Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

Short Stories Out Loud


I frequently happen upon Selected Shorts on NPR midway through a story and go through a predictable course of thinking: I’ve missed the first part of the story. I should just download the podcast and hear it from the top. Wow, that sentence was brilliant. What the heck is going on here? And then I end up listening to the conclusion of the story and enjoying it immensely.

Now that I’m in New York, I hope to make it to one of the live stage performances of Selected Shorts. If you’re lucky enough to already have a ticket, on May 26th Selected Shorts will celebrate the stories of This American Life with an evening featuring Ira Glass, Mike Birbiglia and Elna Baker. Just in time for Short Story Month, this evening is also a part of New York Book Week. I’m excited for the Audience Favorites performance on June 9, when three stories nominated and chosen by listeners over the past season will be read onstage.

espressoBut no matter where you are, a short story read aloud is a very fine thing, so check out your local library or bookstore to see if any authors are visiting or giving readings. I’ve also been thinking a short story supper club might be the busy friends’ solution to the book group. Each week or month, one person could read a favorite short story after dinner or over a cup of coffee, discussion to follow. Pre-reading not a requirement.

What are some of your ideas about how to celebrate the read-out-loud story?

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