This week on Selected Shorts we feature two stories by the great Irish writer Edna O’Brien, celebrating the release of her latest collection of stories, Saints & Sinners (which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize last month). O’Brien began her career nearly 50 years ago with the publication of her first novel (part of a trilogy), The Country Girls, which spoke so frankly of women’s sexuality that it was banned and publicly burned. The writer Thomas McCarthy (one of the judges for the O’Connor prize this year) said of O’Brien: “She is the Solzhenitsyn of Irish life – the one who kept speaking when everyone else stopped talking about being an Irish woman. It was the magisterial honesty of her work that came across more than anything else – her ability to be both contemporary and, yes, to carry all of the wagons and trailers of Irish life over 50 years behind her.” To learn more about the fierce and fearless O’Brien and her work, go here. In the meantime, you can listen to this week’s show, which features O’Brien’s story “Sinners,” performed by Cynthia Nixon and “Black Flower,” performed by Colum McCann. As an added bonus, keeping with the Saints & Sinners theme, you’ll also hear our own Isaiah Sheffer performing one of my favorite Robert Coover stories, “Going for a Beer.” Go here to find your local time/station, here for podcasts!