts from Wales, Bicky Birtha from Pennsylvania, and Luigi Pirandello who was born in Italy.

Rhian Roberts was born in the heart of Welsh mining valleys in 1923 and bred on literature, Calvinism, and song. Her first articles were published in a school magazine in 1936. From among her works we have chosen “Keep Up Appearances.” In it you will hear a few Welsh words including “parchedig” which means reverend.
“Keep Up Appearances” by Rhian Roberts (21:35)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

Becky Birtha, who was named for her grandmother, an ex-slave, grew up in Philadelphia and now lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where she is a member of the Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers. She writes children’s books including the popular Grandma’s Pride. The following short story, “The Saints and Sinners Run,” read here by Catherine Ritchie, may be found in her collection of stories entitled Lover’s Choice.
“The Saints and Sinners Run” by Becky Birtha (21:11)
Collected in: Lover's Choice,
Becky Birtha (The Seal Press)

Italian Nobel Prize author Luigi Pirandello was born into an upper-class family in southern Sicily in 1867. He married Antonietta Portulano in 1894 and they became the parents of three. When sulfur mines in which they were heavily invested flooded, Antoinetta was so grieved that she was driven to insanity and eventually institutionalized, as we would call it today. In 1925, with the help of Mussolini, Pirandello was made artistic director of the Theatre of Art in Rome. Whether Pirandello was a supporter of Fascism or was simply exploiting his connection to Mussolini for his career is debatable. Pirandello’s most famous work was Six Characters in Search of an Author which was adapted for PBS by Stacy Keach and starred Andy Griffith and Stacy’s brother James Keach. Pirandello died in Rome in 1936. In “War,” the short short story that follows, note that characters have no name for they belong to no particular time or place.
“War” by Luigi Pirandello (11:59)
Collected in: 21 Great Stories,
Edited by Abraham H. Lass and Norma L. Tasman (A Mentor Book)

 
Program 065
Rudyard Kipling, Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. Randisi, Grace Paley
Today’s authors are Nobel Prize recipient Rudyard Kipling, short story author and political activist Grace Paley and the mystery story writing team of Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. Randisi.

Named for Rudyard Lake in England where his British parents met, Rudyard Kipling was born in India in 1865. Considered a short story innovator, Kipling penned the classic children’s short story collections The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, Just So Stories, and Puck of Pook’s Hill. His most notable poems are “If—” and “Gunga Din” and his most notable novel is “Kim.” He is still the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Newly married, Rudyard and his wife, Carrie, lived in her native Vermont four years before returning to England where he died in 1936. His ashes are interred in Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. Here is one of his short stories, “Wee Willie Winkie,” which was, of course, made into a major motion picture starring Shirley Temple. In the movie, however, Shirley, as Priscilla “Winkie” Williams, is sent to live with her grandfather, which as you will soon learn is not how Mr. Kipling wrote the story. A few words with which I was unfamiliar are “cantonment,” which is a military compound, pronounced kun-toon-ment by the British. By the way, the name Wee Willie Winkie was derived from a Scottish nursery rhyme.
“Wee Willie Winkie” by Rudyard Kipling (27:12)
Collected in: Kipling - A Selection of His Stories and Poems - Volume 2,
Rudyard Kipling (Doubleday)

The following work, “I Love Everything About You,” is by crime writers Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. Randisi and appears in The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories, edited by Ed Gorman. Pelegrimos, who also writes under the pseudonym Christine Matthews, has had stories published in many magazines including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Randisi specializes in private eye novels including the popular Detective Joe Keough series. The voices are those of Barbara Daly and me.
“I Love Everything About You” by Marthayn Pelegrimas and Robert J. Randisi (21:30)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

American short story author and political activist Grace Paley was born Grace Goodside to Jewish immigrant parents in 1922 in the Bronx. She attended school in New York and at age 20 married cinematographer Jess Paley. An anti-war protestor, she went to Hanoi to try to secure the release of prisoners during the Vietnam War and was arrested as one of “The White House Eleven” after unfurling a nuclear non-proliferation banner on the White House lawn. Paley died in August 2007. The following story, “Wants,” selected and read by Catherine Ritchie, comes from Paley’s short story collection entitled Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.
“Wants” by Grace Paley (06:20)
Collected in: Enormous Changes at the Last Minute,
Grace Paley (Farrar-Straus-Giroux)

 
Program 066
F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike
Today’s program features two of America’s most popular 20th Century authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Updike.

One of the greatest writers of the 20th Century, F. Scott Fitzgerald, was born in Minnesota in 1896 and named for Francis Scott Key, a relative. Although he dropped out of Princeton to join the army, World War I ended soon after his enlistment. Scott, as he was known, married Zelda Sayre in 1920, soon after the publication of This Side of Paradise, one of the most popular books of the year. He and Zelda settled in New York where he penned many short stories and the novels The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. After Zelda, with whom he had a difficult marriage, was institutionalized, Scott moved to Hollywood where he worked on scripts and completed The Last Tycoon, which was published after his death in 1940. Here is one of Fitzgerald’s short stories, “The Baby Party,” which Midge Verhein reads for us.
“The Baby Party” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (35:18)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

Prolific Pulitzer Prize author John Updike was born in Pennsylvania in 1932. He has published more than twenty novels and hundreds of short stories, many of which have appeared on the pages of The New Yorker. While at Harvard he was president of Harvard Lampoon. Updike lives on a farm in Massachusetts. From among his works, we have selected the brief allegorical piece, “Lifeguard.” You will have to listen closely to catch all the meaning.
“Lifeguard” by John Updike (19:43)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of Short Stories,
edited by V.S. Pritchett (Oxford University Press)

 
Program 067
Eudora Welty, Bill Pronzini
Today’s authors are both Americans: Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty and detective author Bill Pronzini, brought to us by Midge Verhein and Sugie Dotson.

Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, where she spent most of her life. With William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Robert Penn Warren, and others, Welty was a prominent contributor to the Southern literary renaissance of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. She received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1980. Welty died of pneumonia in 2001 in Jackson where her home has been preserved. The Eudora email program, which uses a “post office” protocol to retrieve email, was named for Eudora Welty, and is an allusion to her short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” that Midge Verhein reads next.
“Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty (37:34)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

Detective author Bill Pronzini was born in California in 1947. He is best known for his fictional Nameless Detective series of more than thirty works. His stories are more character driven than plot driven. In addition to being an author, Pronzini is an active anthologist. The following work, “Flood,” which appeared first in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, is read by Sugie Dotson.
“Flood” by Bill Pronzini (17:37)
Collected in: The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories,
edited by Ed Gorman (Forge)

 
Program 068
P.G. Wodehouse, Joyce Carol Oates
Our program today features short stories from comic genius P.G. Wodehouse and Gothic story teller Joyce Carol Oates, both of whom lived in New York.

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, known as P.G. Wodehouse, was born in 1881. A master of English Prose and comic genius, his characters were often eccentric or buffoons, and relatives, generally aunts and uncles, were introduced for the purpose of making the protagonist’s life miserable. In many of his works, foolish masters are saved from dire straits by their brighter servants, such as Jeeves who always comes to Bertie Wooster’s aid. Criticized by England for allegedly cooperating with the Nazis while a POW, he moved permanently to New York and became an American citizen in 1955. Shortly before his death at age 93, he was knighted. In the following work, “The Reverent Wooing of Archibald,” you will detect a number of typical Wodehouse themes.
“The Reverent Wooing of Archibald” by P.G. Wodehouse (47:22)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

Joyce Carol Oates was born in 1938 in New York where she grew up. She began writing short stories as a child and received a scholarship to Syracuse University. Her Gothic horror stories, like the one that follows, “The Temple,” were influenced by the works of Franz Kafka. Incidentally, this story appears in American Gothic Tales, which Oates edited. Oates, who has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, is now a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University. Her novel, We Were the Mulvaneys, was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club in January 2001. Here is “The Temple.”
“The Temple” by Joyce Carol Oates (08:51)
Collected in: American Gothic Tales,
edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Plume)

 
Program 069
Angelica Gibbs, P.D. James
Our program today features two women authors, who were, in fact, contemporaries. The works of American Angelica Gibbs appeared often on the pages of The New Yorker while many of P.D. James’ crime stories are now available on DVD.

