Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe uses gentle humor to make his point in his story performed by Arthur French. Humorist Simon Rich hilariously proves nothing is sacred (yet again) in a story read by comedian Wyatt Cenac. Finally, a feisty voter gets the last word in“Taking Ms. Kezee to the Polls,” by David Haynes, read by Michael Genét.
The first of our three stories is by the late, great Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Achebe's first novel, Things Fall Apart, marked him as the leading voice in post-Colonial African literature. Other works include Anthills of the Savannah and Hopes and Impediments. Achebe is the recipient of the Man Booker International Prize and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, among other awards, and also had a distinguished academic career. Although much of his work was about the struggles facing his country, "The Voter" makes its points with gentle humor: The rival parties in a small village will use any means to win, and an ambitious campaign worker has a dilemma. Reader Arthur French has enjoyed a long career on stage, film, and television, including roles in "Two Trains Running," "The Master Builder," "Car Wash," and "'Round Midnight."
Our next work is by humorist Simon Rich, whose books include the novels Elliot Allagash and What in God's Name, and the collections Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations; The Last Girlfriend on Earth; Spoiled Brats; and Free-Range Chickens. He's a former "Saturday Night Live" writer who contributes regularly to The New Yorker, so as you might imagine, nothing is sacred. In “Occupy Jen’s Street," Rich re-imagines a world-famous protest movement as a doomed courtship. Reader Wyatt Cenac describes himself on his website as "comedy person," which about sums up his career on stage, film, and television, where he's appeared on "The Daily Show," in his own comedy specials "Night Train" and "Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn," in the films "Sleepwalk with Me" and "Hits" among others, and in the series "People of Earth” and “Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas.”
Our final story about politics and voting is one of our favorites--David Haynes’ “Taking Ms. Kezee to the Polls". The irrepressible title character, an elderly woman who has been voting for fifty years, gives her volunteer driver a lesson in life. The reader is Michael Genet, whose television work includes "The Equalizer," appearances on all three shows in the "Law & Order" franchise, and "Ugly Betty." He has authored screenplays for the films "She Hate Me" and "Talk to Me," and appeared in "She Hate Me," and director Spike Lee's "25th Hour," among other works.