Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts

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.

Episodes

Rites & Rituals

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. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/12/2058m 24s

Too Hot For Radio: Becky Mandelbaum "Queen of England"

Actor Robin Lord Taylor (You, Gotham) performs a story about a single mom with two unruly sons. And later in the podcast, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Sarah Thyre about how she chose this story for a night at Selected Shorts.  Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/12/2048m 9s

Modern Fables

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen class “A Wild Swan,” in a reading by Valorie Curry. Next, an excerpt from George Saunders’ touching and hilarious novella, Fox 8, read by John Cameron Mitchell.   Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26/11/2058m 6s

Extended Families

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families.    A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming-of-age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis.   In Jai Chakrabarti’s “A Small Sacrifice for An Enormous Happiness,” a forbidden love affair and a marriage of convenience promise two different futures.  The reader is Bhavesh Patel.    Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19/11/2058m 42s

Look Again

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which young protagonists have their lives altered by acts of perception.  A ten-year old girl takes a care-free walk in the woods in Alice Walker’s  “The Flowers,” but the blossoms she finds conceal something darker.  The reader is Crystal Dickinson.  Ethan Canin’s “Star Food,” read by David Strathairn, is a coming-of-age story involving a boy at the edge of manhood, his parents, the family store--and the cosmos.  Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12/11/2058m 19s

Only Human: Anton Chekhov

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 her idol; “Rapture,” performed by Robin Miles, Sam Underwood, Rainn Wilson, and Di Zhu—a young man enjoys his 15 minutes of fame; “Which is Better?,” performed by Rainn Wilson—Chekhov debates the merits of schools vs. pubs; and “Verotchka,” performed by Rainn Wilson—a studious young man confronts romance.  Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
05/11/2058m 20s

It's a Sign

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which unexpected encounters and visitations result in new love.  In Ana Menéndez’s “Story of a Parrot,” a colorful bird revives a grey marriage.  The reader is Jacqueline Kim.  Russian Nobel Laureate Ivan Bunin penned a delicate story of an unexpected romance between a man with a wound in his soul and a waitress.  “In Paris” is read by the late Rene Auberjonois. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/10/2058m 20s

Redemption

Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about recollection and redemption.  In “Sibyl,” by Carys Davies, read by Jane Kaczmarek, two lonely vacationers are brought together.  Andre Braugher performs an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s master work,  Beloved.  And a daughter returns home to help her aging father in an excerpt from Rachel Khong’s bittersweet novel Goodbye, Vitamin, performed by Jennifer Ikeda. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
22/10/2058m 4s

Improbable Dreams

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 Katic, a father’s children conspire to make him happy.  In “I, Gentile,” by David Gordon, performed by Michael Urie, a reluctant Jew falls in love with the wrong girl.  Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15/10/2057m 33s

Hard Choices

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents three stories about hard choices.  In Jac Jemc’s “Trivial Pursuit,” a husband and wife run the gamut of odd couples while trying to construct a social life.  Jordan Klepper kills it.  Renee Jessica Tan offers a thought-provoking response to racial stereotyping, and a great father/daughter story, in “Baghead,” performed by Karen Chee.  And a recent divorcee has nothing to lose in her “Spanish Winter.” But what does she have to gain? Melora Hardin performs this strong piece by Jennifer Egan. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
08/10/2058m 28s

Home Cooking with Food52

Guest host Hope Davis presents three shows about food, cooking, and company, curated with the online foodie destination Food52:  "Feeding the Fussy," by Laurie Colwin, performed by Tracee Chimo; "Home Turf," by Kiran Desai, performed by Angel Desai; and "Watkyn, Comma," by Joan Aiken, performed by Sonia Manzano. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
01/10/2058m 34s

Too Hot For Radio: Simon Rich "Guy Walks into a Bar"

Humor writer Simon Rich reimagines a classic joke for The New Yorker. After the reading by actor Michael Urie, Rich talks to host Aparna Nancherla about how this hilarious, and somewhat dirty piece, made it to print and went viral. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/09/2014m 47s

Love & Prohibition

Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about love and constraints.  Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” conjures up a tough but loving mother in a humorous laundry list of dos and don’ts.  She’s brought to life by Hattie Winston.  George Saunders’ story title says it all:  “Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Husband and Father” takes protectiveness to hilarious extremes.  The reader is James Naughton.  And in Carson McCullers’ “A Domestic Dilemma,” read by Joanna Gleason, a Southern family has a secret.   Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/09/2057m 22s

Outsiders

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 Nigerian woman comes to America for the first time, and it’s not what she imagined.   The story is read by Condola Rashad.   Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
17/09/2059m 0s

Try This On: Stories from an Evening with New York Magazine’s The Cut

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 show, 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 Latch,” performed by Justine Lupe.  And Parker Posey tackles mail order—and time travel—in Xuan Juliana Wang’s “Future Cat.” Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10/09/2059m 34s

Coming of Age

Guest host Tayari Jones presents stories about rites of passage between childhood and adulthood.  In Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s lyrical “The First Kiss,” a young boy has his first brush with the sensual.  Pepe Nufrio is the reader.  A fiery country girl shows a cool city boy the ropes—and a gator—in “Hellion,” written by Julia Elliott, and read by Donna Lynne Champlin. 51 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
03/09/2058m 18s

Ways of Seeing

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 on the trail of a mysterious map maker.  Joe Spano reads. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27/08/2057m 40s

Too Hot For Radio: Judy Grahn : "The Psychoanalysis of Edward the Dyke"

Becca Blackwell reads “The Psychoanalysis of Edward the Dyke,” by Judy Grahn. Hosted by Michael Ian Black.  Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24/08/2029m 11s

Runs in the Family

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about unusual family members. In Alix Ohlin’s “The Cruise,” a heartsick divorcee travels with her unconventional aunt. Laura Benanti reads.  An elderly dog is “A Permanent Member of the Family,” and a bone of contention, in this Russell Banks story performed by Zach Grenier. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
20/08/2058m 18s

Two Against the World

Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories in which strong bonds between women are  evoked, by authors reflecting very different worlds.  In Youmna Chlala’s “Nayla,” read by Rita Wolf, two young women in a traditional community form a friendship.  In Susan Perabo’s “Life Off My E,” the relationship between sisters is reflected through their shared love of Scrabble.  Hope Davis is the reader. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
13/08/2057m 13s

I Do, I Do

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about marriage.  A theatrical union is subtly tested in Bruce Jay Friedman’s “Any Number of Little Old Ladies,” performed by Blythe Danner and Maulik Pancholy.  And love is stretched thin, but rebounds, in Roxana Robinson’s “In Naples,” read by Betty Buckley. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
06/08/2058m 9s

Best Intentions

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories in which people go overboard to demonstrate their devotion.  In Robin Hemley’s “A Printer’s Tale,” a poet’s boyfriend hijacks a national magazine for her love--and one reader isn’t pleased.  Reader Robert Sean Leonard brings an eccentric trio to life.  In “Oh Shenandoah,” by Maura Stanton, a determined young woman wants to call it quits with her overzealous fiancé.   But they’re in Venice—and there’s this toilet seat problem.  Broadway powerhouse Kelli O’Hara reads—and sings—“Oh Shenandoah.” See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
30/07/2059m 0s