Angelica Gibbs was a frequent contributor to The New Yorker with stories appearing from 1938 to 1945. Today’s short story, entitled “The Test,” was published in The New Yorker 15 June 1940. It will be read by Susan Sipe.
“The Test” by Angelica Gibbs (09:27)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Crime novelist Phyllis Dorothy James, known as P.D. James, was born in 1920 and did not begin writing until she was in her thirties. She has received many writing awards and honors and is a life peer in the British House of Lords. More than a dozen of her works have been produced for television and are now available on DVD. Here is “The Victim.”
“The Victim” by P.D. James (46:29)
Collected in: Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense,
Compiled by Martin H. Greenberg (St. Martin's Press)

 
Program 070
Ernest Hemingway, Celia Fremlin, O. Henry
The three authors in today’s program include Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, and the lesser-known, but Edgar Allan Poe Award winner, Celia Fremlin. Hemingway and Henry are Americans while Fremlin was born in England.

Born in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was one of the most famous and influential American writers of his time. His works strayed little from his own life, which was very colorful. Married four times, he was a soldier and war correspondent, big game hunter, and survived several near-fatal accidents. His most notable works include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway committed suicide in 1961 after becoming extremely ill. Here is “Ten Indians” by Ernest Hemingway.
“Ten Indians” by Ernest Hemingway (11:24)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

Celia Fremlin was born in Kent, England, in 1914 and studied at Oxford University. She won the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1960. Although a crime story writer, she is also known for introducing supernatural elements into domestic settings, precisely what you will find in the next short story, “Don’t Tell Cissie,” which Sugie Dotson will read.
“Don't Tell Cissie” by Celia Fremlin (30:46)
Collected in: Modern Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers,
Edited by Richard Dalby (Carroll & Graff)

William Sydney Porter, who wrote under the pseudonym O. Henry, was born in 1862 on a plantation near Greensboro, North Carolina, but moved to Texas in 1882 where he worked as a bookkeeper and druggist. Porter resigned as a teller at the First National Bank of Austin after being accused of embezzlement and moved to Houston where he wrote for the Houston Post. Before his trial he fled to New Orleans and then Honduras before returning and surrendering in 1897 when he learned his wife was dying. Eventually found guilty, he served three years in the Ohio State Penitentiary. An alcoholic, Porter died of cirrhosis of the liver in New York in 1910 and is buried in Ashville, North Carolina. The short story that follows is “The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein.” It takes place in a drug store, of which Porter was very familiar, and includes many pharmacy terms, not all of which you need to understand. Keep in mind, however, that a “love-philtre,” in the title, spelled p-h-i-l-t-r-e, is a love potion.
“The Love-Philtre of Ikey Shoenstein” by O. Henry (13:31)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

 
Program 071
Amy Hempel, Katherine Mansfield
Today’s authors, both women, are Amy Hempel who was born in Chicago and Katherine Mansfield who was born in New Zealand. Our guest readers are Susan Sipe and Patti Wynne.

Short story author Amy Hempel was born in Chicago, IL, in 1951 and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Magazine, The Quarterly, and Playboy. The following story, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” the first Hempel ever wrote, appeared in TriQuarterly in 1983. It is one of the most extensively anthologized short stories of the last quarter century. It is being read by Susan Sipe.
“In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried” by Amy Hempel (24:18)
Collected in: TQ 20 - Twenty Years of the Best Contemporary Writing and Graphics from TriQuarterly Magazine,
Edited by Reginald Gibbons and Susan Hahn (Pushcart)

Modernist short fiction author Katherine Mansfield was born in New Zealand in 1888. She went away to school in London in 1902 and returned there again to live in 1908. Like many women artists and writers of that period, she fell into a bohemian/bisexual lifestyle. Mansfield died of tuberculosis in 1923 at age 34. From among her works we have selected “Bliss,” read by Patti Wynne. As in this story, plot was second to Mansfield. You will have to listen beneath the surface for what’s really happening.
“Bliss” by Katherine Mansfield (31:02)
Collected in: Best Short Stories of the Modern Age,
selected and introduced by Douglas Angus (Fawcett Premier)

 
Program 072
Syliva Townsend Warner, Arthur C. Clarke, George Garrett
Our authors this week are contemporaries Sylvia Townsend Warner and Arthur C. Clarke of Great Britain and American George Garrett.

Novelist, short story author, and poet Sylvia Townsend Warner was born in England in 1893 and moved to London where she worked in a munitions factory during World War I. Her first novel appeared in 1926. Her later works reflected a feminist and lesbian sentiment. She was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Warner died in 1978. From among her works we have selected “A Widows’ Quilt,” which is read by Midge Verhein.
“A Widow's Quilt” by Syliva Townsend Warner (25:56)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was born in the UK in 1917 and with, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, is one of the “Big Three” of science fiction. After his service as a radar specialist with the Royal Air Force during World War II, he studied mathematics and physics. Although best known for his science fiction stories, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was made into a major motion picture by Stanley Kubrik, Clarke also wrote technical articles on space flight. Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given annually to the best science fiction story published in the UK. The following story, “The Nine Billion Names of God,” is read by Marianne Szabo. Note that the lama in this story is called Sam Jaffe, an allusion to the actor of this name who portrayed a High Lama in the 1937-movie Lost Horizon.
“The Nine Billion Names of God” by Arthur C. Clarke (16:21)
Collected in: Science Fiction Hall of Fame,
Edited by Robert Silverberg

Virginia’s poet laureate George Garrett was born in Orlando, Florida, in 1929. A novelist, poet, short story author, screenwriter, and playwright, he has received more than a dozen writing awards. From among his many works, here is “Feeling Good, Feeling Fine,” which appears in New Sudden Fiction devoted to short-short stories.
“Feeling Good, Feeling Fine” by George Garrett (11:50)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

 
Program 073
George Baxt, Margery Williams
Today we have contrasting styles of American crime novelist George Baxt and London-born but Pennsylvania-bred children’s book author Margery Williams.

George Baxt was born in Brooklyn in 1922. A veteran of World War II, he was an aggressive casting agent and movie trivia buff. A number of his friends were accused of Communism, an allusion to which you will hear in the following short story. A screenwriter, a number of his works were broadcast on television from 1951 to 1982, and he published twenty-six crime novels and eighty to ninety short stories, many of which have been published in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He is known for introducing Pharaoh Love, a delightful black detective who in his spare time is a homosexual. Baxt died in July 2003. The following work, “The Woman I Envied,” read by Sugie Dotson, is very clever.
“The Woman I Envied” by George Baxt (24:20)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Although Margery Williams was born in London in 1881, her family moved to New York in 1890, and later to rural Pennsylvania where Margery attended school. She began writing at age 19 but devoted all her time to motherhood after the birth of a son and daughter. Inspired by the work of Walter de la Mare, she returned to writing at age 41 with “The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real” her most famous work, and went on to publish many other children’s books. Margery died in 1944. Here is Midge Verhein reading “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
“The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams (32:43)
Collected in: The Book of Virtues,
edited by William J. Bennett (Simon & Schuster)

 
Program 074
Eleazar Lipsky, Kaatje Hurlbut
Both of today’s authors Eleazer Lipsky and Kaattje Hurlbut were born in New York City, he in 1911 and she ten years later.

Eleazar Lipsky was born in Bronx, New York, in 1911. During his lifetime he was a novelist, playwright, lawyer, and prosecutor. Two of his novels were made into major motion pictures: Kiss of Death starring Victor Mature and introducing Richard Widmark, and The People Against O’Hara, starring Spencer Tracy, Pat O’Brien, and James Arness. In the 1940s, Lipsky was an assistant district attorney for Manhattan. Lipsky died of Leukemia in 1933. Burt Kehoe reads this next short story, “The Quality of Mercy,” by Eleazer Lipsky.
“The Quality of Mercy” by Eleazar Lipsky (40:45)
Collected in: Manhattan Mysteries,
edited by Bill Pronzini, et.al. (Barnes & Noble)

Kaatje Hurlbut was born in 1921 in New York City and attended Columbia University and the College of William and Mary. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories of 1961 and Best Science Fiction of 1961. She died in 1997. Incidentally Kaatje K-a-a-t-j-e is a Belgium name. The following story, “Eve in Darkness,” read by Barbara Daly, appeared in Mademoiselle in 1957.
“Eve in Darkness” by Kaatje Hurlbut (14:53)
Collected in: 21 Great Stories,
Edited by Abraham H. Lass and Norma L. Tasman (A Mentor Book)

 
Program 075
Robert Grossmith, Carol Edelstein, Carson McCullers
We have three 20th Century authors this week. Robert Grossmith was born in London, Carol Edelstein in Massachusetts, and Carson McCullers in Georgia.

