Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about emotional transitions—what happens after divorce, or the death of a loved one? In our first, prankish story by Ron Carlson, lunch with an ex becomes an Olympic sport. The reader is Sean Astin. Tom Barbash’s thoughtful story “The Women” explores the very different ways a father and son cope with the loss of a wife and mother. Michael Imperioli is the reader. And we finish with an elegant classic by the French writer Colette, read by Barbara Barrie. A married couple encounters “The Other Wife” at lunch.
In our first, prankish story by Ron Carlson, lunch with an ex becomes an Olympic sport. Carlson is the author of two other SHORTS favorites--“Plan B for the Human Race,” and “The H Street Sledding Record.” Carlson is also the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, most recently Return to Oakpine. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, and GQ, and has been featured on “This American Life” as well as in Best American Short Storiesand The O. Henry Prize Stories. His novella, “Beanball,” was selected for Best American Mystery Stories.
The reader is Sean Astin. Astin’s film and television credits include “The Goonies,” the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “50 First Dates,” “24,” “Meerkat Manor,” “The Strain,” “Bunnicula,” “Gloria,” and “Stranger Things.” He is the author of a memoir, There and Back Again.
Our second work is Tom Barbash’s thoughtful story “The Women,” which explores the very different ways a father and son cope with the loss of a wife and mother. Tom Barbash is the author of the New York Times-bestselling nonfiction work On Top of the World, the short story collection Stay Up With Me, and the novel The Last Good Chance, winner of the California Book Award and a Publishers Weekly book of the year. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and is a former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University and graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. Barbash currently teaches in the MFA program at the California College of the Arts.
Reader Michael Imperioli is best known for his role on “The Sopranos,” for which he won an Emmy Award. Additional television credits include “Californication,” “Lucifer,” “Law & Order,” “Life on Mars,” “Blue Bloods,” “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Hawaii Five-0,” and “Mad Dogs.” He also appeared in the films “Goodfellas,” “Jungle Fever,” “Bad Boys,” “The Basketball Diaries,” “Clockers,” “Dead Presidents,”” Lean on Me,” “I Shot Andy Warhol,” “Last Man Standing,” “Summer of Sam,” which he co-wrote and co-produced, and most recently, “Cabaret Maxime.” In 2008, Imperioli wrote and directed his first feature film, “The Hungry Ghosts.” Upcoming films include “The Last Full Measure.”
The program concludes with an elegant classic by the French writer Colette. A married couple encounters “The Other Wife” at lunch. Colette (1873-1954) was born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, and published dozens of novels, novellas, and short stories in her long career as a woman of letters, mime, actress and journalist. These included the Claudine and Cheri stories, and most famously, her 1944 novella Gigi, which was made into a film starring Audrey Hepburn, Louis Jourdan, and Maurice Chevalier. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Colette would be taken to heart by today’s reinvigorated feminist movement—her first husband, Willy, published her early work under his own name, and locked her in her room when she eventually demanded credit.
Reader Barbara Barrie’s many Broadway credits include her Tony Award-nominated performance in “Company,” and she has performed several times with the New York Shakespeare Festival. Her films include”Breaking Away” (Academy Award nomination) and” One Potato, Two Potato” (Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival). Her work on television includes appearances on “Nurse Jackie” and “Enlightened.” She is also the author of three books, Second Act, Lone Star and Adam Zigzag.