Selected Shorts-logo

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, from 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, from 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, from Symphony Space.

Language:

English

Contact:

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


Episodes

TAKING FLIGHT WITH AMY TAN

9/29/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works featuring birds, curated by writer and bird aficionado Amy Tan. Ben Loory’s “The Frog and the Bird,” is a twist the traditional fable genre; it’s performed by Mike Doyle. Teenagers are transformed in “Town of Birds,” by Heather Monley, performed by Yetide Badaki; and an avian love song goes viral in Mikkel Rosengaard’s “The Mating Call,” performed by BD Wong. Tan comments on the program’s theme and the stories.

Duration:01:01:16

Great Escapes

9/22/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works that contemplate a way out—of our lives, and even of this world. In Joe Meno’s “Books You Read,” performed by Joan Allen, a young boy helps his jaded teacher to love reading again. J. Robert Lennon takes us into deep space and a conversation between a computer and a survivor in “Escape Pod W41,” performed by Stephen Lang. And marriage, and a friendship, are tested in Jac Jemc’s “Infidelity,” performed by Kathleen Chalfant. All three stories were...

Duration:01:01:09

Wear and Tear

9/15/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works that offer unusual perspectives on clothes and fashion—selling, making, and coveting. In Anne Enright’s “(She Owns) Everything,” read by Mary-Louise Parker, a saleswoman becomes a compulsive consumer; In “Clothes on the Ground: A Conversation with Leap,” we hear from a Cambodian garment worker, interviewed by Julia Wallace for the compendium Women in Clothes, edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton. Leap is voiced by Jennifer Lim. And...

Duration:00:59:10

Out of Sight

9/8/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer shares three stories about people who put things out of sight—and try to put them out of mind. In Lisa Ko’s “Nightlife,” read by Vanessa Kai, a pair of friends quietly sidestep feelings that might complicate their relationship. A teacher tries to help a parent see who her child really is in “The Hole” by Patrick Cottrell, performed by Becca Blackwell. And Elizabeth Strout brings us a beautiful and devastating story of a woman grappling with whether to put her mother into...

Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks to Elizabeth Strout

9/8/2022
In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to friend and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout about writing, short stories, and the use of recurring characters in her work.

Duration:00:11:15

Rites & Rituals

9/1/2022
Guest host David Sedaris offers three stories that question social rites. “Cultural Relativity” is Charles Johnson’s witty retelling of a classic fairy tale; it’s read by Regina King. Zadie Smith reads her own “Lazy River”—ostensibly about a failed holiday in Spain, but also a deft satire about Brexit, class, and exploitation. And the cantankerous spinster In Jean Stafford’s “The Hope Chest” has a Dickensian moment of grace. Dana Ivey is the reader.

Duration:00:59:10

Embracing Change

8/25/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about change. A playful fantasy, a domestic dilemma, and a private struggle help us to adjust to the idea of transformation, losses, and gains. In “Sea Monster,” by Seth Fried, performed by Natasha Rothwell, a husband and wife reveal their secret identities to each other. In “Death by Printer,” by Mira Jacob, a widow learns to cope with loss—and technology. And a mature woman embraces the self she is becoming in Maile Meloy’s “Period Piece,” performed...

Duration:00:58:24

What's Your Story?

8/18/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about the act of writing and how it can remake us--a prankish skit; a playful and tender investigation of creating with words; and a fraught social encounter between two characters who don’t ‘get’ each other’s stories. B.J. Novak takes the old saying “Great Writers Steal” literally in a short piece read by Novak and Aasif Mandvi. In Etgar Keret’s “Creative Writing” a wife writes her way out of grief. It’s read by Alex Karpovsky. A dinner party becomes...

Duration:01:04:23

What's Left Behind

8/11/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three diverse stories that look at what gets left behind when life changes, gradually or suddenly. Restless retirees try on the ultimate next step in Greg Ames’ funny “Funeral Platter,” performed by Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole. The family in Julia Alvarez’s “Liberty” are on their way to a new life in America, but it’s difficult leaving the old one behind. The reader is Laura Gómez. And a trainer of guide dogs for the blind learns how to let go, in Amy...

Duration:00:59:39

Hitched

8/4/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three pieces about marriages that outlive the romance. In Etgar Keret’s “A World without Selfie Sticks,” performed by Tate Donovan, a man meets the woman of his dreams; but she’s from an alternate universe. “On the Honeymoon,” by Javier Marias, a husband has a strange encounter with a woman in the street. It’s read by Ivan Hernandez. And in Duncan Birmingham’s “The Cult In My Garage,” performed by Michaela Watkins, an old college buddy turns up, and he’s got a...