Robert Grossmith was born in the London suburb of Dagenham in 1954. After community work in Dorset he moved to Sweden as a translator, then spent a year in the United State where some magazines published his fiction. His doctorate is on the subject of Russian-American novelist and short story author Vladimir Nabokov. The following short story, entitled “The Book of Ands,” begins with the abbreviated Bible verse from John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and.”
“The Book of Ands” by Robert Grossmith (22:11)
Collected in: Best English Short Stories - 1989,
Edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes (Norton)

Carol Edelstein lives within a mile of where she was born, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Her first book, The World Is Round, was published in 1994. She has published fiction, essays, and poems in magazines and anthologies, including The Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Flash Fiction. Edelstein leads writing workshops with her husband, Robin Barber, and organizes a reading series that features local writers. From the anthology, Flash Fiction, Susan Sipe will read a very short story about a phone call, entitled, “232-9979.”
“232-9979” by Carol Edelstein (04:47)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

Carson McCullers was born in Georgia in 1917 and was only 15 when she received a typewriter from her father. The Southern Gothic work, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, was her first novel, which she wrote at age 23. It was filmed in 1968, starring Alan Arkin. She is also well-known for Reflections in a Golden Eye, directed by John Huston and starring Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Throughout most of her life Carson was ill and an alcoholic. She divorced her husband after they both had homosexual relationships, but they later remarried. After she failed to kill herself, he tried to convince her to join him in a suicide pact, but she fled. Carson died in New York in 1967. As you will hear in “Madam Zilensky and the King of Finland,” read by Midge Verhein, Carson portrays empathy for lonely and eccentric characters.
“Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland” by Carson McCullers (27:52)
Collected in: The World of the Short Story - A 20th Century Collection,
Edited by Clifton Fadiman (Houghton Mifflin & Co.)

 
Program 076
C.S. Forester, Bret Harte, Saki (H.H. Munro)
Although our three authors this week, all men, were born in Cairo, New York, and Burma, they all had a connection to England. C.S. Forester was born in Cairo, lived in England, and later made his home in the United States. Going the other way was New York-born Bret Harte who lived many years in California, but spent his last twenty or so in England. Likewise H.H. Munro, our Burma-born author, spent most of his life in England.

C.S. Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith who was born in Cairo in 1899 but lived in England until World War II when he moved to the United States. His best-known works are the eleven-volume Horatio Hornblower series and The African Queen, filmed by John Huston and staring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. His novels were also the bases for the Pride and the Passion and Sink the Bismarck! C.S. Forester died in 1966. Although most of his works are naval-related, he also wrote a couple of crime stories and two children’s books. Midge Verhein reads the following charming short story by C.S. Forster, “The Bedchamber Mystery.”
“The Bedchamber Mystery” by C.S. Forester (11:25)
Collected in: 75 Short Masterpieces - Stories from the World's Literature,
edited by Roger B. Goodman (Bantam)

Bret Harte was born in Albany, New York, in 1836, but moved to California in 1854. His works reflect the pioneering spirit of California where he worked as a minor, messenger, journalist, and teacher. “The Outcasts of Poker Flat,” which we have already read, was twice made into a movie and it and another of Harte’s works, The Luck of Roaring Camp, were the bases for the Spaghetti western Four of the Apocalypse. Harte moved to New York and then Boston to pursue his literary career and became a contributing editor of the Atlantic Monthly. He settled in London in 1885 and was buried in Surrey County, England, in 1902. Here is David Horton reading “Tennessee’s Partner.”
“Tennessee's Partner” by Bret Harte (27:23)
Collected in: Fiction 100 - An Anthology of Short Stories, 2nd. Ed.,
James H. Pickering (Macmillan)

Hector Hugo Munro wrote under the pen name Saki. A short story master, he is often compared to Dorothy Parker and O. Henry. Munro was born in 1870 in Burma, then part of the British Empire, where his father was a police official. After his mother’s death caused by the charging of a cow, Hector was brought up in England by his very straight-laced grandmother and aunts. Although he followed his father as a Burmese police official, ill health forced his return to England where he began work as a journalist. Although technically too old to serve, he joined the British Army during World War I and was killed in France in 1916. Having grown up in the care of his strict aunts, he often wrote disapprovingly of women. Yet, as you will detect in the following story, “The Storyteller,” read by Susan Sipe, he also could portray strong-willed, independent women very favorably.
“The Storyteller” by Saki (H.H. Munro) (15:55)
Collected in: Great Short Stories,
edited by Wilbur Schramm (Harcourt, Brace & World)

 
Program 077
Alan Sillitoe, John Cheever
Our authors today are Londoner Alan Sillitoe and New Englander John Cheever.

Alan Sillitoe was born in Nottingham, England, in 1928. He developed a taste for writing while hospitalized for Tuberculosis that he contracted in Malaysia while in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Sillitoe is the author of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which was made into a movie staring Tom Courtenay. Alan is married to poet Ruth Fainlight and they live in London with their two children. The following charming little piece, “Enoch’s Two Letters,” is read by Alison Doherty.
“Enoch's Two Letters” by Alan Sillitoe (24:31)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

Pulitzer Prize author John Cheever was born in Massachussets in 1912. Many of his works are set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, and New England villages. Cheever appeared on the cover of Newsweek after the publication of Falconer in 1977 and The Stories of John Cheever sold 125,000 copies in hardcover. Cheever was influenced by F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose stories have been read on this program. An alcoholic, Cheever died of cancer in 1982. The following work takes place at Vinyard Haven, a fictional Massachusetts beach. Entitled “The Chaste Clarissa,” it is read by Susan Sipe.
“The Chaste Clarissa” by John Cheever (30:46)
Collected in: The Best of Modern Humor,
edited by Mordecai Richler (Alfred A. Knopf)

 
Program 078
Dashiell Hammett, A.E. Coppard
Contemporaries Dashiell Hammet and A.E. Coppard are this week’s featured authors.

Author of hardboiled detective stories, Dashiell Hammett (da-SHEEL), was born in Maryland in 1894. His most enduring characters were Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man, the Continental Op, and Sam Spade. Hammett served in the Ambulance Corps during World War I until hospitalized with the Spanish Flu. He married a nurse who moved to San Francisco with their two children after doctors advised them to stay away from Hammett who had acquired Tuberculosis. Although Hammett supported them the rest of his life, he had a two-year affair with author Nell Martin and a thirty-year affair with Lillian Hellman. A political activist, Hammett was president of the Civil Rights Congress of New York, which was later classified as a communist front group. Refusing to cooperate when testifying before Congress he was imprisoned for contempt of court and he was blacklisted when investigated by McCarthy’s House on Un-American Activities Committee. Hammett died in 1961 in New York City of lung cancer. A veteran of two wars, he was buried in Arlington Cemetery. The following short story called “They Can Only Hang You Once” features Sam Spade and a footnote indicates it was copyrighted by Lillian Hellman as executrix of Hammett’s estate.
“They Can Only Hang You Once” by Dashiell Hammett (34:57)
Collected in: Fiction 100 - An Anthology of Short Stories, 2nd. Ed.,
James H. Pickering (Macmillan)

The son of a tailor and housemaid, Alfred Edgar Coppard was born in 1878 in Folkstone, a resort town on the south coast of Kent, England. He left school at age 9 after the death of his father to work in Whitechapel at the time of the Jack-the-Ripper murders. Although he had very little formal education, he influenced the short story form during his long literary career. Coppard died in 1957. Although he wrote many fantasy and horror stories, here is a charming comedy, entitled “Some Talk of Alexander,” read by Burt Kehoe.
“Some Talk of Alexander” by A.E. Coppard (20:44)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of English Short Stories,
edited by A.S. Byatt (Oxford University Press)

 
Program 079
Katherine Anne Porter, Nedra Tyre
Two Southern women are this week’s featured authors: Texan Katherine Anne Porter and Georgian Nedra Tyre.

