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Storytelling

Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts / Panoply

+23 FANS
Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.
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ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

1:00:57 | Nov 30th, 2017

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents stories in which trusting your senses is important.  In Jeanne Dixon’s “Blue Waltz with Coyotes,” a rebellious farm girl flirts with danger. It’s read by Mia Dillon.  And Aimee Bender creates a fairytale for our t...Show More
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1:01:05 | Jan 4th, 2018

Guest host Denis O’Hare presents three stories that take things to extremes.  In Simon Rich’s “Distractions,” we learn about a global conspiracy.  Errin Hayes reads.  The misanthrope in Douglas Lawson’s “Love in a Kitchen Garden” is cruel to his gard...Show More
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58:42 | Sep 12th

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about characters who are a little larger than life.

59:40 | Sep 5th

Guest host Krista Tippett, of On Being, presents short fiction and poems that confront issues of art, faith, and spirituality.

59:08 | Aug 29th

On this SELECTED SHORTS, hosted by Jane Kaczmarek, we explore hidden emotions.

20:35 | Aug 26th

A fantastic story by the acclaimed writer read by actress Danielle Brooks with just a little too much adult content for the radio.

1:00:36 | Aug 22nd

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents three stories about curious courtships.

59:05 | Aug 15th

Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories that are favorites of novelist and screenwriter Richard Price ("Lush Life," "The Wire") and Colson Whitehead remembers his personal New York. Maggie Gyllenhaal reads Isaac Babel’s tale of local crime and po...Show More

59:06 | Aug 8th

On Being's Krista Tippett hosts SELECTED SHORTS this week, presenting works that look at issues of art and faith.

59:03 | Aug 1st

Guest host Denis O’Hare presents a program that features great two-hander stories, each performed by a pair of actors that brings out the best in them.

18:26 | Jul 29th

Comedian David Cross reads Etgar Keret's story "Jet Lag."

59:46 | Jul 25th

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories about transgression, misunderstandings, and betrayal.

59:06 | Jul 18th

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents love the modern way in two stories and a selection of posts to OK Cupid.

59:06 | Jul 11th

Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully funny stories.

59:02 | Jul 4th

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories about families.

1:06:11 | Jun 27th

Guest host Denis O’Hare helps us celebrate the landmark event that helped give birth to the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ rights in America.

59:05 | Jun 20th

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector.

1:00:37 | Jun 13th

Guest host Kate Burton presents three works about the roles of women.

1:00:40 | Jun 6th

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents a program celebrating the great American humorist James Thurber.

58:19 | May 30th

Guest host David Sedaris two stories about learning from your mistakes.

59:01 | May 23rd

Guest host Kate Burton presents four works reflecting on the experience of war.

1:03:51 | May 16th

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents works celebrating dance from classical ballet to the tango.

1:06:33 | May 9th

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents four works about fame, celebrity, show biz, and what it takes to survive them.

59:15 | May 2nd

Three stories about uncharted territories.

1:01:28 | Apr 25th

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables.

59:39 | Apr 11th

Guest host Jane Curtin offers up tales of courtship and its consequences.

59:15 | Apr 4th

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about untrue love.  A devoted wife worships her sailor husband in Daphne du Maurier's "La Sainte-Vierge," read by Kathryn Erbe.  And Paul Giamatti reads a sci-fi classic by Robert Sheckley, "Pilgrimage...Show More

1:03:22 | Mar 28th

Guest host John Darnielle presents favorite works that reflect on life and death and what comes after.  He reads Robert Browning’s chilling poem “My Last Duchess,” and also offers up a new song, “Skeleton’s Tooth.”  Molly Ringwald performs “No More L...Show More

1:04:46 | Mar 21st

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents works that reflect on the diversity and excellence of Riverhead Books, celebrating a quarter century.  The program features “Flower Hunters,” by Lauren Groff, performed by Maria Dizzia, and “Buck Boy,” by James McB...Show More

59:50 | Mar 14th

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents four stories inspired by other books and authors.  Immigrants collide at Wal-Mart in Juan Martinez's “Best Worst American,” read by Cristin Milioti.  An old friendship is strained in Namwali Serpell 's "Double Men...Show More
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1:01:21 | Mar 7th

Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about rituals.  A young author takes a glamorous older woman to lunch and all does not go well in “The Luncheon” by Jeffrey Archer, performed by Jefferson Mays.  And host Davis performs Amy Bloom’s touching ...Show More
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1:01:43 | Feb 28th

Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories about longing.  In Peter Carey’s “American Dreams,” a small Australian community is transformed into a tourist destination by a bizarre bequest.  Strathairn is the reader.  And writer and actor Lisa Fu...Show More
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1:00:48 | Feb 21st

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about people who beat the odds.  In Lauren Groff’s “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” read by Amy Ryan, a sensitive boy grows up in a house full of snakes.  Then, writer Kiese Laymon recalls coming...Show More
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1:00:45 | Feb 14th

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 sale...Show More
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1:00:54 | Feb 7th

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents three unusual love stories.  A goofy guy meets the girl of his dreams in a really strange way in "Chainsaw Apple," by Arthur Bradford, read by Josh Radnor.  Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov recalls a ten-year-old...Show More
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1:02:54 | Jan 31st

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two selections from this year’s Best American Short Stories anthology, with comments by this year’s guest editor, Roxane Gay.  In “Suburbia,” by Amy Silverberg, a young girl leaves home for the first time, and both...Show More
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1:00:52 | Jan 24th

Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about growing up and rites of passage.  A young woman is drawn into a social charade in Joyce Carol Oates' "Nairobi," read by Alison Pill.  Best friends re-examine their relationship in Amy Hempel's "Th...Show More
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1:00:36 | Jan 17th

Guest host Josh Radnor presents works by Carrie Brownstein and George Saunders.  Brownstein reads from her memoir “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.”  BD Wong performs Saunders’ “My Chivalric Fiasco,” about a goofy knight errant at a Renaissance Fair, a...Show More
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1:00:55 | Jan 10th

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about emotional transitions—what happens after divorce, or the death of a loved one?  In our first, prankish story by Ron Carlson, lunch with an ex becomes an Olympic sport.  The reader is Sean Astin.  To...Show More
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1:00:08 | Jan 3rd

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories with lessons for us.  In T.C. Boyle’s “The Five-Pound Burrito,” a chef goes over the top.  Santino Fontana reads.   A lonely millennial learns that you can’t hurry puppy love in “Love (or Live Carg...Show More
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59:54 | Dec 27th, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about new beginnings and missed connections.  Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi story “Beyond Lies the Wub” asks what it is to be human.  The reader is Denis O’Hare.   And a Russian émigré eagerly awaits th...Show More
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1:00:08 | Dec 20th, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three provocative holiday stories.  An ambitious tree learns a life lesson in “The Fir Tree,” by Hans Christian Andersen, performed by James Naughton; God lets her hair down in “Interview with God,” by Amy Krou...Show More
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1:00:51 | Dec 13th, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents excerpts from works by novelist John Irving.  Orphans are cared for by a tough guy and a tough dog in "The Broken Side-view Mirror," read by Yul Vazquez.  A teenager is smitten by a librarian in an excerpt from In On...Show More
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1:00:55 | Dec 6th, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories from the legendary literary magazine The Paris Review.  Umberto Eco has a really big fish in “How to Travel with a Salmon,” read by Jin Ha.  A mother mourns her son with his difficult friends in “Marabo...Show More
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1:00:37 | Nov 29th, 2018

Guest host David Sedaris presents two stories about people who have guilty consciences—or ought to.  In “Juniper Tree,” by Lorrie Moore, a trio of old friends visits a fourth friend—who’s just died.  It’s read by Jill Eikenberry.  And there’s a poiso...Show More
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1:00:39 | Nov 22nd, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents provocative stories by T.C. Boyle and A.M. Homes. In Boyle’s“Top of the Food Chain,” a government program wreaks havoc with Mother Nature.  It’s performed by Zach Grenier.  In “A Prize for Every Player,” Homes locates ...Show More
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1:00:10 | Nov 15th, 2018

Guest host Kate Burton presents two stories about parents and children.  A mother and daughter remember the past differently in Tessa Hadley's "Matrilineal," performed by Patricia Kalember.  And a surprising offer divides two families in "In the Coun...Show More
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1:03:05 | Nov 8th, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents works by Anton Chekhov that were part of a celebration sponsored by Columbia University and hosted by Chekhov scholar Laura Strausfeld.  We’ll hear “A Drama,” performed by Cynthia Nixon—an ambitious writer overwhelms h...Show More
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1:01:08 | Nov 1st, 2018

Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories about politics and voting, at home and abroad.  In Chinau Achebe's "The Voter," a wily Nigerian campaign worker has a dilemma.  Arthur French reads.  Humorist Simon Rich turns a world-famous protest into ...Show More
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1:01:06 | Oct 25th, 2018

Hosts of the hit podcast offer up some of their favorite weird stories by Will Eno, Yoko Ogawa, Shirley Jackson, Patricia Lockwood, and Daniel Mallory Ortberg, performed by Cecil Baldwin, Marin Ireland, Dylan Marron, and Mara Wilson. 
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1:00:40 | Oct 18th, 2018

Guest host Hope Davis presents three improbable stories: in “The Orange,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, a citrus fruit rules the world.  The read is John Cameron Mitchell.  In “The Man, The Restaurant, and the Eiffel Tower,” by Ben Loory, performed by Stana...Show More
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1:00:06 | Oct 11th, 2018

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two works about how we look at things.  An independent woman, an IRS auditor, and a dog share a moment—and a poem--in “Yancey,” by Ann Beattie, read by Mia Dillon.  In “The Mappist,” by Barry Lopez, a geographer is...Show More
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1:00:52 | Oct 4th, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two works curated with the online food and cooking community Food52.  In J. Robert Lennon’s “Breadman,” artisanal bread threatens a marriage.  Kyle MacLachlan reads.  And Joan Allen performs an excerpt from Nor...Show More
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1:00:41 | Sep 27th, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three works from The Best American Short Stories 2016. An American student meets her Ethiopian relatives in "The Suitcase," by Meron Hadero, read by Renée Elise Goldsberry.  A young boy sees something unbelievable in...Show More
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1:00:10 | Sep 20th, 2018

Guest host Hope Davis presents three works curated with the online food and cooking community Food52.  The late Laurie Colwin has hot tips about how to feed picky eaters in “Feeding the Fussy,” read by Tracee Chimo.  Indian novelist Kiran Desai remem...Show More
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1:00:06 | Sep 13th, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories about fateful encounters.  Henry Slesar's "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross" was a classic “Twilight Zone” episode about over-ambition, read by Leonard.  Leonard also reads Eric Schlich's "H...Show More
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1:01:48 | Sep 6th, 2018

Guest host Kate Burton presents four works about cats and dogs.  "Dog" is at the center of a family power play in Richard Russo's tale, read by Stephen Lang.  Saki's classic presents "Tobermory" the talking cat, voiced by Rene Auberjonois.  How to li...Show More
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1:01:21 | Aug 30th, 2018

Guest hosts Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyre, the hosts of the podcast “Crybabies,” offer up some tearjerkers and share their love of crying.  In “I Am the Bear,” by Wendy Brenner,  a misfit and a model have an odd encounter.  The reader is Kate Walsh.  ...Show More
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1:00:07 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents a celebration of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre," with a reading from the classic (by Joanna Gleason) and contemporary stories it inspired: Salley Vickers' "Reader, She Married Me," read by Chris Sarandon, and Audrey ...Show More
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1:00:10 | Aug 16th, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about travelling long distances.   In Ray Bradbury's "Strawberry Window," a family living on a desolate Mars outpost tries to make a home.  The reader is Boyd Gaines.  Megan Mayhew Bergman's "Hell Diving Wo...Show More
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1:00:08 | Aug 9th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories with surprising twists and turns.  A wife finds something unexpected in her local thrift shop in “Second Hand,” by Andres Neuman.  The story is performed by Kaczmarek.  Dawn Powell’s “Dinner on the Roc...Show More
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1:01:13 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Guest host David Strathairn presents three stories about families.  A lifetime goes by in minutes in Kelly Cherry’s “The Parents,” read by Kaneza Schaal.   A father and son grieve differently after the death of a wife and mother in Tom Barbash’s “The...Show More
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1:00:12 | Jul 26th, 2018

Guest host Kate Burton presents two stories about destiny.  A flaky wanna-be actor gets in over his head in Steve Almond's "God Bless America," read by Michael Urie.  And Heather O'Neill re-imagines a horror classic in a lighter vein in "The Isles of...Show More
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49:03 | Jul 24th, 2018

