Selected Shorts:
what we talk about when we talk about love

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, and all the stores full of hearts and candy, Selected Shorts turns its mind to stories of love. But as anyone who has ever been in love knows, it is a complicated business, and often more like the day after Valentine’s Day, when those heart-shaped boxes get moved to the discount aisle. There, under the fluorescent lights, love gets a more realistic viewing, the flaws laid bare along with the sweetness. Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” (performed this week by the great Leonard Nimoy) is famous for looking at love straight in the face and not flinching. (The story was also made famous in this New Yorker article, which revealed the behind-the-scenes relationship between Raymond Carver and his long-time editor, Gordon Lish.) Writers around the world have been heavily influenced by this seemingly simple tale about two couples drinking and swapping stories, including  Nathan Englander, who titled his latest collection, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. The second selection in our Valentine’s Day offering is “The Getaway” by Dorothy Thomas, performed by Mia Dillon. Here a lonely housewife looking for romance and excitement tries to run away from home, only to find that the hang-on-to-your-ankles, refusing to budge, kicking and roaring kind of love that comes with family is usually the kind that lasts. Download these great love stories via podcast, or listen the old-fashioned way, on your local public radio station.