The Pulitzer-prize winning author of our next short story, Katherine Anne Porter, was born in Indian Creek, Texas, in 1890. Her only education beyond grammar school was one year at the Thomas School in San Antonio. Her most famous works are Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Ship of Fools. Married and divorced four times, she never had children. Katherine died in Maryland in 1980 and is buried next to her mother at Indian Creek. The following short story that Patti Wynne reads, “Virgin Violeta,” comes from The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, which received a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize.
“Virgin Violeta” by Katherine Anne Porter (25:44)
Collected in: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter,
Katherine Anne Porter (Harvest)

Nedra Tyre was born in 1921 in Georgia and educated at Emory University, Atlanta, and Richmond School of Social Work. She has worked as a copywriter, teacher, librarian, and social worker. Her mysteries, which generally reflect her interest in the South, have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She died in Richmond in 1990. The following story by Nedra Tyre, “A Nice Place to Stay,” read by Joan Tallis, appears in Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense.
“A Nice Place to Stay” by Nedra Tyre (29:47)
Collected in: Masterpieces of Mystery and Suspense,
Compiled by Martin H. Greenberg (St. Martin's Press)

 
Program 080
Alex Burton, Horacio Quiroga, Rod Serling
Featured authors for this week’s programs are long-time Dallas radio and TV personality Alex Burton, Argentinean author Horacio Quiroga, and New York-born science fiction screenwriter, Rod Serling.

Alex Burton has been working in radio for more than 50 years and has been a Dallas radio-television personality since moving there in 1962. A member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, Burton has received awards from AP, UPI, and the Dallas Press Club. Although he retired from broadcasting in 1994, he has not slowed down. He voices programs at Reading and Radio Resource and a 90-second feature called HealthWatch for UT Southwestern Medical Center that’s broadcast Monday through Friday on ABC Satellite Radio Network. He also writes for the monthly magazine Senior News Source and he authors short stories. The following story, which Alex will read for us, “Penelope the Plumber and Her Fairy Godmother,” was written as a radio play in 2000.
“Penelope the Plumber and Her Fairy Godmother” by Alex Burton (23:57)
Collected in: Collected Works of Alex Burton,

Argentinean author Horacio Quiroga was born in Uruguay in 1878. His life was extraordinarily miserable. His father was accidentally killed, his stepfather committed suicide, and Horacio accidentally killed his best friend with a pistol. Unhappy in her marriage, his first wife committed suicide and Horacio himself, after learning he had stomach cancer, poisoned himself. Ultimately, both of his children likewise took their own lives. His works deal with fate and unlikely coincidences, like the following work, “Three Letters... and a Footnote,” which Barbara Daly and I will narrate.
“Three Letters… and a Footnote” by Horacio Quiroga (09:54)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

Science fiction screenwriter Rod Serling was born in New York in 1924. An Army paratrooper during World War II, he served in the Pacific two years, receiving a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Of course, Serling is best known for 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone, 92 of which he wrote himself. Night Gallery, whose creative content Serling chose not control, was a shadow of the earlier series. Although most of his legacy is television -- he won five Emmy Awards -- Serling also wrote science fiction and horror short stories. In addition to the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery he is known for Requiem for a Heavyweight and Planet of the Apes. Serling’s war experiences, including post-war bouts of flashbacks and nightmares, undoubtedly influenced “Return from Oblivion,” the short story that Sugie Dotson reads next.
“Return from Oblivion” by Rod Serling (20:32)
Collected in: Chilling Stories from Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone,
Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli (Scribners)

 
Program 081
Janet Peery, Jack London
Americans Janet Peery and Jack London are this week’s featured short story authors.

Considered a “writer’s writer” because of her dense prose, Janet Peery’s short stories have appeared in many literary journals. She has received a number of fellowships and awards and presently teaches at Old Dominion University. Here is Sugie Dotson reading “What the Thunder Said” by Janet Peery.
“What the Thunder Said” by Janet Peery (19:01)
Collected in: The Best American Short Stories - 1993,
Edited by Louise Erdrich (Houghton Mifflin)

Novelist and short story author Jack London, who was born in 1876 in San Francisco, was among the first Americans to become a financial success from writing. In 1897 with his brother-in-law he joined the Klondike Gold Rush, the setting for many of his later stories. Around 1900, after printing became inexpensive, many magazines went into publication seeking popular fiction to fill their pages. Married twice and the father of two daughters, Jack London died in 1916 and is buried in Jack London Historic State Park, in Glen Ellen, California. A surprising number of London’s stories may be classified as science fiction, including “The Enemy of All the World,” which Alex Burton will read next.
“The Enemy of All the World” by Jack London (36:53)
Collected in: The Science Fiction Stories of Jack London,
Edited by James Banks (Citadel Press)

 
Program 082
Dorothy Parker, Bernard MacLaverty, Sam Davis
This week’s program begins with short stories by American Dorothy Parker and Irishman Bernard MacLaverty, both of whom were screenwriters. Our third author is American Sam Davis.

Witty New York writer Dorothy Rothschild was born in 1893 and became Dorothy Parker after a brief marriage to Wall Street broker Edwin Parker. After a poem she wrote was published in Vanity Fair, she was hired by a sister publication Vogue. After moving two years later to Vanity Fair as movie critic, her career took off. Fired from the magazine that claimed her criticisms had become too harsh, she later went to work at the newly-formed The New Yorker. Moving with a second husband to Hollywood she worked on screenplays including A Star is Born. A declared Communist; she was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Returning to New York, Dorothy wrote book reviews for Esquire from 1957 to 1962. Following her death from a heart attack in 1967, her estate eventually passed, per her own will, to the NAACP, which placed her ashes in a memorial garden outside their Baltimore headquarters. The following Parker story, “Lady with a Lamp”, is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Lady With a Lamp” by Dorothy Parker (17:29)
Collected in: The Colected Stories of Dorothy Parker,
Dorothy Parker (Random House)

Author and playwright, Bernard MacLaverty, was born in Northern Ireland in 1942. He is best known for co-writing the screenplay for The Dawning about the Irish War of Independence, starring Anthony Hopkins. His novels include Cal that was made into a motion picture starring Helen Mirren, and Lamb which was adapted for the screen and starred Liam Neesom. MacLaverty now lives in Glasgow. He has written four collections of short stories including The Great Profundo & Other Stories from which Catherine Ritchie has chosen to read “Words the Happy Say.”
“Words the Happy Say” by Bernard MacLaverty (19:55)
Collected in: The Great Profundo and Other Stories,
Bernard MacLaverty (Grove Press)

Samuel Post Davis was born in Connecticut in 1850. Dropping out of seminary, he became a reporter, working in Nebraska, Missouri, and Chicago. In 1875 he settled in Virginia City, Nevada. With a fine wit, he became part of the Sagebrush School of writers that included Mark Twain. Davis died in 1918. Only recently have his works been rediscovered. Here is one of Davis’ humor pieces entitled “The First Piano in a Mining Camp,” read by David Horton.
“The First Piano in a Mining Camp” by Sam Davis (17:41)
Collected in: Mark Twain's Library of Humor,
edited by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, et.al. (Bonanza Books)

 
Program 083
Dorothy Parker, Pearl S. Buck
This week’s program features two American women born only a year and a couple hundred miles apart. The stories of Dorothy Parker, who was born in New Jersey in 1893, take place in New York and those of missionary Pearl S. Buck, who was born a year earlier in West Virginia, are placed in China.