Too Hot For Radio: Brit Bennett "Ain't That Good News"

A story by the writer Brit Bennett, "Ain't That Good News" is tender, sad, and packs a wallop. You'll be completely hooked. Bennett's 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 “5 Under 35.” Her new novel, The Vanishing Half, published in June, is already a New York Times bestseller and has garnered reviews like, "This is sure to be one of 2020’s best and boldest," Elle, and Bookpage compares her work to Toni Morrison, Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Strout.  She has written essays for The Paris Review, The New York Times and The New Yorker, but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune cookies, propulsive and full of canny observations.  Our actor Karen Pittman absolutely nails this reading. Pittman has been in series including The Americans and Luke Cage, and has appeared on Broadway in plays such as Disgraced and Good People. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28/07/2036m 3s

CHILD'S PLAY

Guest host Hope Davis presents three uncanny stories featuring children.  In Simon Rich’s  hilarious “The Baby,” a novelist faces competition from his unborn son.  Jason Mantzoukas is the reader.  A children’s game takes a strange turn in Fiona McFarlane’s “Buttony,” read by Jin Ha.  And Etgar Keret offers up an unusual mother-son story—and lots of calories--in “Crumb Cake,” performed by Andy Richter. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
23/07/2058m 19s

Past and Future

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 Carol Oates’ “August Evening,” read by Sonia Manzano.   In our final story, a lifetime goes by in “Half a Day,” by Naguib Mahfooz, read by Bruce Altman. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
16/07/2058m 10s

Journeys, Memories, and Miracles: Italian Short Stories

Guest host Hope Davis presents a program of Italian short fiction selected by the novelist and short-story writer Jhumpa Lahiri.  The stories were drawn from The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories, which Lahiri edited.  They range from the comic to the fantastical.  In Leonardo Sciascia’s “The Long Voyage,” hopeful peasants try to make it to a mysterious place called “Trenton.” The reader is John Turturro.  A couple hopes to restore pre-World War II elegance in “Invitation to Dinner,” by Alba de Cespedes, read by Dawn Akemi Saito.  And there’s heat, sand, water, and magical realism on offer in Massimo Bontempelli’s “The Miraculous Beach, or, Prize for Modesty, read by Hugh Dancy. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
09/07/201h 1m

Celebrating Toni Morrison

Guest host Tayari Jones helps us to celebrate this American master, who died in 2019.  Her novels, including Beloved, Jazz and Song of Solomon, have become an indelible part of the American canon.  Her fierce, poetic visions earned her the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  She was also an editor, advocate, teacher, and mother.  This program features her essay “A Knowing So Deep,” read by Jones; an excerpt from The Bluest Eye, read by Anika Noni Rose; an excerpt from Jazz, read by S. Epatha Merkerson;  “Sweetness,” read by Phylicia Rashad, and a tribute by Fran Lebowitz.
02/07/201h 13m

Too Hot For Radio: Mona Simpson "Wrong Object"

Mona Simpson is the author of six books including Anywhere But Here, My Hollywood and Casebook. Her Too Hot For Radio story features a therapist, a patient, and one uniquely inappropriate relationship.This story was originally published in Harper’s and selected by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All The Light You Cannot See, Anthony Doerr, for The Best American Short Stories 2019 for which he served as the guest editor. Read by the incomparable Cynthia Nixon, the story can be described as moving, unsettling, disturbing, but above all else, captivating.  Please note, as with all Too Hot for Radio episodes, this show contains strong language and mature subject matter. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29/06/2046m 51s

Shout it Out: The Stonewall Uprising at 50

Guest host Denis O’Hare helps us mark the landmark event that helped give birth to the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ rights in America.  We first hear eyewitness accounts of the riots, drawn from The Stonewall Reader.  Additional works include Perry Brass’s “We Did It”; poems by  Kay Ulanday Barrett; and Gary Eldon Peter’s story “Wedding.”  Readers include Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Michael Early, Beth Malone, Kay Ulanday Barrett, and John Benjamin Hickey.
25/06/2058m 20s

ESCALATION

Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories in which things get out of hand.  Rumors and recriminations fly in “Belles Lettres,” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, as rival mothers defend their daughters’ reputations at a posh school--at any cost.  The readers are Eboni Booth, Shalewa Sharpe, and Mary Karr.   And we hear Shirley Jackson’s lighter side in  “About Two Nice People,” in which neighbors seem to be getting mixed messages from one another.  The readers are  Lilli Cooper, Ethan Slater, and Julie Halston.
18/06/2058m 54s

Not Your Mother’s Love Stories

Guest host Dennis O’Hare presents two unorthodox love stories at a time when we could all use a little love.   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 Gless performs “Hat Trick,” by Edith Pearlman, in which four young girls choose husbands by chance.
11/06/2058m 28s

More Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz

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 Little Loafers,” read by Dave Hill; old-time radio is revealed in Jean Shepherd’s “The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets the Message,” read by Isaiah Sheffer; and one woman’s all-nighter, in Jenny Allen’s “Awake,” read by Jane Kaczmarek.
04/06/2058m 53s

Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Elizabeth Crane and Michael Czyniejewski

Our friend Michael Ian Black is back to host a twofer Too Hot For Radio episode. First up is actor K. Todd Freeman reading“Pregnant with Peanut Butter” by Michael Czyniejewski. Czyniejewski is the author of three story collections, including Our Bedroom and I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories. Performing this story is an actor known for everything from multiple appearances on Broadway to Buffy the Vampire SlayertoA Series of Unfortunate Events.  Elizabeth Crane is the author of our second story, the unusual and funny “Colonel Sanders Has a Choice (Lives His Best Life)." Crane has written six books including the novel The History of Great Things and the story collection Turf. Our performer is the multi-hyphenate Busy Phillips, who acted in TV shows such as Freaks & Geeks and had her own late-night show Busy Tonight.  Stay tuned at the end of the show for a great talk between Michael and Elizabeth discussing the origins of her story and her outlook on life.   Please note, as with all Too Hot for Radio episodes, this show contains strong language and mature subject matter. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
31/05/2026m 52s

Surprises

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories with surprising twists and turns, a reminder that surprises can still be entertaining, even though the world has changed in unpredictable ways.  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 Rocks” is an elegant comedy of bad manners, performed by Christina Pickles.  And the salesman in Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Fortune Cookie” thinks he’s found a formula for success.  Michael Imperioli is the reader.
28/05/2059m 3s

I Am America

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents stories, essays, and poems, and speeches celebrating America’s diversity and wealth of stories, at a time when we need to know we are together, even when we are apart.  An aging father ponders his life in Elizabeth Strout’s “The Walk,” read by Ellen Burstyn.  The whole country’s talking in Susan Minot’s “Listen,” read by Jennifer Ikeda and Khris Lewin.  Julia Alvarez faces prejudice and finds her voice in “Speak! Speak!” read by Selenis Leyva, and Henry Louis Gates introduces works by 19th-century African-American women writers.
21/05/2059m 51s

