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Selected Shorts

PRI

Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

PRI

Panoply

Description:

Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Language:

English

Contact:

Selected Shorts c/o Symphony Space 2537 Broadway New York, NY 10025-6990 212-864-5400


Episodes

Forgiving and Forgetting

5/13/2021
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories about transgression, misunderstandings, and betrayal. “Initials Etched on a Dining Room Table Lockeport Nova Scotia” call up a host of memories in this story by Peter Orner, performed by Maulik Pancholy. A chef down on his luck gets a new start in “Ollie’s Back,” by Lynn Sloan, performed by Nate Corddry. And parents disagree about the raising of a lively daughter, in “Light,” by Lesley Nneka Arimah, performed by Crystal Dickinson. Join and...

Duration:00:57:15

Revise the Rules

5/6/2021
Guest host Roxane Gay presents three stories in which personal codes and rules of behavior are tested. In “Miss Laura’s School for Esquire Men,” by Carmen Maria Machado, hopelessly macho men are learning to be kinder and gentler. The reader is Emily Skeggs. A schoolroom friendship comes at a high price in “Rubberdust” by Sarah Thankam Mathews, performed by Purva Bedi. The story was included in Best American Short Stories 2020 by guest editor Curtis Sittenfeld. A highly principled dogwalker...

Duration:00:59:56

Mending Families

4/29/2021
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories about families. In Heather Monley’s “Paddle to Canada,” a risky family boating trip becomes contested history. Jenna Ushkowitz is the reader. And Jamel Brinkley’s “A Family” shows people coming together in unexpected ways after a loss. Brandon J. Dirden performs this Best American Short Stories 2019 selection. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...

Duration:00:57:23

Reading the Russians with George Saunders

4/22/2021
Guest host Kate Burton presents three Russian classics that reflect on the humor, humanism, and poetry of this great literary tradition, from an evening curated by Saunders. In addition to his award-winning short-story anthologies and novel, Saunders teaches at Syracuse University. In “After the Theatre,” by Anton Chekhov, a young girl writes imaginary love letters. The reader is Donna Lynne Champlin. “The Porcelain Doll” by Leo Tolstoy is based on a letter he wrote to his young...

Duration:01:06:35

Too Hot For Radio: Tiphanie Yanique "The Special World"

4/19/2021
A gorgeous story read by actor Hampton Fluker (The Blind Side, Patriots Day, and Shades of Blue) about race, leaving home, and the dramas of young life. After the reading, host Aparna Nancherla talks with the delightful author Tiphanie Yanique about, well, just about everything. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:46:58

Make ‘Em Laugh: A Celebration of James Thurber

4/15/2021
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents a program celebrating the great American humorist in some of the many genres in which he was drop-dead funny. Thurber confesses that he’s all thumbs in “I Break Everything I Touch,” performed by Keith Olbermann. Who knew that The Bard wrote whodunnits? Find out who in “The Macbeth Murder Mystery,” performed by Michael McKean and Susannah Rogers. Kristine Nielsen, Susannah Rogers, and Keith Olbermann perform a selection of Thurber’s fables, and McKean reads...

Duration:00:57:47

Test the Waters

4/8/2021
Guest host Hope Davis presents two coming-of-age stories that mingle memory, rebirth, and water. Davis herself reads Elizabeth McCracken’s “It’s Not You,” in which a young woman checks into a grand hotel to cure a broken heart. And from Isaac Babel, the Russian-Jewish author who wrote beguiling tales about the seamy side of early 20th century Odessa, comes "In the Basement.” It has a familiar premise—the unlikely friendship between a poor boy and a rich one. But Babel’s lush descriptions and...

Duration:00:56:50

Afterlife

4/1/2021
Guest host John Darnielle presents favorite works that reflect on life, death and what comes next. He reads Robert Browning’s chilling poem “My Last Duchess;” Molly Ringwald performs “No More Loves,” by Javier Marias, in which a ghost learns to read. Kirsten Vangsness performs Neil Gaiman’s “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11 ¼. The heroine of Robert Aickman’s “Le Miroir,” is mesmerized by an antique looking glass. The reader is Kathryn Erbe. Join and...

Duration:00:57:38

Gravitational Forces

3/25/2021
Guest host Hope Davis presents three stories involving irresistible impulses and twists of fate. In Shirley Jackson’s “What a Thought” an awful idea threatens a happy marriage. It’s read by Andrea Martin. A science teacher has a crush in Jess Walter’s “Magnificent Desolation,” read by Bobby Cannavale. And “Draft Day” affects the lives of childhood friends from different backgrounds in Rattawut Lapcharoensap’s story, read by BD Wong. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:58:03

No Place Like Home: Best American Short Stories

3/18/2021
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two selections from the 2018 Best American Short Stories anthology, with comments by guest editor, Roxane Gay. In “Suburbia,” by Amy Silverberg, a young girl leaves home for the first time, and both she, and it, are transformed. The reader is Martha Plimpton. “Everything is Far from Here,” by Cristina Henriquez, goes to the heart of the country’s immigration crisis with an affecting portrait of a migrant mother and her son. It’s performed by Zabryna...