Witty New York writer Dorothy Rothschild was born in 1893 and became Dorothy Parker after a brief marriage to Wall Street broker Edwin Parker. After a poem she wrote was published in Vanity Fair, she was hired by a sister publication Vogue. After moving two years later to Vanity Fair as movie critic, her career took off. Fired from the magazine that claimed her criticisms had become too harsh, she later went to work at the newly-formed The New Yorker. Moving with a second husband to Hollywood she worked on screenplays including A Star is Born. A declared Communist; she was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Returning to New York, Dorothy wrote book reviews for Esquire from 1957 to 1962. Following her death from a heart attack in 1967, her estate eventually passed, per her will, to the NAACP, which placed her ashes in a memorial garden outside their Baltimore headquarters. The following Parker story, “Here We Are,” is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Here We Are” by Dorothy Parker (20:19)
Collected in: The Colected Stories of Dorothy Parker,
Dorothy Parker (Random House)

Nobel and Pulitzer prize winner Pearl S. Buck was born in West Virginia in 1892. After her missionary parents were sent to China when she was 3, Pearl’s second language became English. Although she returned to America for college, she went back to China as a missionary from 1914 to 1933, when she moved with her second husband to Pennsylvania. Pearl died in 1973. Here is Susan Sipe reading “The Old Demon” by Pearl S. Buck.
“The Old Demon” by Pearl S. Buck (35:10)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 084
Elizabeth Bowen, Arthur C. Clarke, Colette
Our authors for this program are Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and one of France’s greatest women novelists, Colette. Their stories will be read by Midge Verhein, Sugie Dotson, and Joan Tallis.

Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899 but moved to England as a girl after her father became mentally ill. During World War II, she worked for the British Ministry of Information. The following work, “The Demon Lover” was published in 1945. Although mirrored after a medieval British ballad called “The Daemon Lover,” it reflects what World War II did to the mind and spirit of the English people. It is read by Midge Verhein.
“The Demon Lover” by Elizabeth Bowen (24:46)
Collected in: Fiction 100 - An Anthology of Short Stories, 2nd. Ed.,
James H. Pickering (Macmillan)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was born in the UK in 1917 and with, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, was one of the “Big Three” of science fiction. After serving as a radar specialist with the Royal Air Force during World War II, he studied mathematics and physics. Although best known for his science fiction stories, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was made into a major motion picture by Stanley Kubrik, Clarke also wrote technical articles on space flight. Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given annually to the best science fiction story published in the UK. The following story, “The Star,” is read by Sugie Dotson.
“The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke (16:12)
Collected in: Fiction 100 - An Anthology of Short Stories, 2nd. Ed.,
James H. Pickering (Macmillan)

One of France’s greatest women novelists, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who wrote under the pen name Colette, was born in the Burgundy region of France in 1873. She is best known for Gigi, which was the basis of the Lerner and Lowe musical of that name. Her fifty or so novels, Gigi included, often deal with struggles in relationships and sexual love. Most are quasi-autobiographical as she was married three times and had affairs with men, women, and a stepson. Like “The Gentle Libertine,” which Joan Tallis reads, her stories are recognized for femininity, clever dialog, and astute observation. Colette, who died in 1954, was buried in Paris, receiving a state funeral.
“The Gentle Libertine” by Colette (14:38)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

 
Program 085
Judith Ortiz Cofer, Shirley Jackson, Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Our authors today, all women, are Puerto Rican-born Judith Ortiz Cofer and American Shirley Jackson and Nina Hoffman. Their works will be read by Patti Wynne, Catherine Ritchie, and Sugie Dotson.

Puerto Rican author Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in Puerto Rico in 1952 but moved with her family to Paterson, New Jersey, in 1956. She attended Augusta College and now teaches at the University of Georgia. Her grandmother was an able storyteller and Judith’s writing reflects this. Female empowerment in Puerto Rican culture is one of her themes, which you will detect in the following short story, “Nada,” Spanish for “nothing,” read by Patti Wynne.
“Nada” by Judith Ortiz Cofer (23:29)
Collected in: Prize Stories 1994 the O. Henry Awards,
edited by William Abrahams (Doubleday)

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco and died at age 48 of heart failure. She was interested in witchcraft and believed she had supernatural powers, which perhaps explains why the style of her work has influenced Stephen King. She received the 1966 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Short Story: “The Possibility of Evil.” Her best known short story, which we previously read, “The Lottery,” was published in The New Yorker in 1948 and received more response than any that had been previously published. here is Catherine Ritchie reading the very clever “Of Course,” by Shirley Jackson.
“Of Course” by Shirley Jackson (11:21)
Collected in: The Lottey and Other Stories,
Shirley Jackson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Fantasy, horror and science fiction writer Nina Kiriki Hoffman was born in 1955 and has been featured in more than 200 various anthologies and magazines. She presently lives in Eugene, Oregon. From among her works, Sugie Dotson reads “Coming Home.”
“Coming Home” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (20:20)
Collected in: 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories,
Selected by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin F. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble)

 
Program 086
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mary Gordon, Adrian Dannatt
Authors of today’s short stories are Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Mary Catherine Gordon, and Adrian Dannatt. Their works will be read by Burt Kehoe, Catherine Ritchie, and Alison Doherty.

The sister of Edward Braddon, the Premier of Tasmania, Mary Elizabeth Braddon was born in London in 1835. Braddon produced some 75 novels with very inventive plots, such as the one that Burt Kehoe reads next, “The Cold Embrace.” Mary died in 1915 and is buried in Richmond, England.
“The Cold Embrace” by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (23:07)
Collected in: 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories,
Selected by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin F. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble)

Mary Catherine Gordon was born in New York in 1949 and now teaches English at Barnard College, from which she received an A.B. in 1971. Here is Catherine Ritchie reading “The Thorn” by Mary Gordon.
“The Thorn” by Mary Gordon (14:02)
Collected in: Temporary Shelter,
Mary Gordon (Random House)

Adrian Dannatt was born in 1963 and by age 26 his short stories had appeared in three publications. He is perhaps better known in Great Britain as the child actor who protrayed William in the London Weekend Television series Just William. Here is Alison Dougherty reading “Card Trick with Hearts” by Adrian Dannatt.
“Card Trick with Hearts” by Adrian Dannatt (18:04)
Collected in: Best English Short Stories - 1989,
Edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes (Norton)

 
Program 087
Paul Horgan
For the first time in the history of this program our one hour will be devoted to a single short story by a single author, Paul Horgan.

Paul Horgan was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1903 and moved to New Mexico in 1915. Also a non-fiction author, he twice won a Pulitzer Prize for History. He died in Connecticut in 1995. His short story, “The Peach Stone,” is read by Susan Sipe.
“The Peach Stone” by Paul Horgan (56:14)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

 
Program 088
Doris Lessing, Phyllis Bottome, Harriette Simpson Arnow
Our authors today, all women, are Doris Lessing who lived in South Africa, Phyllis Forbes-Dennis who lived in England, and American novelist Harriette Simpson Arnow. Their works will be read by Sugie Dotson and Catherine Ritchie.

Doris Lessing was born of British parents in present-day Iran in 1919 and she and her family later lived in Southern Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. After campaigning against nuclear weapons and South African apartheid, she was banned from South Africa and went to live in England in 1949. When she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 she was only the eleventh woman to win the award in its 106-year history and the oldest ever to win the award. Sugie Dotson reads “A Sunrise on the Veld” by Doris Lessing. Incidentally, veld refers to wide-open rural areas of South Africa.
“A Sunrise on the Veld” by Doris Lessing (21:15)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

Phyllis Forbes-Dennis, who wrote under her birth name, Phyllis Bottome, was born in Rochester, Kent, to an American father and British mother. Several of her stories have been made into motion pictures, including Heart of a Child starring Donald Pleasance, Danger Signal starring Zachary Scott, Mortal Storm with Jimmy Stewart and Robert Stack, and Private Worlds with Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer. Bottome studied psychoanalysis in Vienna and consequently Private Worlds took place in a psychiatric ward. Here is Sugie Dotson reading “The Liquer Glass,” by Phyllis Bottome.
“The Liqueur Glass” by Phyllis Bottome (21:01)
Collected in: Handbook for Poisoners,
selected and introduced by Raymond T. Bond (Collier)

American novelist Harriette Simpson Arnow was born in Kentucky in 1908 and was considered an expert on the people of the Southern Appalichian Mountains. Her most famous work is The Dollmaker which the basis for the made for TV movie of this name starring Jane Fonda and featuring Geraldine Page. Here is Catherine Ritchie reading “A Washerwoman’s Day” by Harriette Arnow.
“The Washerwoman's Day” by Harriette Simpson Arnow (12:45)
Collected in: The Collected Short Stories of Harriette Simpson Arnow,
Edited by Sandra L. Ballard and Haeja K. Chung (Michigan State University Press)

 
Program 089
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Steve Rasnic Tem
Today’s authors are Mary Freeman and Steve Rasnic Tem. Mary was born in New England in 1852, and Tem in Virginia 100 years later. Their works will be read by Midge Verhein and Patti Wynne.