Fractured Fairy Tales

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories based on fairy tales.  We need good stories more than ever now.  Traditional fairy tales always have a lesson, and these new versions are guaranteed to offer up some pearls about staying strong in difficult times.  First, a story about an unconventional princess.  Jane Kaczmarek performs Jeanne Desy’s “The Princess Who Stood On Her Own 2 Feet.” And Brazilian feminist writer Clarice Lispector shares a wealthy woman’s moment of truth in “Beauty and the Beast or The Enormous Wound,” performed by Kate Burton.
14/05/2059m 40s

What Strangers See

In this time of sheltering, we think one of the things that’s magical about short stories is that they bring the world to you.  On this program, guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about the difference between what other people observe about us, and who we actually are.  Even though we’re all mostly “home alone” right now, these pieces remind us that when we are out in the world, our inner and outer selves can be very different.  Cerveris reads “Riding the Doghouse,” a great coming-of-age story about a young boy and his trucker dad, by Randy DeVita, and the superb Kathleen Chalfant brings to life Carol Shields’ “Mrs. Turner Cutting the Grass.”  Mrs. Turner is a suburban widow with sloppy gardening skills—and cellulite—but she has an interesting past.
07/05/201h 0m

Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz

Goodness knows we could all use a laugh right now.  So this week we’re offering a Selected Shorts program full of funny stories selected by Andy Borowitz, who’s funny in so many ways. The late columnist Molly Ivins sticks it to pompous politicians in “Tough as Bob War and Other Stuff,” performed by Judith Ivey.  Essayist Sloane Crosley reveals a shameful habit in “The Pony Problem,” performed by Kirsten Vangsness.  Parker Posey delivers a classic Dorothy Parker rant (two Parkers, no waiting) about a lousy dance partner, and Selected Shorts’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer speaks truth to toddlers in Ian Frazier’s “Lamentations of the Father.”
30/04/2058m 40s

Too Hot For Radio: Hilary Mantel "The Long QT"

We're rebroadcasting one of our earlier episodes in honor of the long-awaited publication of The Mirror & the Light, author Hilary Mantel's final chapter of the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. We found this story in her often wicked short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.  “The Long QT” features a standard, modern-day dilemma that delivers an entirely unexpected sort of fright at the end. Host Aparna Nancherla chats with champion open water swimmer, Lynne Cox, a real life survivor of the disorder Mantel's story is based upon. Read by actress Joanne Whalley.
27/04/2022m 33s

Food Fights with Food52

In honor of the human impulse to seek culinary comfort when times are tough, guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two food-centered stories curated with the online food and cooking community Food52. In J. Robert Lennon’s “Breadman,” artisanal bread threatens a marriage. Kyle MacLachlan is the incredulous spouse.  And Joan Allen performs an excerpt from Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn, a slice of infidelity in which there are consequences—and pie.
23/04/2057m 51s

Sweet and Sour

The stories on this program, hosted by Jane Kaczmarek, start out in one place and end up somewhere completely different.  Which pretty much describes our world at the moment.    The three authors also talk about how people connect—something that seems important right now.  Colin Nissan’s “Wedding Announcement” escalates comically in the reading by John Cameron Mitchell.  A wary housewife is surprised by beauty in Michel Faber’s “The Eyes of the Soul,’ performed by Kirsten Vangsness, and teenage lovers grow up quickly in James Lasdun’s “Lime Pickle” performed by David Schwimmer.   (The pickle is really not—do not try this at home!)
16/04/2058m 59s

Shaken & Stirred

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three quirky stories in which a drop or two is taken: Michael Gerber's and Jonathan Schwarz's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Doughnuts" is a riff on a famous Raymond Carver tale; it's performed by Joey Slotnick.  Early New Yorker humorist Corey Ford tells us just what can go wrong at "The Office Party," performed by Jordan Klepper. And wry tale of boozy suburbia, "The Sorrows of Gin," is performed by Kathleen Chalfant.
09/04/2058m 8s

April Foolery

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents April Fools’ tales guaranteed to transport listeners away from the madness. In these three stories, characters search for ways to escape their everyday: An office romance stings in Ryan Boudinot’s “Bee Beard,” read by Tony Hale.  A man finds an ingenious way to slip out of his own life in Susan Sontag’s “The Dummy,” read by Justin Kirk. And Miranda July imagines a senior citizens’ “Swim Team,” in a story read by Parker Posey. Unexpected, funny and a little absurd, these shorts should help anyone craving the usual release of April Fool’s Day festivities.
02/04/2058m 20s

Too Hot For Radio: Joe Meno "Everything Strange and Unknown"

On this episode of Too Hot, we're rereleasing Joe Meno's story, "Everything Strange and Unknown," because, well, right now everything is strange and unknown. What better time to lose yourself in a great story. Hopefully, listening to Michael Ian Black read this lovely, poignant, and humorous piece, you gain some time to escape.
30/03/2030m 59s

O.Henry at 100

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents stories that celebrate the distinguished O.Henry Awards.  Three prize-winning stories are featured: In “Midrash on Happiness,” by Grace Paley, a woman wants it all.  The reader is Mia Dillon. And a woman who’s lost it all must get an exit visa in “The American Embassy,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, read by Karen Pittman.  A son is puzzled by his father’s strange habit in Jerome Weidman’s “My Father Sits in the Dark,” read by Josh Hamilton.
26/03/2058m 17s

Big Shots

As the rollup to the Presidential elections continues, 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 by Michael Ian Black.  And former President Bill Clinton makes a cameo appearance in Meera Nair’s warmly funny tale of a village in Bangladesh about to be rescued from “centuries of obscurity.”  “A Warm Welcome to the President, Insh'Allah!” is performed by Aasif Mandvi.  Author Meera Nair tells us about the origins of the piece, and her writing process, at the end of the story.
19/03/2059m 45s

Safe Distance

Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories in which fantasies and memories are both near and far.  In “The Elevator Dancer,” by N.K. Jemisin, a guard is obsessed by a woman who spins when no one is looking.  Laura Gomez is the reader.  A woman remembers a transforming moment in her Depression-era childhood in “Marigolds,” by Eugenia W. Collier.  The story is performed by Sharon Washington. Ursula K. Le Guin moves and surprises us in “The Wife’s Story,” performed by Joanna Gleason.
12/03/2058m 19s

Crossing the Line

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 garden gnomes.  Richard Kind reads.  And Maulik Pancholy performs Emily Buckler’s “Brand Values,” a reality-bending tale about high-end leather.
05/03/2057m 28s