Duration:00:57:58

Little Rebellions

3/11/2021
Guest host Roxane Gay presents three stories about resisting the inevitable, and testing the status quo. The title tells all in Haruki Murakami’s “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning,” read by Randall Park. A girl is tutored in fly tying by her father in Elizabeth Winthrop’s “The Golden Darters,” read by Ann Dowd, and a boy disappoints his wizard parents in “The Accountant,” by Robert Sheckley, read by Nate Corddry. Join and give!:...

Duration:01:00:33

Too Hot For Radio: Kirsty Gunn "Dangerous Dog"

3/8/2021
Read by actress Kirsten Vangsness, this Jane Eyre fan fiction imagines Mr. Rochester as a pit bull. After the story, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Jane Eyre expert, author Patricia Park, about the enduring allure of Charlotte Brontë's novel. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:35:42

Dance in America

3/4/2021
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents works celebrating dance. A domineering mother uses an evening at the ballet to find fault in "My Mother Explains the Ballet to Me,” by Jesse Eisenberg, performed by Patricia Kalember. A pioneering African-American dancer remembers an audition in “Léonide Massine,” by Janet Collins, performed by Carmen de Lavallade. A magical garment transforms its owner in “The Cape,” by Ben Loory, performed by Tony Yazbeck. And the “Tango” undermines a stuffy WASP...

Duration:00:57:15

There's More to the Story

2/25/2021
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents four tales with unexpected twists and turns. We begin with his reading of “Riding Solo,” Simon Rich’s re-telling of the Paul Revere legend. An Italian holiday offers revelations to a group of tourists in Laura van den Berg’s “The Cult of Mary,” performed by Colby Minifie; Philip K. Dick’s “The Eyes Have It,” has a joke at the expense of a literal-minded reader; Paul Giamatti performs. And two masters meet in Carmen de Lavallade’s reading of Alice Walker’s...

Duration:00:59:55

Courtship and What Comes After

2/18/2021
Guest host Jane Curtin offers up tales of courtship and its consequences. In “Prince Amilec,” by Tanith Lee, a handsome prince pursues a beautiful princess, but it’s not the same old, same old fairy tale. Gildart Jackson performs. A couple explores their relationship in a humorous piece by A.M. Homes. “Be Mine” is performed by Sanjit De Silva and Adina Verson. And in “The Idea of Marcel,” by Marie-Helene Bertino, a breakup leads ex lovers to reboot each other. It’s performed by Jenna...

Duration:00:57:42

Unexpected Endings

2/11/2021
Guest host Kevin Kwan presents two stories with unexpected twists. In Italo Calvino’s satirical fantasy, “A General in the Library” a military tribunal investigates seditious books. Selected Shorts’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer is the reader. Old friends reunite—and revisit their shared past—in Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever,” performed by Bebe Neuwirth. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...

Duration:01:01:30

Not Quite Human

2/4/2021
Guest host John Darnielle presents two of his favorite weird stories. In Amparo Davila’s “Moses and Gaspar,” a grieving man has inherited two—creatures—from his dead brother. But what in the world are they? Peter Jay Fernandez reads. A slick salesman has a little something extra up his sleeve in Dennis Etchison’s “The Pitch,” read by Michael Shannon. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:56:32

Too Hot for Radio: Tony Tulathimutte "Saint Pantaleone"

2/2/2021
Our story today addresses, or should I say undresses - why snacking on your underwear might not be all that’s promised on the box. In this hilarious story written by Tony Tulathimutte, the narrator, played by actor Maulik Pancholy, is taking on the edible underpants industry. Later host Aparna Nancherla talks to the author about the inspiration for his story. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy...

Duration:00:20:41

Distance Learning

1/28/2021
Guest host Roxane Gay presents three works about considering people and feelings at a distance. Italian fabulist Italo Calvino observes young love on the slopes in “The Adventure of a Skier,” performed by James Naughton. In Edwidge Danticat’s “New York Day Women” a daughter watches her mother walking through Manhattan. The reader is Laurine Towler. And the James Baldwin grapples with what it means to be an American in "Notes for a Hypothetical Novel," performed by Brandon J. Dirden. Join and...

Duration:01:03:35

Sex and Vanity

1/21/2021
Guest host, Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan presents stories on themes he’s been interested in ever since F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired him to start writing as a teen—the nature of privilege, and the obsession with appearance and social status. In “Little Miss International Goodwill” by Doretta Lau, a young girl doesn’t seem to fit in at home or at school. The story is performed by Annie Q. Virginia Woolf elegantly weighs the balance of power between an aristocrat and a merchant in “The...

Duration:01:00:09