The best short fiction, handpicked by the world’s greatest storyteller. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Roots, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends wi...Show More
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1:00:08 | Jul 19th, 2018

Guest host Andy Borowitz intros four hilarious pieces featured in his anthology The 50 Funniest American Writers.  James Naughton reads S.J. Perelman’s noir parody “Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer;” Susan Orlean complains about idle tots in “Shiftless ...Show More
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33:10 | Jul 14th, 2018

A story from Greg Ames, the author of a novel, Buffalo Lockjaw, and a collection of stories entitled Funeral Platter. His work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Southern Review, McSweeney’s, North American Review, Catapult, and The S...Show More
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1:00:08 | Jul 12th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories based on fairy tales.  In this time of female empowerment comes a timely story about an unconventional princess.  Jane Kaczmarek performs Jeanne Desy’s “The Princess Who Stood On Her Own 2 Feet.” Brazili...Show More
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1:01:18 | Jul 5th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories about strange encounters.  A woman's laundry is full of surprises in Diane Cook's "Flotsam," read by Melora Hardin.  An ordinary businessman has an extraordinary day in Shirley Jackson's "Paranoia," re...Show More
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1:01:16 | Jun 28th, 2018

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents stories, essays, and poems, and speeches celebrating America’s diversity and wealth of stories.  An aging father ponders his life in Elizabeth Strout’s “The Walk,” read by Ellen Burstyn.  The whole country’s talkin...Show More
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1:00:08 | Jun 21st, 2018

Guest host Andy Borowitz shares some of his favorite comic writing:  Molly Ivins skewers Texas politics in “Tough as Bob War and Other Stuff,” read by Judith Ivey; Sloane Crosley confesses a shameful secret in “The Pony Problem,” read by Kirsten Vang...Show More
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1:00:05 | Jun 14th, 2018

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents a show about the past, the future, and how time flies.  A young actor recalls critical moments in her childhood in Elizabeth Strout’s “Snow Blind,” read by Melora Hardin.  Old schoolmates almost hook up in Joyce Ca...Show More
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1:00:08 | Jun 7th, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories featuring man's best friend.  In "Pie Dance," by Molly Giles, a complicated family menage includes a dancing dog.  Nixon is the reader.  And in Maile Meloy's touching "Madame Lazarus," read by Rene Auberj...Show More
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34:19 | Jun 5th, 2018

Today we’re going to hear a story from Richard Bausch. This lifelong writer has produced novels and short story collections including Before During After, Peace, In the Night Season and the 2017 title Living in the Weather of the World. The actor per...Show More
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1:00:07 | May 31st, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories with animal connections.  Old lovers take stock in Grace Paley’s “The Pale Pink Roast,” read by Linda Lavin.  A boy loves his piggy bank, in Etgar Keret’s “Breaking the Pig,” read by Campbell Scot...Show More
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1:00:04 | May 24th, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin introduces stories from an evening hosted by Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist.  Michael Gerber and Jonathan Schwartz parody Raymond Carver in “What We Talk About When We Talk About Doughnuts,” read by Joey Slotnik.  ...Show More
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1:00:11 | May 17th, 2018

Guest host David Strathairn introduces two tales by master of mystery Agatha Christie, with special comments by crime novelist Megan Abbott and Christie fan Fran Lebowitz.  Lois Smith performs “Miss Marple Tells a Story,” in which Christie’s spinster...Show More
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1:00:08 | May 10th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek introduces four tales about taking things to extremes.  She reads Jack Handey's comic tale of life after "Apocalypse."  In “Encounters with Unexpected Animals” by Bret Anthony Johnston, a father worries about his son's girlf...Show More
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1:00:59 | May 3rd, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a tribute to the classic TV series, “The Twilight Zone,” including two stories that were featured on the show: Price Day’s “Four O’Clock,” read by Zachary Quinto, in which a man with awesome powers knows just h...Show More
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46:31 | Apr 30th, 2018

On this episode, a tale that involves a teenage evangelist coping with teenage lust. “God’s Work,” by Kevin Canty, was read during the annual Selected Shorts celebration of the Best American Short Stories series. The editor of the 2017 volume—novelis...Show More
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1:00:49 | Apr 26th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories that are both sweet and sour.  Colin Nissan telescopes a marriage in “Wedding Announcement,” read by John Cameron Mitchell.  A jaded housewife gets a new outlook on life in “The Eyes of the Soul,” by M...Show More
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59:56 | Apr 24th, 2018