Embracing Disaster: Joyce Carol Oates and Etgar Keret

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories by two masters of the form who share an outré sensibility.  Humor, humanity, and fantasy all combine in four tales of things gone wrong.    In “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber, a widower and his small son watch a drama unfold. In “Where Are You?” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Dianna Agron, a demanding husband pushes his wife to the limit. In “One Gram Short” by Etgar Keret, performed by Ira Glass, a stoner makes a really bad deal; and Oates introduces an unlikely “Assassin,” in a story that combines tongue-in-cheek horror and political satire.  Becky Ann Baker is the reader.
27/02/201h 1m

Too Hot For Radio: Jess Walter "Thief"

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, our story today comes from the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter. We Live In Water is a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite, including Barack Obama who called “We Live in Water: Stories” one of his favorite books of 2019.  A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 32 languages, and his fiction has been selected three times forBest American Short Stories as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His stories, essays and journalism have appeared in, Harper's, Esquire, Playboy, McSweeney's, Tin House, Ploughshares, the New York Times, the Washington Post and many others.  Our reader, Josh Malina, is well-known for playing Will Bailey on the NBC drama The West Wing, Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night, David Rosen on Scandal, and President Siebert on The Big Bang Theory. This episode is hosted by comedian, author, and actor, Michael Ian Black and features a very funny conversation between Black and the author after the story.
24/02/2035m 20s

Imaginary Worlds

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 Collection,” a blind man is able to “see” priceless drawings.  The story is performed by René Auberjonois.
20/02/2058m 19s

Inside Out

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 chess set at a department store in Meg Wolitzer’s “Deep Lie the Woods,” read by Blythe Danner.  And old-time jazz musicians and their funny clothes, food, and drink charm a young drummer in “Nightblooming,” by Kenneth Calhoun, read by Josh Charles.
13/02/2057m 17s

Quiet Reflections

Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories in which a lot  happens, but subtly. The narrator of A.M. Homes’ “Yours Truly” is “hiding in the linen closet” on a journey of self-discovery.  The reader is Beth Malone. In Weike Wang’s “Omakase” a couple’s special sushi dinner proves unexpectedly revealing. The reader is Jennifer Lim.
06/02/2058m 16s

Children and Their Parents

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories about the family dynamics between children and parents. It's never too early to defy gender norms, as Ivan E. Coyote confides in "No Bikini," read by Becca Blackwell.  A woman confronts her mother's aging, and her own childlessness, in Kathryn Chetkovich's tender story "The World with My Mother Still In It," read by Phillipa Soo.  And three generations are "At the Zoo," in a story by Caitlin Horrocks: a rowdy grandpa, a sensitive child, and a mother caught between the two.  The reader is Kate Walsh.
30/01/2058m 19s

Too Hot For Radio: Ottessa Moshfegh "The Weirdos"

In her twenties Ottessa Moshfegh co-owned a bar in Wuhan, China. She’s lived next to crack addicts and been bedridden for an entire year with cat scratch fever. She is a Stegner fellow, attended Brown’s MFA program, and in the past four years has won many, many awards including a Pushcart, an O. Henry, and the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her second novel, was a New York Times bestseller. Her story on this episode, "The Weirdos," is read by Colby Minifie, known for her TV roles in Fear of the Walking Dead and Jessica Jones, among others, as well as her many roles on Broadway including Long Days Journey Into Night and Six Degrees of Separation. This episode is hosted by comedian Michael Ian Black who talks to Ottessa about her work including how much of the plot is autobiographical, and her life after the story.
27/01/2042m 40s

Ways of Loving

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents stories about the different shapes that loves takes. They show how “exquisitely OK it is to be ourselves,” she comments.  In “Love and Hydrogen” Jim Shepard conjures up the breathtaking magic of travel by airship in his tale of doomed lovers aboard the Hindenberg. The story is performed by Sam Underwood.  In Carys Davies’ “The Coat” a woman is surprised by her own feelings when she comforts a distressed neighbor. The performer is Becca Blackwell.
23/01/2057m 50s

Cosy and Chilly: An Agatha Christie Celebration

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 sleuth boasts a little, and Hugh Dancy reads “Accident,” about a woman with a dark past come to light.  
16/01/2057m 43s

Out of Control

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three revealing first person accounts taking us from a crowded bus, to a suburban motel, to a Russian estate: “Hello?” by Dmitry Biriukov, performed by Mike Doyle; “How to Tie-Dye,” by Jenny Allen, performed by Jane Curtin; and “From the Diary of a Hot-Tempered Man,” by Anton Chekhov and translated by Peter Constantine, performed by Sam Underwood
14/01/2057m 57s

Out of Control

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three works about losing control.  In Dmitry Biriukov’s “Hello?” a crowded city bus inspires one passenger to create a romantic scenario.  The reader is Mike Doyle.  Jenny Allen offers up a disastrous crafts project in “How to Tie-Dye,” reader by Jane Curtin.  And Anton Chekhov gives us a clueless young man beset by determined women in “From the Diary of a Hot-Tempered Man,” read by Sam Underwood.
09/01/2058m 59s

Love 2.0

Guest host Kate Burton presents four unusual love stories.  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 of errors in Sam Ruddick’s “Leak,” read by “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me” host Peter Sagal.  And Kathleen Turner performs Isabel Allende’s magical “The Little Heidelberg.”
02/01/2058m 15s

Too Hot For Radio: Simon Rich "Birthday Party"

Simon Rich has written for SNL, created the series Miracle Workers and Man Seeking Woman, and is beloved by people who actually read The New Yorker and don't just recycle it after seeing they didn't win the caption contest. Rich also has several story collections and this will be his second story featured on Too Hot.  Neil Patrick Harris is the actor who read this during a Sketchfest show in San Francisco. Harris does musicals, TV, high-profile hosting gigs, you name it. Listeners may know him as Barney on How I Met Your Mother, or as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  After the reading, stay tuned for a great interview between host Aparna Nancherla and The New Yorker editor Susan Morrison who spills some secrets about what makes the perfect funny story for the iconic magazine.
30/12/1934m 7s

For Better or Worse

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 Maids” of Alix Ohlin’s story are a middle-aged man’s ex-wife, current wife, and daughter. The story is performed by Mia Dillon.
26/12/1959m 49s

Christmas Spirits High and Low

We want Christmas to be merry and bright, but sometimes the season can be challenging. Our two stories, presented by guest host Cynthia Nixon, do deliver good cheer in the end (and Nixon shares a few of her own holiday traditions). In Laurie Notaro’s “O Holy Night, or The Year I Ruined Christmas” there’s a hideous Christmas tree, and a demanding parent with a long memory. The hilarious tale is read by Kirsten Vangsness. In Jeanette Winterson’s luminous “Spirit of Christmas” a married couple set off for their holiday with frayed tempers and too much stuff. They wind up with nothing but a miracle. Christina Pickles is the reader.
19/12/191h 0m

Bonus Story: René Auberjonois Reads Philip K. Dick's "The King of the Elves"