Novelist Mary E. Wilkins Freeman was born in Massachusetts in 1852 and was for many years private secretary for Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. She began writing to earn money for the family. Mary died in 1930 and is buried in New Jersey. Because she spent most of her life in Massachusetts and Vermont, you find New England life reflected in her stories, including “The Revolt of Mother,” which is read by Midge Verhein.
“The Revolt of 'Mother'” by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (47:35)
Collected in: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2,
edited by Ronald Gottesman, et.al. (W.W. Norton)

Steve Rasnic Tem was born in the Appalachia area of Virginia in 1950. The author of more than 200 works, he has received a British Fantasy Award and been nominated for the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards. The following short story, read so very well by Patti Wynne, is entitled “Daddy” and appears in 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories.
“Daddy” by Steve Rasnic Tem (08:00)
Collected in: 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories,
Selected by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin F. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble)

 
Program 090
Nadine Gordimer, James Joyce, Eudora Welty
Our authors today are a diverse lot. They include South African-born political activist Nadine Gordimer, Dublin-born James Joyce, and Mississippian Eudora Welty.

Nadine Gordimer was born in South Africa in 1923. A political activist and Nobel Prize winner, she has dealt with moral and political issues. Active in apartheid issues, she has more recently been involved in HIV/AIDS causes. Many of her short stories have been published in The New Yorker. Here is Sugie Dotson reading “The Train from Rhodesia,” by Nadine Gordimer.
“The Train from Rhodesia” by Nadine Gordimer (13:11)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

James Joyce was born in 1882 in a Dublin suburb. Considered one of the best writers of the 20th Century, he is best known for Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. Although he spent most of his life outside Ireland, he placed most of his works within its borders. Joyce’s legacy is protected by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. Here is “Eveline,” written by James Joyce, and read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Eveline” by James Joyce (11:10)
Collected in: Dubliners,
James Joyce (Signet Classics)

Pulitzer Prize author Eudora Welty was born in 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi, where she spent most of her life. With William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Robert Penn Warren, and others, Welty was a prominent contributor to the Southern literary renaissance of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. She received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1980. Welty died of pneumonia in 2001 in Jackson where her home has been preserved. We have presented two of her works thus far. Here is Sugie Dotson reading “Petrified Man.”
“Petrified Man” by Eudora Welty (30:56)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

 
Program 091
Grace Paley, John Sayles, Fred Chappell
Three very diverse 20th Century Americans are our authors today: political activist Grace Paley, screenwriter and director John Sayles, and poet laureate Fred Chappel.

American short story author and political activist Grace Paley was born Grace Goodside to Jewish immigrant parents in 1922 in the Bronx. She attended school in New York and at age 20 married cinematographer Jess Paley. An anti-war protestor, she went to Hanoi to try to secure the release of prisoners during the Vietnam War and was arrested as one of “The White House Eleven” after unfurling a nuclear non-proliferation banner on the White House lawn. Paley died in August 2007. The following story, “The Loudest Voice,” is read by Sugie Dotson.
“The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley (14:08)
Collected in: Major Writers of Short Fiction,
Edited by Ann Charters (St. Martin's Press)

Screenwriter and film director John Sayles, who was born in New York in 1950, has written and directed more than 20 films including the upcoming Jurassic Park IV, Silver City, Lone Star, and Sunshine State. He has also written a number of novels and short stories, including the following “Dillinger in Hollywood,” read by Burt Kehoe.
“Dillinger in Hollywood” by John Sayles (30:42)
Collected in: TQ 20 - Twenty Years of the Best Contemporary Writing and Graphics from TriQuarterly Magazine,
Edited by Reginald Gibbons and Susan Hahn (Pushcart)

Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002, Fred Chappel was for 40 years an English professor at the University of North Carolina. Among his many awards include the T.S. Eliot Prize. From his works we have selected the very brief “Miss Prue,” read by Alison Doherty.
“Miss Prue” by Fred Chappell (10:09)
Collected in: 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories,
Selected by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin F. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble)

 
Program 092
Barry N. Malzberg, Leelila Strogov, Ring Lardner
In our last program I introduced works by three very diverse 20th Century Americans. Well, we do so again this week. They are science fiction and fantasy author Barry N. Malzberg, Fox News reporter Leelila Strogov, and sports columnist Ring Lardner. I suppose I can say that today’s readers are three 21st Century Americans: Susan Sipe, Catherine Ritchie, and Midge Verhein.

American science fiction and fantasy author and editor Barry N. Malzberg was born in 1939. Many of his works are considered pessimistic and designed to create a sense of unease, particularly like the following story, “Gehanna” read by Susan Sipe.
“Gehenna” by Barry N. Malzberg (14:40)
Collected in: Great Tales of Science Fiction,
Compiled by Robert Silverberg & Martin H. Greenberg (Galahad Books)

The author of our next short story is Emmy nominated Leelila Strogov, a reporter for Fox News 11 KTTV in Los Angeles. Many of her short stories and essays have been published including “Paper Slippers,” which is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Paper Slippers” by Leelila Strogov (11:15)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

Ringgold William Lardner, known as Ring Lardner, was an American sports columnist and short story author. Most of his works are satirical takes on marriage, sports, and theater. Born in Niles, Michigan, in 1885, he achieved his ambition by becoming a sportswriter, but eventually became known as one of America’s finest short story writers. Ring died in New York at age 48 from complication of Tuberculosis. In previous programs I have read two stories taking a satirical look at marriage “The Golden Honeymoon,” and “Ex Parte.” Here is Midge Verhein reading a third entitled “Who Dealt?”
“Who Dealt?” by Ring Lardner (30:06)
Collected in: The Oxford Book of Short Stories,
edited by V.S. Pritchett (Oxford University Press)

 
Program 093
Jenny Hall, Nancy Etchemendy
The two stories in today’s program are by contemporary female authors, Jenny Hall and Nancy Etchemendy.

A recent popular trend in short stories is the short short story. Recently published was Flash Fiction Forward, containing 80 very short stories. Here is one read by Catherine Ritchie entitled “Fab 4.” Written by Jenny Hall, it appeared first in The New Quarterly in 2003.
“Fab 4” by Jenny Hall (06:27)
Collected in: Flash Fiction Forward,
Edited by James Thomas and Robert Shapard (W.W. Norton & Co.)

Nancy Etchemendy was born in Reno, Nevada, in 1952. Her works span science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The following work, “Cat in Glass,” read by Midge Verhein, is found in American Gothic Tales. Incidentally, Nancy had a chance to preview Midge’s interpretation and was truly impressed. I know you will be, too.
“Cat in Glass” by Nancy Etchemendy (50:01)
Collected in: American Gothic Tales,
edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Plume)

 
Program 094
Bernard MacLaverty, Thorp McClusky
Male authors wrote today’s short stories: Bernard MacLaverty and Thorp McClusky. MacLaverty was born in Ireland and undoubtedly McClusky has an Irish ancestry.

Author and playwright, Bernard MacLaverty, was born in Northern Ireland in 1942. He is best known for co-writing the screenplay for The Dawning about the Irish War of Independence, starring Anthony Hopkins. His novels include Cal that was made into a motion picture starring Helen Mirren, and Lamb, which was adapted for the screen and starred Liam Neesom. MacLaverty now lives in Glasgow. He has written four collections of short stories including The Great Profundo & Other Stories from which Catherine Ritchie has chosen to read “The Assessment.”
“The Assessment” by Bernard MacLaverty (29:42)
Collected in: The Great Profundo and Other Stories,
Bernard MacLaverty (Grove Press)

Thorp McClusky was an author of horror stories, most of which were published in the 1930s and 40s. The following story, “Dark Mummery,” which is read by David Horton, appears in 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories.
“Dark Mummery” by Thorp McClusky (25:30)
Collected in: 100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories,
Selected by Stefan Dziemianowicz, Robert Weinberg, and Martin F. Greenberg (Barnes & Noble)

 
Program 095
Jessamyn West, Chrissy Kolaya, Arthur C. Clarke
Today’s program includes stories by three authors: Jessamyn West, Chrissy Kolaya, and Arthur C. Clarke. They will be read by Patti Wynne, Catherine Ritchie, and Marianne Szabo.