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about strange, and strained, relationships.  In James Salter's "Last Night," a dying wife has a last supper.  The reader is Amy Ryan.  And Padgett Powell imagines what would happen if Janis Joplin met Cha...Show More
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1:00:36 | Apr 12th, 2018

Guest host Andy Borowitz relishes transgression and presents three stories featuring people going off the rails.  First, Padgett Powell imagines the post-presidential life of Boris Yeltsin in “Yeltsin Dancing,” read by Arian Moayed.  Then, a middle s...Show More
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1:00:53 | Apr 5th, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories by the American master Shirley Jackson. In “The Smoking Room,” read by Cristin Milioti, a spunky co-ed confronts the Devil. A distracted husband knows something’s not right in “Company for Dinner” read by...Show More
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1:01:11 | Mar 29th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three unlikely stories for some April foolery.  A hive threatens an office romance in Ryan Boudinot’s “Bee Beard,” read by Tony Hale.  A man finds an ingenious way to escape his own life in Susan Sontag’s “The Dummy...Show More
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1:01:35 | Mar 22nd, 2018

Guest host Denis O’Hare introduces two stories about outsiders.  A tutor finds her privileged teenage client mystifying in Kyle McCarthy’s “Ancient Rome,” read by Tavi Gevinson.  In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “The Thing Around Your Neck,” a young Nig...Show More
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1:01:20 | Mar 15th, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard introduces two works celebrating the 100th anniversary of the anthology The Best American Short Stories.  The first is an early classic, Sherwood Anderson’s “Brothers,” a tale of love, obsession, and compulsion read by ...Show More
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1:01:49 | Mar 8th, 2018

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents four works about love and friendship,   In William Goyen's "The Texas Principessa," read by Doris Roberts, a good friend leaves a stunning legacy.  Jackie Hoffman reads an excerpt about a jilted lover from David Rak...Show More
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1:01:36 | Mar 1st, 2018

Guest host Dennis O’Hare presents two unorthodox love stories.  British writer Jane Gardam twists Hans Christian Andersen’s tale in a saucy reboot of “The Little Mermaid.”  Her version, “The Pangs of Love,” is read by Jane Kaczmarek.  And Sharon Gles...Show More
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36:02 | Feb 28th, 2018

A story by the up-and-coming writer Brit Bennett. Bennett is the real friggin’ deal: Her debut novel “The Mothers” made a splash in 2016 (soon to be a movie starring Kerry Washington), the same year she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s...Show More
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1:00:39 | Feb 22nd, 2018

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories by Joy Williams.  In "Charity," a good deed turns into a worst-case scenario.  The reader is Patricia Kalember.  The late David Rakoff performs Williams' “Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child,” a cautionary ...Show More
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1:00:35 | Feb 15th, 2018

Just in time for President’s Day we offer two stories about big shots, presented by guest host Jane Curtin.  First, classic humorist James Thurber imagines what happens when an aviation hero has feet of clay.  “The Greatest Man in the World” is read ...Show More
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1:00:38 | Feb 8th, 2018

Guest host David Sedaris presents two stories about important relationships, and one playful spoof about the lives of celebrity chefs.    In Donna Tartt’s “The Ambush,” two children wage guerilla warfare; it’s read by Patricia Kalember.  Author Leona...Show More
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58:54 | Feb 1st, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families.    A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “Big Mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming of age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis.   In J...Show More
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34:07 | Jan 30th, 2018

On this show, we’re going to hear a story from the inimitable Robert Coover. In the second half of the 20th century, Coover made his name as an innovator in the realm of nonrealistic fiction alongside contemporaries such as Donald Barthelme and Willi...Show More
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1:00:29 | Jan 25th, 2018

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories in which small things count for a lot.  A discarded sock reminds one woman of her ex-husband in “The Sock” by Lydia Davis, read by Kaneza Schaal.  Sisters find a scrabble set at a department store in Meg ...Show More
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1:00:37 | Jan 18th, 2018

Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about imagined worlds.  In “The Dreamlife of Toasters,” by Heather O’Neill, an android falls in love, and there are consequences.  The reader is Yvette Nicole Brown.  In Stefan Zweig’s “The Invisible Collect...Show More
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1:01:22 | Jan 11th, 2018

Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman hosts a program featuring two of his own stories and a classic by John Collier.  The title says it all in “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11¼,” read by “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vang...Show More
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1:01:46 | Dec 28th, 2017

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about marriage.  In “Any Number of Little Old Ladies,” by Bruce Jay Friedman, a playwright uses his wife as a character and she’s not thrilled.  Blythe Danner and Maulik Pancholy read.   Another marriage is...Show More
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1:01:28 | Dec 21st, 2017

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories for the holidays.  In “One Christmas,” Truman Capote visits the father he hardly knew.  John Shea is the reader.  Grace Paley imagines what happens when a Jewish schoolgirl with “The Loudest Voice...Show More
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1:00:42 | Dec 14th, 2017

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents works about living, and not living, in New York City.   A passenger and a taxi driver connect in John McNulty’s “The Television Helps, But Not Very Much,” read by Jason Biggs.  Mia Dillon reads Joan Didion’s es...Show More
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24:56 | Dec 11th, 2017

Today a story by the author Anthony Tognazzini that was part of an evening we recorded at Symphony Space with the literary journal, Electric Literature. It’s a story about being an outsider, and yet being the object of fascination at the same time. T...Show More
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1:00:16 | Dec 7th, 2017

Guest host Jane Curtin presents works about questions and answers.  From a program at the Southampton Writers Conference, Michael Tucker reads from Roger Rosenblatt's memoir The Boy Detective, and Billy Collins reads four of his poems.  Then, a dange...Show More
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1:01:00 | Nov 23rd, 2017

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories inspired by Brandon Stanton's blog and book Humans of New York.  In Nelson Eubanks' "Malta Sheffer" a summer baseball team is a dream come true for a young boy.  Brandon J. Dierdan reads.  Tom Wolfe is also d...Show More
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1:00:28 | Nov 16th, 2017

Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories about marriage and its challenges.  In Helen Phillips’ “The Knowers,” a wife wants the answer to an ultimate question, but her husband does not.  It’s performed by Stockard Channing.  The “Three Little Maid...Show More
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1:00:29 | Nov 9th, 2017

Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories about hard times.  In Daniel Alarcon’s “Republica Y Grau,” read by Strathairn, a young boy is trained as a beggar.  In M.T. Sharif’s “The Letter Writer,” an eccentric is caught up in a Kafkaesque farce...Show More
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33:18 | Sep 18th, 2017

Bruce Jay Friedman has been hailed by critics as a comic genius, a writer whose vision confronts the malaise of contemporary life with a liberating deadpan humor. Friedman has published several novels, multiple collections of short stories, four play...Show More
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59:25 | Aug 24th, 2017

Guest host David Strathairn presents four works that teach us a few things: how to eat a bony South African fish, in Calvin Trillin's "Dissed Fish," which he reads himself.  How to write a great term paper according to Kurt Vonnegut. His "assignment"...Show More
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15:10 | Aug 22nd, 2017

Author, former SNL writer, and creator of the FXX show Man Seeking Woman Simon, Simon Rich wrote a humor piece in The New Yorker that’s a dark yet sweetly hilarious take on the classic 12-inch pianist joke, and just like that, it was all over social ...Show More
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59:12 | Aug 17th, 2017

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector.  Carolina Ravassa reads "Remnants of Carnival," in which a little girl is briefly transformed.  Denis O'Hare tells an eerie tale of a strange marriage in "The Obedient...Show More
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59:32 | Aug 10th, 2017

David Galef imagines “My Date with Neanderthal Woman,” read by Giullian Yao Gioiello.   It’s raining old boyfriends and ex-husbands—literally—in Marie-Helene Bertino’s “Edna in Rain,” read by Colby Minifie.  An extra-marital affair becomes a comedy o...Show More
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59:06 | Aug 3rd, 2017

Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories that are favorites of novelist and screenwriter Richard Price ("Lush Life," "The Wire") and Colson Whitehead remembers his personal New York.  Maggie Gyllenhaal reads Isaac Babel’s tale of local crime and p...Show More
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59:15 | Jul 27th, 2017