On December 8, 2019 actor René Auberjonois passed away. He'll be fondly remembered and sorely missed by all of us at Selected Shorts. He was a VIP reader, one of those amazing actors who could bring any story to life, keeping audiences totally entranced. We never aired or released René reading this Philip K. Dick story. It was a little too long to put on the radio, but we want to share now. Please enjoy. 
13/12/1956m 49s

Through Young Eyes: Stories by Carson McCullers

Guest host Hope Davis presents three works by the Southern master Carson McCullers.  In “Correspondence” a self-important young woman is disappointed in her choice of pen-pal.  Emily Skeggs is the reader.  McCullers draws on her own childhood in “The Discovery of Christmas,”  read by Amanda Quaid.  And “Sucker” explores the troubled and complicated relationship between two teen boys.  Michael Cerveris performs.   
12/12/191h 0m

Facts and Legends

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories where facts, beliefs, and fabrications coincide. Essayist Samantha Irby debunks nature, fresh air, and sunshine in “The Case for Remaining Indoors,” performed by Retta. Rebecca Makkai shares tattered facts about a terrorist in “Everything We Know About the Bomber,” performed by John Cameron Mitchell. And Michael McKean brings a difficult prankster father to life in Walter Kirn’s “The Hoaxer.”
05/12/191h 0m

Trust Your Senses

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 time in “The Color Master,” whose crafts is creating clothes that mirror nature. Denis O’Hare is the reader.
28/11/191h 0m

Too Hot For Radio: Katherine Heiny "Cranberry Relish"

Just in time for the holidays, a story that will speak to any of us who sometimes can't shake the feeling that the grass is always greener. In a story that is at once utterly hilarious and achingly poignant, Katherine Heiny chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly. This story comes from her collection called Single, Carefree, Mellow. Heiny’s work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and she recently published a novel called Standard Deviation. To read this story is an actor we simply couldn’t do without at Selected Shorts. Jane Kaczmarek has performed in everything from Long Day’s Journey Into Night to Malcolm in the Middle. After her reading, Jane talks with host Aparna Nancherla. This story was performed as part of our show at the annual SF Sketchfest.
25/11/1932m 24s

Family Matters

Guest host Hope Davis presents stories about family ties. A mixed-race college student has a comic encounter in "My Brother at the Canadian Border," by Sholeh Wolpe, read by Maulik Pancholy. Marriage is really for better or worse in Lauren Schenkman's "A Guide to Fooling Yourself,” read by Kaneza Schaal. A young man meets his boozy dad in "Reunion," by John Cheever, read by Bruce Altman. And Viet Thanh Nguyen tells a heartbreaking and mystical tale of Vietnamese immigrants in "Black-Eyed Women," read by Jennifer Ikeda.
21/11/1959m 24s

Motherhood with Celeste Ng & Mary Karr

On this show, guest host Kate Burton introduces two stories that look at the joys and complexity of motherhood. They were chosen by the novelist Celeste Ng and memoirist and essayist Mary Karr. In “Looking for a Thief,” by Danielle Lazarin, a suburban mother questions her choices. The story is performed by Heather Burns. And Burton reads Tillie Olsen’s “I Stand Here Ironing,” in which another mother wonders if she’s done right by a challenging first child.
14/11/1958m 41s

Reality Checks

Guest host Josh Radnor presents two stories about expectation, hope and disenchantment. A navy wife isn't charmed by the Riviera, until a chance encounter changes everything, in Richard Yates' “Evening on the Côte d’Azur," read by Edie Falco. And a video parlor run by a lonely widower is the source of solace and catastrophe in an early George Saunders story. Josh Radnor reads “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz.” 
07/11/1959m 16s

An Evening with LeVar Burton

Guest host LeVar Burton presents two of his favorite stories. In Lucia Berlin’s “Friends,” the characters have different ideas about who benefits from their weekly lunches. The reader is Lydia Gaston. Next, Burton himself reads Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s powerful “Control Negro,” in which an academic and father tries a real-world experiment to prove a theory about racism.  
31/10/1959m 5s

Too Hot For Radio: Patrick Dacey "To Feel Again The Kind of Love That Hurts Something Terrible"

The title of today’s story is a mouthful - “To Feel Again the Kind of Love That Hurts Something Terrible” - but trust us, you'll devour every word. It's by the writer Patrick Dacey, author of the novel, The Outer Cape, and a story collection, We’ve Already Gone This Far, and he’s a favorite of George Saunders, which is how he came to our attention. When we sent this story to one of our favorite readers, John Cameron Mitchell, he got back to us with the note "Wow, you really know how to pick them." Most people know John as the creator and star of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the recent musical podcast, Anthem: Homunculus. He’s also wowed his fair share of Selected Shorts audiences. He certainly did just that to the audience at San Francisco's Sketchfest when he performed this earlier in 2019.
28/10/1940m 13s

Hauntings for Halloween

Guest host Kate Burton presents some unusual chillers for Halloween. Edgar Allan Poe is haunted by a childhood memory in Russell Banks’ “The Caul,” performed by Richard Masur. Poe’s eerie “The Raven” is performed by Rene Auberjonois, Fionnula Flanagan, Isaiah Sheffer, and Harris Yulin. A dying emperor tries to communicate in “An Imperial Message,” by Franz Kafka, performed by Kaneza Schaal. And Agatha Christie tells a ghost story in “The Lamp,” performed by Rita Wolf. 
24/10/191h 1m

It All Depends on How You Look at It

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents two stories about identity, appearance, and longing. In Elizabeth Crane’s “Blue Girl,” a young woman learns how to embrace difference. The reader is Valorie Curry. “Different” is certainly how you’d describe the folktale character Rumplestiltskin, but in Michael Cunningham’s remix, that doesn’t keep him from wanting a normal life. Zach Grenier reads “Little Man.”
17/10/1958m 35s

Celebrating James Baldwin

Guest host LeVar Burton presents a program celebrating the author he calls “potent and polemical.” Christopher Jackson reads an excerpt from Baldwin’s famous letter The Fire Next Time: in “My Dungeon Shook,” he addresses internalized racism. Next, Anthony Rapp performs an excerpt from Giovanni's Room, in which an ex-pat comes to terms with his sexuality and loneliness in Paris. And Baldwin contemplates The Great Migration in his novel Go Tell It On The Mountain. We hear an excerpt performed by Charlayne Woodard. 
10/10/1959m 14s

Fables and Fairytales

Guest host Josh Radnor presents three stories drawn from the world of fables and fairytales, but with a modern twist. Maulik Pancholy reads Somerset Maugham’s “Appointment in Samarra”; when your time is up, it’s up. Ben Loory gives us a kinder, gentler take on the old “monster in the closet” idea in “The Monster,” read by John Cameron Mitchell. Kelly Link’s “The Faery Handbag” is part folk tale, part love story, part coming-of-age story. It’s read by Kirsten Vangsness.  
03/10/1959m 7s

Too Hot For Radio: Robin Hemley "Reply All"

A thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny account of how a cheating couple broadcast their affair to an entire listserv. This story was read by two very funny actors during Selected Shorts’ annual visit to the Getty Center in Los Angeles. D’Arcy Carden is a performer whose credits include Barry, Broad City, and the beloved Janet on The Good Place; Baron Vaughn can be seen on Grace and Frankie and heard on the reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000, as well as Corporate on Comedy Central. Robin Hemley is an accomplished fiction and nonfiction writer who has won both a Pushcart Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has written more than a dozen books including Do-Over!, and The Big Ear, as well as a forthcoming book (nonfiction) in March titled Borderline Citizen: Dispatches from the Outskirts of Nationhood. Our story, "Reply All" appears in his collection titled 21012 Reply All.
01/10/1927m 55s

Words Without Borders

Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories in translation selected with the international literary organization Words Without Borders. A wealthy woman winds up on the other side of the poverty line in Évelyne Trouillot’s “Detour,” performed by Rita Wolf and Arian Moayed, and introduced by Siri Hustvedt.  A civil servant becomes a soccer star in Reka Man-Varhegyi’s "Woman Striker Has Killer Left Foot,” performed by Adina Verson. And two teenage misfits visit a chimp in “Muzaffer and Bananas” by Yalçın Tosun, performed by Arian Moayed, and introduced by Karan Mahajan.
26/09/191h 7m

Quiet Time

Guest host David Sedaris presents two stories about quiet times. Leonard Nimoy reads Raymond Carver's classic "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," which is what perplexes the married couples sitting around drinking gin on a slow summer evening.  It's also summer in Bernard Malamud's "A Summer's Reading," and a rootless young man is trying to find a path in life. David Rakoff was the reader.
19/09/1959m 14s

Larger Than Life

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about characters who are a little larger than life. First, the story that inspired the Hollywood classic All About Eve, Mary Orr’s “The Wisdom of Eve,” performed by Stana Katic. Next, in Louise Erdrich’s powerful mother-daughter story “The Leap” a former trapeze artist pushes herself to the limit. It’s read by Elizabeth Reaser.  
12/09/1958m 42s

On Being

Guest host Krista Tippett, of On Being, presents short fiction and poems that confront issues of art, faith, and spirituality.First, a clergyman is tempted in "The Strength of God, Concerning the Reverend Curtis Hartman" by Sherwood Anderson, read by James Naughton. In Elizabeth Crane's "You Must Be This Happy to Enter" a time-travelling artist has a positive attitude. The reader is Claire Danes. A gold digger has second thoughts in Anton Chekhov's "An Enigmatic Nature," read by Fionnula Flanagan. Also featured are poems by Tracy K. Smith and David Whyte.
05/09/1959m 40s

Under the Surface

On this SELECTED SHORTS, hosted by Jane Kaczmarek, we explore hidden emotions. In Patrick Dacey’s “Patriots” suburban lawn ornaments threaten a friendship. The reader is Wendie Malick. In Seth Fried’s “Sea Monster,” a wife has a secret that may affect her marriage. The reader is Natasha Rothwell. Host Jane Kaczmarek reads our final story. In “Mistress” by Gina Berriault, a woman meets her former lover’s son.  
29/08/1959m 8s

Too Hot For Radio: ZZ Packer "Gideon"

Writer ZZ Packer is best known for her excellent 2003 collection of short stories, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, which saw its stories published in venues including The New Yorker (where she was launched as a debut writer). Packer's stories have appeared in Harper's and Story, and have been published in The Best American Short Stories. "Gideon" is read by the great American actress Danielle Brooks. Brooks is, of course, best known for her performance as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on Orange Is the New Black, but she’s also appeared in films and theater including a starring role in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing.
26/08/1920m 35s

Curious Courtships

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents three stories about curious courtships. First, does the perfect date night include zombies? Tony Hale reads “First Person Shooter,” by Charles Yu. A president’s wife is the ideal luggage item, until she develops a mind of her own in a vintage tale by Whitfield Cook. “The Portable Mrs. Tillson,” is performed by Laura Grey and Jordan Klepper. The show concludes with another period gem--“Gertrude the Governess: or, Simple Seventeen,” by Stephen Leacock, performed by Sonia Manzano. This pastiche of Victorian melodrama has everything.
22/08/191h 0m

Lovers and Gangsters: Richard Price Favorites

 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 politics, “The King,” and Rita Wolf reads Lucia Berlin’s odd love triangle, “The Love Affair.” Whitehead’s “Lost and Found” is read by Alec Baldwin.
15/08/1959m 5s

Someone’s Listening

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 Leonard has some fun with the "hail Mary" football pass in "Spirituality, with or Without a Prayer," read by Julie White. The title says it all in Jenny Hollowell's "The History of Everything Including You," read by Kyra Sedgwick, and Tracy K. Smith reads poems by Carl Dennis and Pablo Neruda.  
08/08/1959m 6s

Dynamic Duos

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.  In “The Trip,” by Bruce Jay Friedman, a young man is mortified when his over-the-top mom decides to accompany him to his first day at college. Santino Fontana and Julie Halston have fun with this social nightmare. In Lorrie Moore’s “Foes,” a world-weary liberal writer making a reluctant appearance at a charity dinner is seated with a rabid conservative. Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Allen skillfully navigate this delicate minefield.
01/08/1959m 3s

Too Hot For Radio: Etgar Keret "Jet Lag"

We're back! The bonus Selected Shorts podcast returns with some of our favorite stories we just can't air on the radio. Etgar Keret is the Israeli writer known for his absurdist, playful perspective and dark humor. In addition to having had many of his stories featured on Selected Shorts, he has been published in The New York Times, Le Monde, The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Paris Review and Zoetrope, among others, and over 40 short movies have been based on his stories, one of which won the American MTV Prize. "Jet Lag" is performed by David Cross, the American comedian, actor, director, and writer, known primarily for his stand-up performances, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in the sitcom Arrested Development. After the story, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Keret about this story and his work."Jet Lag" was recorded at a Too Hot For Radio performance in San Francisco at the SF Sketchfest comedy festival.
29/07/1918m 26s

Forgiving and Forgetting

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.
25/07/1959m 46s

Seeking Love

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 Elizabeth Crane’s "Ad," a stream-of-consciousness exercise for the Personals column, and love overwhelms the characters in Andrea Barrett's "The Littoral Zone," read by Becky Ann Baker and Dylan Baker.
18/07/1959m 6s

Laugh or Cry

Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully funny stories. DorothyParker skewers a boozy, possessive mother in "I Live on Your Visits," readby Celeste Holm. Then, a country wedding becomes a comedy of errors inArthur Bradford's "Snakebite," read by John Benjamin Hickey.
11/07/1959m 6s

Mending Families

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 selection.  
04/07/1959m 2s