American Quaker author, Jessamyn West, was born in Indiana in 1902 and is best known for the The Friendly Persuasion, which was made into a major motion picture starring Gary Cooper. A second cousin of Richard Nixon, West died in 1984. Here is Patti Wynne reading “Lead Her Like a Pigeon,” by Jessamyn West.
“Lead Her Like a Pigeon” by Jessamyn West (19:37)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

Poet and short story author Chrissy Kolaya has had poems published in Crazyhorse, The North American Review, Salt Hill, and Iron Horse. The following short story from New Sudden Fiction “Swimming for Shore” read by Catherine Ritchie, appeared first in Crazyhorse in 2004.
“Swimming for Shore” by Chrissy Kolaya (11:39)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

Sir Arthur C. Clarke was born in the UK in 1917 and with, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, is one of the “Big Three” of science fiction. After his service as a radar specialist with the Royal Air Force during World War II, he studied mathematics and physics. Although best known for his science fiction stories, Clarke also wrote technical articles on space flight. Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. The Arthur C. Clarke Award is given annually to the best science fiction story published in the UK. Marianne Szabo next reads “The Sentinel,” which was the basis of the major motion picture by Stanley Kubric, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke (23:45)
Collected in: The Road to Science Fiction #3 From Heinlein to Here,
Edited by James Gunn (A Mentor Book)

 
Program 096
Ursula Hegi, Ernest Hemingway, Fritz Leiber
Today’s program includes stories by three authors. Oprah Book Club author Ursula Hegi, famed novelist Ernest Hemingway, and science fiction author Fritz Lieber.

Ursula Hegi was born in 1946 in West Germany but moved to the United States when she was 18. Her best-selling book was the Oprah Book Club novel Stones from the River and she has received many writing awards. From her many works Catherine Ritchie has chosen to read “Stolen Chocolates.”
“Stolen Chocolates” by Ursula Hegi (09:20)
Collected in: New Sudden Fiction,
edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Norton)

Born in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was one of the most famous and influential American writers of his time. His works strayed little from his own life, which was very colorful. Married four times, he was a soldier and war correspondent, big game hunter, and survived several near-fatal accidents. Hemingway committed suicide in 1961 after becoming extremely ill. Here is David Horton reading part one of “Big Two-Hearted River,” about a soldier back from World War I suffering from what we would call today post-traumatic stress syndrome and hoping to find serenity by returning to his boyhood activities.
“Big Two-Hearted River: Part I” by Ernest Hemingway (25:07)
Collected in: Major Writers of Short Fiction,
Edited by Ann Charters (St. Martin's Press)

Prolific fantasy, horror, and science fiction author Fritz Leiber (Lie-ber) was born in 1910. He is best known for the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, written over a period of 50 years. A portion was the basis of the game Dungeons and Dragons, for which Leiber received a substantial royalty. His stories were converted for TV’s Night Gallery and some were the basis of feature-length movies, such as Witches’ Brew starring Terri Garr and Lana Turner. Lieber, who died in 1992, was also an expert chess player and champion fencer. Here is Patti Wynne reading “A Bad Day for Sales.”
“A Bad Day for Sales” by Fritz Leiber (19:31)
Collected in: Great Tales of Science Fiction,
Compiled by Robert Silverberg & Martin H. Greenberg (Galahad Books)

 
Program 097
Kate Chopin, James C. Glass, Julia Alvarez
Authors of today’s short stories are Kate Chopin who was born in 1850 and contemporaries James Glass and Julia Alvarez.

American short story author Kate Chopin was born in 1850 the daughter of Thomas O’Flaherty a founder of the the Pacific Railroad who lost his life when a bridge on the train’s inaugural trip collapsed. With her husband, Kate moved to Louisiana, which accounts for the Cajun influence in her works. Chopin died in 1904 of cerebral hemorrhage. Here is Catherine Ritchie reading “The Recovery” by Kate Chopin.
“The Recovery” by Kate Chopin (09:21)
Collected in: A Vocation and a Voice - Stories by Kate Chopin,
Kate Chopin

A 1990 grand prize winner in the Writers of the Future Contest, James C. Glass began writing fulltime in 1999 after a career in molecular biophysics and superconductivity. From among his works, Marianne Szabo has selected “Helen’s Last Will,” which was published in Analog - Science Fiction and Fact in March 2008.
“Helen's Last Will” by James C. Glass (41:53)
Collected in: Analog - Science Fiction and Fact,
Vol. CXXVIII, No. 3, March 2008

Poet, novelist, and essayist, Julia Alvarez was born in New York in 1950 but was reared in the Dominican Republic until she was 10. Her most notable novel, In the Time of Butterflies, was made into a movie starring Salma Hayek. Catherine Ritchie reads her very short story “Snow” that appears in Flash Fiction.
“Snow” by Julia Alvarez (03:33)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

 
Program 098
Ambrose Bierce, Katherine Susannah Prichard
Today’s authors are Ambrose Bierce, whom we have from before, and Katherine Prichard whose name is spelled slightly different from my own. Bierce served in the Union Army during the Civil War and Prichard was married to a World War I hero.

Born in Ohio in 1842, Ambrose Bierce, the author of our next story was only 17 when he enlisted in the Union Army and his experiences during the Civil War colored his writing. Other common themes in his works are skepticism about American values and the philosophy that reversals in our lives are not arbitrary -- we contribute to them. He also enjoys shocking the reader with a trick or surprise ending, as you will detect in the following selection from his work, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek,” which David Horton reads. This particular work appears in several of my anthologies and has been adapted into at least four fims. It inspired the Doobie Brothers to record “I Cheat the Hangman,” and Kurt Vonnegut considered this short story one of the greatest works of American Literature and considered anyone who had not read it a “twerp.” Well, there will soon be no “twerps” in our audience.
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce (27:48)
Collected in: The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Vol. 2,
edited by Ronald Gottesman, et.al. (W.W. Norton)

Australian author Katherine Susannah Prichard was born in Fiji in 1883. She married World War I hero Hugh Throssell who received the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious for gallantry, which is presently on display in the Australian War Museum in Canberra. They had one son before Throssell committed suicide after financial setbacks of the Great Depression. Most of Prichard’s works take place in Western Australia, including the following short story, “The Gray Horse,” read by Alison Doherty.
“The Gray Horse” by Katherine Susannah Prichard (27:32)
Collected in: A World of Great Stories,
Edited by Hiram Haydn and John Cournos (Crown)

 
Program 099
Pamela Sewell, Flannery O'Connor
Two stories round out today’s program. Pamela Sewell is a contemporary ghost story writer and Flannery O’Conner, who died in 1964, placed most of her works in Georgia.

/Modern Ghost Stories By Eminent Women Writers includes a very striking piece entitled “Prelude” by Pamela Sewell whom the compilers describe as “one of the new generation of ghost-story writers, destined to keep this genre fresh and active.” The Chopin Prelude mentioned in the title and story is the famous “Raindrop Prelude” with the repeating D note to simulate rain. I chose this for Susan Sipe without realizing that she had played this piece, excerpts of which I will included throughout the story and at its conclusion. Here is Susan Sipe reading “Prelude” by Pamela Sewell.
“Prelude” by Pamela Sewell (24:24)
Collected in: Modern Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers,
Edited by Richard Dalby (Carroll & Graff)

Flannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925 and died in 1964 at age 39 from complications from Lupus, a hereditary disease which killed her father when she was just 15. An annual prize for literature given by the University of Georgia Press is named for O’Connor, who wrote two novels and 31 short stories. Barbara Daly reads “A Stoke of Good Fortune.” Her trademarks include foreshadowing and race is often a background issue, both features of which you will detect in this O’Connor story.
“A Stroke of Good Fortune” by Flannery O'Connor (31:12)
Collected in: Flannery O'Connor - The Complete Stories,
Flannery O'Connor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York)

 
Program 100
Alice Walker, Leo Tolstoy, Dorothy Parker
I am pleased to announce that today’s program is our one-hundredth. So for today’s centennial, I have chosen works by Alice Walker, Leo Tolstoy, and Dorothy Parker. I think you will enjoy them all.