Guest host Ruben Santiago-Hudson presents three stories about parallel lives.  First, he reads Percival Everett's delightfully subversive "The Appropriation of Cultures."  Next, estranged brothers meet at Occupy Wall Street in Fiona Maazel's "We Was ...Show More
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30:58 | Jul 24th, 2017

A poignant, funny, melancholy story about a man whose wife leaves him for a ping pong player.  It was written by the fiction writer and playwright, Joe Meno, who has contributed several great stories to Shorts over the years. The reader is actor, com...Show More
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59:16 | Jul 20th, 2017

Guest host Cynthia Nixon introduces readings from three chapters of Alice in Wonderland.  The children’s classic celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015.  Ari Graynor reads “The Pool of Tears;” Sonia Manzano reads “The Mock Turtle’s Story;” and Dan ...Show More
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59:22 | Jul 13th, 2017

Guest host Krista Tippett presents works about art, faith, and spirituality.  A clergyman is tempted in "The Strength of God, Concerning the Reverend Curtis Hartman," by Sherwood Anderson.  It's read by James Naughton.  A time-travelling artist has a...Show More
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1:00:17 | Jul 6th, 2017

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two pieces about living in the dark.  In “I Go Adventuring” Helen Keller describes her visits New York, a city she could sense but not see.  Maggie Siff is the reader.  In Jess Row’s “The Secrets of Bats,” a sc...Show More
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58:58 | Jun 29th, 2017

"On Being"'s Krista Tippett hosts SELECTED SHORTS this week, presenting works that look at issues of art and faith.  "The Doctor and The Rabbi" argue about the efficacy of prayer in Aimee Bender's story, read by Ellen Burstyn.  Thriller writer Elmore...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 26th, 2017

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 ...Show More
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59:09 | Jun 22nd, 2017

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents love the modern way in two stories and a selection of posts to OK Cupid.  These are read by Giullian Yao Gioiello and Colby Minifie.  Then Jill Eikenberry reads "Ad," by Elizabeth Crane--a stream of consciousness exe...Show More
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59:32 | Jun 15th, 2017

Guest host Jane Curtin presents readings from the blog Letters of Note, including letters by Elvis Presley, Katharine Hepburn, Jack the Ripper, and Queen Elizabeth II, among others.  Readers include Jane Curtin, Kate Mulgrew, Phylicia Rashad, Jeremy ...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 12th, 2017

Back by popular demand, actor Stephen Lang reads, “Batman and Robin Have an Altercation”, a -shall we say- intense story about family, love, and dying by Stephen King (yes, THAT Stephen King). Host Aparna Nancherla talks to Stu Tinker, a Stephen King...Show More
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59:25 | Jun 8th, 2017

Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully funny stories.  Dorothy Parker skewers a boozy, possessive mother in "I Live on Your Visits," read by Celeste Holm.  Then, a country wedding becomes a comedy of errors in Arthur Bradford's "Snakebite," r...Show More
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0:00 | Jun 1st, 2017

From actor, writer, comedian and the former Senior Middle East Correspondent on The Daily Show, a sweet, funny story about nerdom and outsider culture taken from his memoir, No Land's Man.  Published in 2014, No Land's Man chronicles Aasif’s life as ...Show More
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0:00 | May 15th, 2017

From Julia Slavin's collection, The Woman Who Cut Off Her Leg at the Maidstone Club, a dark and funny story about not being able to leave your childhood behind.  As you'll hear, reader Alec Baldwin finds the humor, absurdity and, ultimately, the huma...Show More
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0:00 | May 1st, 2017

Actor Sam Underwood (The Following) reads a Sedaris story you're never going to hear on Public Radio.  Also, guest host Lorin Stein (Editor of The Paris Review) talks to Sedaris about his work, and what stories he would love to hear on Too Hot For Ra...Show More
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0:00 | Apr 3rd, 2017

The first chapter of Hubert Selby, Jr's classic, Last Exit To Brooklyn is many things: it's profane, violent and contains a number of racial slurs.  But it's also a window into the gritty life on a Brooklyn street written by a man who had lived a hor...Show More
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0:00 | Aug 1st, 2016

Over the years, Selected Shorts has recorded amazing stories that due to language issues or content advisories were, well, too hot for radio. Now we've unlocked the vault and we're bringing you all the steam, gore, and profanity that makes the FCC cr...Show More