Shout It Out: The Stonewall Uprising at 50

Guest host Denis O’Hare helps us celebrate the landmark event that helped give birth to the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ rights in America. On this special program, we first hear eyewitness accounts of the riots drawn from The Stonewall Reader, published by Penguin Classics and edited by The New York Public Library. Memoirs by Jayne County, Mark Segal, Lucian Truscott IV, and Holly Woodlawn are read by Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Michael Early, and Beth Malone. Next, we hear about the origins of the Gay Pride March one year after the riots when Ivory Aquino and Kate Bornstein perform Perry Brass’s “We Did It.” And to show how things have changed in 50 years, comments from Tobin Low and Kathy Tu, hosts of the Nancy podcast from WNYC Studios; fierce and touching poems by trans artist Kay Ulanday Barrett, “Right to Release,” and “Song for the Kicked Out,” read by Barrett, and a short story by Gary Eldon Peter in which a gay man at a straight wedding imagines a possible wedding of his own. His “Wedding” is performed by John Benjamin Hickey.
27/06/191h 6m

Magic and Realism: Clarice Lispector

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 Ones," and Lynn Cohen is a scary matriarch in "Happy Birthday."
20/06/1959m 5s

Women's Roles

Guest host Kate Burton presents three works about the roles of women. Margaret Atwood twists the tail of the fairy tale in "There Was Once," read by Jane Kaczmarek, Rene Auberjonois, and Zach Grenier. An actress is offered an unsympathetic part in "A Leading Role," by Tove Jansson, also read by Jane Kaczmarek. In Smith Henderson's "Treasure State," a young girl hitches a ride with runaway brothers. The reader is Michael Shannon.
13/06/191h 0m

Make 'Em Laugh: A Celebration of James Thurber

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. Kristen Nielsen, Susannah Rogers, and Keith Olbermann perform a selection of Thurber’s fables, and McKean reads “Many Moons,” Thurber’s charming fairy tale about a princess who wants the moon.
06/06/191h 0m

Learn from Your Mistakes

Guest host David Sedaris two stories about learning from your mistakes. Isaiah Sheffer reads Tobias Wolff’s “Mortals,” in which a botched obit leads to a life lesson. In Edwidge Danticat’s “Reading Lessons,” read by Marsha Stephanie Blake, it is the teacher who is taught.
30/05/1958m 19s

Front Lines

Guest host Kate Burton presents four works reflecting on the experience of war.  Lieutenant Colonel Chris Cohoes emailed his young sons while serving in Afghanistan. Matthew Modine reads one of his notes. A black soldier fights for independence during the Revolutionary War. Ruben Santiago-Hudson reads “A Soldier for the Crown” by Charles Johnson. In Robert Olen Butler’s “Mother in the Trenches,” a woman makes her way to France to be with her son. And Moacyr Scliar imagines war as just another day job in “Peace and War” read by Michael Cristofer.
23/05/1959m 1s

Dance in America

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 community in this funny story by Kurt Vonnegut, performed by Tony Shalhoub.
16/05/191h 3m

I Did It My Way

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents four works about fame, celebrity, show biz, and what it takes to survive them. First, actor Cole Escola channels the legendary Joan Crawford in an excerpt from her autobiography, My Way of Life. Author Zadie Smith channels the dauntless spirit of Billie Holiday in “Crazy They Call Me,” performed by Karen Pittman. Will Eno’s “Interview" is a freewheeling monologue which offers both sides of an extensive and confessional outpouring performed by the author. And Bebe Neuwirth dances her way into our hearts playing a carefree child trapped in pretentious dance class in “I Am Narcissus,” by Elizabeth Olmstead.
09/05/191h 6m

Uncharted Territories

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents three works about entering uncharted territories. An early John Updike fable, “The Different One,” imagines a bold bunny. It’s read by Michael Emerson. A gentrified town morphs into a dreamscape in Steven Millhauser’s “Coming Soon,” ready by David Morse. And Kirstin Valdez Quade’s essay “Youth From Every Quarter” looks at the harsher side of assimilation. It’s read by Manzano.
02/05/1959m 15s

Modern Fables

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen classic “A Wild Swan,” in a reading by Valorie Curry. Next, an excerpt from George Saunders’ touching and hilarious novella, Fox 8, read by John Cameron Mitchell.
25/04/191h 1m

Courtship and What Comes After

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 Ushkowitz. 
11/04/1959m 39s

Untrue Love

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 to Earth," in which a traveller from a distant planet comes to Earth to find love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/04/1959m 15s

After Life

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 Loves,” by Javier Marias, in which a ghost learns to read by proxy.  Kirsten Vangsness reads Neil Gaiman’s “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11 ¼; the child narrator doesn’t like what she finds in this magical place.  The heroine of Robert Aickman’s “Le Miroir,” does like what she sees in an antique looking glass—but there’s a price to pay.  The reader is Kathryn Erbe.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/03/191h 3m

Riverhead at 25

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 McBride, performed by Teagle Bougere, as well as special commissions from Aja Gabel (“Alarm”) and R.O. Kwon (“Tempo”) both performed by Hettienne Park.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/03/191h 4m

Twice Told: Stories Inspired by Books

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," read by Nikki M. James.  Seth Fried re-imagines Kafka's "Metamorphosis"; the reader is Jennifer Mudge.  And Dino Buzzati visits "Kafka's Houses" on trip to Prague.  The reader is Tony Roberts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/03/1959m 50s

Rituals

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 story “Love is Not a Pie,” in which family secrets, and family bonds, are shared after a funeral.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/03/191h 0m

Longings and Secrets

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 Fugard performs her own beautiful “Night Calls,” about a lonely widower, his young daughter, and an endangered bird.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/02/191h 0m

Against All Odds

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 of age in racist Jackson, Mississippi in his memoir “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,” read by Brandon J. Dirden.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
21/02/1959m 8s

Not Quite Human with John Darnielle

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.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/02/1959m 35s

Overcome: A Valentine’s Day Special

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-olds' "First Love," read by Edward Herrmann.  And a desperate housewife's plans for adventure are foiled in Dorothy Thomas's "The Getaway," read by Mia Dillon.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
07/02/1959m 44s

No Place Like Home: Best American Short Stories 2018

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 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 Guevara.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
31/01/191h 2m

Growing Pains

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 "The Most Girl Part of You," read by Kate Burton.  And Rick Moody follows two brothers from childhood to maturity in "Boys," read by BD Wong.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/01/191h 0m

Dangerously Funny: George Saunders & Carrie Brownstein

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, and Anthony Rapp performs Saunders’ “Sticks”, a brief portrait of an eccentric dad.  We also hear Brownstein and Saunders in conversation with Radnor.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
17/01/191h 0m

Moving On

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.  Tom Barbash’s thoughtful story “The Women” explores the very different ways a father and son cope with the loss of a wife and mother.  Michael Imperioli is the reader.  And we finish with an elegant classic by the French writer Colette, read by Barbara Barrie.  A married couple encounters “The Other Wife” at lunch.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
10/01/191h 0m

Morality Tales

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 Cargo)” by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, read by Valorie Curry.  Military acronyms can’t disguise the emotional toll of war in Phil Klay’s “OIF,” read by Brandon J. Dirden; and The Last Supper may be depicted in “The Tablecloth of Turin,” by Ron Carlson, read by Edi Gathegi.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
03/01/191h 0m