Pulitzer Prize author Alice Walker was born in Georgia in 1944, the eighth child of sharecroppers. Best known for The Color Purple, she writes often about struggles of African-American women against racism and sexism. She has won also National Book and O. Henry awards. In the following short story, “Everyday Use,” read by Sugie Dotson, Walker employs sarcastic humor to depict the visit of the “successful” daughter.
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker (21:21)
Collected in: Major Writers of Short Fiction,
Edited by Ann Charters (St. Martin's Press)

Leo Tolstoy, born in 1828 in Central Russia, is considered one of the world’s greatest novelists, his most notable works being War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His desire to understand the rational and moral justification for life led him to eventually embrace the teachings of Jesus and his ideas on non-violent resistance influenced both Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The short story that follows, entitled “How Much Land Does a Man Need?,” read by Susan Sipe, appears in The Book of Virtues under the category of “self-discipline.” The father of 13 children, of whom five died in their youth, Tolstoy passed away in 1910.
“How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy (21:48)
Collected in: The Book of Virtues,
edited by William J. Bennett (Simon & Schuster)

Witty New York writer Dorothy Rothschild was born in 1893 and became Dorothy Parker after a brief marriage to Wall Street broker Edwin Parker. After a poem she wrote was published in Vanity Fair, she was hired by a sister publication Vogue. After moving two years later to Vanity Fair as movie critic, her career took off. Fired from the magazine that claimed her criticisms had become too harsh, she later went to work at the newly-formed The New Yorker. Moving with a second husband to Hollywood she worked on screenplays including A Star is Born. Returning to New York, Dorothy wrote book reviews for Esquire from 1957 to 1962. Following her death from a heart attack in 1967, her estate eventually passed, per her own will, to the NAACP, which placed her ashes in a memorial garden outside their Baltimore headquarters. The following Parker story, “You Were Perfectly Fine,” is read by Midge Verhein.
“You Were Perfectly Fine” by Dorothy Parker (12:10)
Collected in: Great Short Stories of the World,
selected by the editors of Reader's Digest (Reader's Digest)

 
Program 101
Shirley Jackson, Richard Hughes, Raymond Carver
Authors today are Americans Shirley Jackson and Raymond Carver and they are joined by British author Richard Hughes. Guest readers are Catherine Ritchie, Burt Kehoe, and Midge Verhein.

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco and died at age 48 of heart failure. She was interested in witchcraft and believed she had supernatural powers, which perhaps explains why the style of her work has influenced Stephen King. She received the 1966 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Short Story: “The Possibility of Evil.” Here, however, is one of her very clever works entitled “After You, My Dear Alphonse,” which is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“After You, My Dear Alphonse” by Shirley Jackson (07:56)
Collected in: First Fiction - An Anthology of the First Published Stories by Famous Writers,
Edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Peregrine Smith Books)

British Author Richard Hughes was born in Surrey of Welsh parents in 1900. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1946. Midge Verhein reads “The Ghost” by Richard Hughes.
“The Ghost” by Richard Hughes (10:25)
Collected in: Fireside Reader,
(Readers Digest Association)

American short story writer Raymond Carver was born in Oregon in 1938 and spent most of his life in California and Washington state. Carver divorced his first wife in 1982 after meeting poet Tess Gallagher in Dallas, Texas, in 1978. They married in Reno six weeks before his death in 1988. A New York Times article in 2006, citing the best fiction of the last 25 years, gave honorable mention to Carver. Carver grew up in a blue-collar family and had many menial jobs himself. Here is Burt Kehoe reading “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver.
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver (36:50)
Collected in: Major Writers of Short Fiction,
Edited by Ann Charters (St. Martin's Press)

 
Program 102
Will F. Jenkins, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Sheila Barry, Edith Nesbit
We have four authors today. Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 and both Murray Leinster and Marjorie Rawlings in 1896. Sheila Barry is still writing.

Science fiction and western author Murray Leinster, who wrote under the pen name Will F. Jenkins, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1896. He has written and published more than 1,500 short stories and articles, and hundreds of radio scripts and television plays. In a 1946 science fiction short story, Leinster describes a computer, which he calls a “logic,” connecting every home for communications, entertainment, data access, and commerce, decades before the Internet. Leinster was also the inventor of front-projection visual effects used in many major motion pictures, although it is now obsolete. The following short story, read by Burt Kehoe, “Side Bet,” may be found in Stories for Late at Night.
“Side Bet” by Will F. Jenkins (24:39)
Collected in: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late at Night,
Random House

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who was born in Washington, DC, in 1896, is best known for The Yearling that won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman. Like “The Yearling,” most of her novels take place in rural Florida. Rawlings died in St. Augustine in 1953, leaving her property to the University of Florida in Gainesville where a dormitory bears her name. A 41¢ postage stamp featured Rawlings’ image in 2008. Here is Catherine Ritchie reading “Miriam’s Houses,” by Marjorie Rawlings.
“Miriam's Houses” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (16:08)
Collected in: Short Stories by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings,
Edited by Rodger L. Tarr (Univ. of Fla. Press)

”Corners” by Sheila Barry appears in Flash Fiction, devoted to this very short version of fiction. It is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Corners” by Sheila Barry (04:21)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 in Kennington, Surrey, now part of Greater London. She is best known as a children’s book author and is considered to have originated the children’s adventure story. She has influenced numerous authors including C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and P.L. Tavers, the latter of whom is best known for Mary Poppins. Nesbit died in 1924. Here is “Uncle Abraham’s Romance” read by Burt Kehoe.
“Uncle Abraham's Romance” by Edith Nesbit (09:39)
Collected in: The World's Greatest Ghost Stories,
edited by Richard Dalby (Magpie Books, London)

 
Program 103
Marlene Buono, Berlie Doherty, E. Nesbit, Mary Robison
It’s has been my pleasure to voice and produce two years of “An Hour of Short Stories” for North Texas Radio for the Blind. I’m sorry to announce to my loyal listeners that I no longer have time available to continue the program after the end of 2008. I am joining Virginia Cook, Realtors, and need to fully devote my energies to this endeavor. Well back to the program. Our finale offers short stories by four women: Americans Marlene Buono and Mary Robison, and British Berlie Doherty and Edith Nesbit. We hope you enjoy them all.

”Offerings” by Marlene Buono appears in Flash Fiction, devoted to this very short version of fiction, and was originally published in 1991 in the periodical Story. It is read by Catherine Ritchie.
“Offerings” by Marlene Buono (05:28)
Collected in: Flash Fiction,
edited by James Thomas, et. al. (Norton)

Children’s book author Berlie Doherty was born in Liverpool in 1943. A novelist, poet, playwright, and screenwriter, she has written many plays for radio, which she describes as “a wonderful medium to write for, inviting as it does both writer and listener to use their imaginations, to ‘see’ with their mind’s eye.” And we invite you do just that as Alison Doherty reads “Bad Boy” by Berlie Doherty.
“The Bad Boy” by Berlie Doherty (20:07)
Collected in: Best English Short Stories - 1989,
Edited by Giles Gordon and David Hughes (Norton)

Edith Nesbit was born in 1858 in Kennington, Surrey, now part of Greater London. She is best known as a children’s book author and is considered to have originated the children’s adventure story. She has influenced numerous authors including C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and P.L. Tavers, the lattrer of whom is best known for Mary Poppins. Nesbit died in 1924. Here is a ghost story by Edith Nesbit entitled “No. 17,” read by Burt Kehoe.
“No. 17” by E. Nesbit (22:08)
Collected in: Modern Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers,
Edited by Richard Dalby (Carroll & Graff)

American novelist and short story writer Mary Robison was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. One of her short stories, “Sisters,” appeared in The New Yorker in 1977, and it has been followed by two dozen more. She is now a professor at the University of Florida. Here is Catherine Ritchie reading “Yours” by Mary Robison.
“Yours” by Mary Robison (05:55)
Collected in: Sudden Fiction - American Short-Short-Stories,
Edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas (Peregrine Smith Books)


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