Duration:00:59:40

Too Hot for Radio Rabih Alameddine: "The Prom Terrorists"

8/1/2022
An FBI probe into potential terrorists at a prom is the perfect setup for this high-paced satire that covers youth, sex, politics, religion, education, and the government. Written by the award-winning author of Wrong End of the Telescope, and read by Raffi Barsoumian (DC's Legends of Tomorrow and The Vampire Diaries). It was one of the pieces commissioned by Selected Shorts for its new anthology, Small Odysseys. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:32:57

You've Lost It

7/28/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three pieces about losing things: objects, opportunities, a primary sense, a new friendship. In “Any Other” by Jac Jemc, performed by Helen Hong, a woman rejects an offer without knowing the consequences. Namwali Serpell’s “Noseless” is about a loss many experienced during the pandemic; it’s performed by Kyrstina Alabado, Deborah S. Craig, Zach Grenier, and Calvin Leon Smith. And Lauren Groff’s “Such Small Islands” charts the perilous course of a childhood...

Duration:00:58:29

Truly, Madly

7/21/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about the course of true love, from two very different perspectives. Sigrid Nunez explores a roller-coaster romance in a small town in “This Is It,” performed by Christina Pickles, and Simon Rich offers up Stone-Age love in a small cave in “I Love Girl.” It’s performed by Michael Ian Black, who also chats with Wolitzer about what he’s been reading and the tricky business of being funny. Join and give!:...

Duration:00:59:45

Host Meg Wolitzer Talks to Comedian Michael Ian Black

7/21/2022
In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to comedian and writer Michael Ian Black about what he’s been reading and the tricky business of being funny. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage

Duration:00:19:22

TRY THIS ON: STORIES FROM AN EVENING WITH NEW YORK MAGAZINE’S ‘THE CUT’

7/14/2022
This week we reprise a great show from our archives: guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories from New York Magazine’s online portal “The Cut,” which combines art, journalism, and the kind of fresh contemporary fiction that speaks to us. On this program, a woman tries on different identities, as well as clothes, in a dress shop fitting room, in “Fully Zipped” by Shelly Oria, performed by Katja Blichfeld. A new mother can’t seem to get the hang of breastfeeding in Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Bad...

Duration:00:56:41

COMING AND GOING

7/7/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories about journeys, both physical and emotional. Strangers size one another up on a busy city bus in Kurt Vonnegut’s “City,” performed by Bhavesh Patel and Sarah Steele. An excerpt from James Baldwin’s Another Country takes us on a frantic subway ride toward an ultimate moment. It is performed by Nathan Hinton. Hopeful immigrants try to reach America in a dubious boat in “The Long Voyage” by Leonardo Sciascia, performed by John Turturro. And a man in...

Duration:01:02:06

Who? What? Where?

6/30/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that ask the big, basic questions: Who? What? Where? The characters resonate, the situations are intriguing, and each offers a fully realized world. In “What Animal Are You?,” by Etgar Keret, performed by Willem Dafoe, a celebrity writer and his son play themselves for the media. In Rumaan Alam’s “Nothing Can Come Between Us,” performed by Nathan Hinton, a man goes into sensory overdrive. And a fierce and traditional grandmother tries to find her...

Duration:01:02:48

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

6/30/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that ask the big, basic questions: Who? What? Where? The characters resonate, the situations are intriguing, and each offers a fully realized world. In “What Animal Are You?,” by Etgar Keret, performed by Willem Dafoe, a celebrity writer and his son play themselves for the media. In Rumaan Alam’s “Nothing Can Come Between Us,” performed by Nathan Hinton, a man goes into sensory overdrive. And a fierce and traditional grandmother tries to find her...

Duration:01:02:48

Ferocious Figureheads

6/23/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about indomitable women. A mother grieves a loss fiercely in Carribean Fragoza’s “Lumberjack Mom,” performed by Roberta Colindrez. And Richard Yates’ classic “Fun with a Stranger” offers a portrait of an unforgettable teacher. It’s performed by Marian Seldes. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:58:30

Dangerous Women

6/16/2022
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works about women who defy the status quo and might therefore be perceived as “dangerous.” In Margaret Atwood’s “Unpopular Gals,” fairy-tale archetypes reclaim their power. The reader is Ann Harada. A boisterous and brilliant student threatens to upend the order of her high school in Shanteka Sigers’ “A Way with Bea,” performed by Pascale Armand. And a Victorian-era wife fights for her sanity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic “The Yellow Wallpaper,”...

Duration:00:58:30