New Beginnings

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 the New York City of his dreams in Lara Vapnyar’s “Waiting for the Miracle,” read by David Costabile.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/12/1859m 54s

Tough Love for the Holidays

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 Krouse Rosenthal, performed by James Naughton and Jayne Atkinson; and a gangster is not so jolly in Kurt Vonnegut’s hilarious “A Present for Big Saint Nick,” performed by Tate Donovan.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/12/181h 0m

A Child’s-Eye View: Stories by John Irving

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 One Person, read by Michael C. Hall.  And a philandering children's book author entertains "Unhappy Mothers," in a reading by Heather Burns from A Widow for One Year.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/12/181h 0m

Rites of Passage: Stories from The Paris Review

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 “Marabou,” by Joy Williams, read by Michael Emerson.  In George Fox’s “The Twenty-Sixth Second” a WWII veteran has a secret.  It’s read by Linda Lavin.  And host Leonard finishes up with a story set on the day of the Nazi occupation of Paris, “The Hat,” by Patrick Modiano.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/12/181h 0m

Guilty Consciences

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 poison pen at work in a picturesque town, in Shirley Jackson’s “The Possibility of Evil,” read by Dana Ivey.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
29/11/181h 0m

Truth and Consequences with A.M. Homes and T.C. Boyle

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 a charming family fantasy in a big box store.  Jane Curtin is the reader. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
22/11/181h 0m

Parents and Children

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 Country," by Guy de Maupassant, performed by Thomas Gibson.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/11/181h 0m

Only Human: Anton Chekhov

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 her idol; “Rapture,” performed by Robin Miles, Sam Underwood, Rainn Wilson, and Di Zhu—a young man enjoys his 15 minutes of fame; “Which is Better?,” performed by Rainn Wilson—Chekhov debates the merits of schools vs. pubs; and “Verotchka,” performed by Rainn Wilson—a studious young man confronts romance. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
08/11/181h 3m

Politics is Local

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 a doomed courtship, in "Occupy Jen's Street," read by Wyatt Cenac.  And a feisty voter gets the last word in“Taking Ms. Kezee to the Polls,” by David Haynes, read by Michael Genét.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
01/11/181h 1m

Welcome to Night Vale

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
25/10/181h 1m

Improbable Dreams

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 Katic, a father’s children conspire to make him happy.  In “I, Gentile,” by David Gordon, performed by Michael Urie, a reluctant Jew falls in love with the wrong girl. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
18/10/181h 0m

Ways of Seeing

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 on the trail of a mysterious map maker.  Joe Spano reads.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
11/10/181h 0m

Food Fights with Food52

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 Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
04/10/181h 0m

Coming and Going: Best American Short Stories

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 Daniel O'Malley's "The Bridge," read by Joan Allen.   And an endangered parrot pleads for compassion in "The Great Silence," by Ted Chiang, read by Elizabeth Rodriguez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
27/09/181h 0m

Home Cooking with Food52

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 remembers her childhood—and a temperamental chef—in “Home Turf,” performed by Angel Desai.  And a mysterious presence haunts an old mill in classic children’s writer Joan Aiken’s “Watkyn, Comma,” performed by Sonia Manzano.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
20/09/181h 0m

Fateful Encounters

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 "Head Over Knees," in which a teen's envy turns to empathy.  And Helen Oyeyemi dresses an old fairy tale in new clothes in “Dornicka and the St. Martin's Day Goose," read by Colby Minifie.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
13/09/181h 0m

Dogs & Cats

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 live like a cat, in Helen Ellis's "Take it From Cats," read by Maria Dizzia, and a reversal of fortune in "Rosalyn's Dog," by Arthur Bradford, read by John Benjamin Hickey.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
06/09/181h 1m

Crybabies

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.  The late David Rakoff contemplates mortality in “All the Time We Have,” performed by Dennis O’Hare; and Maggie Smith’s poem  “Good Bones” tries to protect children from the bad things. It’s read by Busy Philipps. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/08/181h 1m

"Reader, I Married Him"

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 Niffenegger's "The Orphan Exchange," read by Tovah Feldshuh.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
23/08/181h 0m

Long Distance

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 Women" are an integrated jazz band touring the segregated South.  The reader is Anika Noni Rose.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
16/08/181h 0m

Surprises

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 Rocks” is an elegant comedy of bad manners, performed by Christina Pickles.  And the salesman in Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Fortune Cookie” thinks he’s found a formula for success.  Michael Imperioli is the reader.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
09/08/181h 0m

Fragile Families

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 Women,” read by Michael Imperioli.  And it’s a battle of wills in the kitchen in Annie Proulx’s “The Garlic War,” read by Shohreh Aghdashloo.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
02/08/181h 1m

More Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz

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 Little Loafers,” read by Dave Hill; old-time radio is revealed in Jean Shepherd’s “The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets the Message,” read by Isaiah Sheffer; and one woman’s all-nighter, in Jenny Allen’s “Awake,” read by Jane Kaczmarek. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
19/07/181h 0m

Too Hot For Radio Greg Ames "Benefactor"

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 Sun, among others. “Benefactor,” is something of a cautionary tale for all would-be patrons of the arts; please don’t let it stop you from sending us your tax-deductible donations. We recorded this story earlier in 2018 as a part of our live show in San Francisco during Sketchfest 2018. It's read by actor Lance Reddick, a multi-talented actor who has been in The Wire, Fringe, Bosch and the new Comedy Central series Corporate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
14/07/1833m 10s

Too Hot For Radio Richard Bausch "Billboard"

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 performing it is David Strathairn, who is known for John Sayles films, Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln, Alphas and so much more. Strathairn brings a lovely restraint to his performances, and as you’ll hear, that quality lends a new dimension to Bausch’s impulsive and vengeful narrator, a brother done wrong. We recorded this story during a live show in San Francisco as part of Sketchfest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
05/06/1834m 19s

Too Hot For Radio Kevin Canty "God’s Work"

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—novelist Meg Wolitzer - talks to host Aparna Nancherla after the reading describing Canty's keen insights about his characters which make them easily relatable, and there’s some lovely lyricism to his writing, as you’ll hear in today’s story.  The actor reading our story today is Jim True-Frost. Those of you who binge highbrow TV series will know him as “Prez” from The Wire, while others of us, well, we may never stop seeing him as the elevator operator who says “Buddy!” approximately 8,000 times in the “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
30/04/1846m 31s

Too Hot For Radio Brit Bennett "Ain’t That Good News"

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 “5 Under 35.” She has written essays for The Paris Review, The New York Times and The New Yorker, but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune cookies, propulsive and full of canny observations. "Ain't That Good News" is no exception - it's tender, sad, and packs a wallop. Our actor Karen Pittman absolutely nails this reading. Pittman has been in series including The Americans and Luke Cage, and has appeared on Broadway in plays such as Disgraced and Good People.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
28/02/1836m 17s
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