16 episodes

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.

Selected Shorts Symphony Space

    • Arts
    • 4.4 • 2.3K Ratings

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.

    It Takes Two

    It Takes Two

    Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about profound and unexpected connections between people—territory she herself covers a lot as a writer. Old enemies meet in Lauren Groff’s “Once,” performed by Cynthia Nixon. Old friends come together and wonder what might have been in Rachel Khong’s “Slow and Steady,” performed by Hettienne Park. And an artistic collaboration takes a bizarre turn in Elizabeth Crane’s “Something Shiny,” performed by Kate Walsh.

     

     

     

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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Small Odysseys

    Small Odysseys

    Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories from our recently published anthology, Small Odysseys, which features 35 commissioned stories from some of the series’ favorite writers.  This week, parents try to help with their daughter’s unusual school science research project.  Michael Shannon reads Susan Perabo’s “The Project.”  And in Luis Alberto Urrea’s “King of Bread,” a father carves out his own little kingdom in the barrios of San Diego—handing out doughnuts, and hope.  The reader is Javier Muñoz.

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    • 58 min
    Mothers Know Best

    Mothers Know Best

    On this SELECTED SHORTS host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories featuring mothers and children, and entertains a special guest—her own mother, Hilma Wolitzer.  In Annette Sanford’s “Trip in a Summer Dress,” a young woman is setting out to get married, but leaving her real life—and a hard choice—behind.  The reader is Mia Dillon.  “Palaver,” by Bryan Washington, offers a playful—but also serious—battle of wits between a strong-willed mother and her grown son, each wanting to know more about the other without giving away too much of themselves.  The alternating narratives are performed by Petronia Paley and Michael Potts.  And host Wolitzer quizzes her own mother about her writing life, the impact of feminism, and raising a novelist to be.

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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Too Hot for Radio: Helena Araújo "Asthmatic"

    Too Hot for Radio: Helena Araújo "Asthmatic"

    A story by the Columbian-born author, set in the turbulent 70’s as a group of would-be radicals devises a plan that quickly goes awry (the narrator might be the most pathetic revolutionary ever). The story is read by Peter Jay Fernandez, translated by Beatriz Teleki. Too Hot is hosted by Aparna Nancherla.

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    • 39 min
    Behind Her Eyes

    Behind Her Eyes

    Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about social masks and what might lie beneath.  Truman Capote’s “A Lamp in a Window” introduces an eccentric character with a secret.  It’s performed by Arian Moayed. In Molly Giles’ “What Do You Say?” a mother and daughter lunch at a diner, where the mother encounters a bit of her past.  The reader is Parker Posey. And novelist Zadie Smith channels the legendary singer Billie Holiday in “Crazy They Call Me,” performed by Karen Pittman.

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    • 1 hr 4 min
    A Didion Duo

    A Didion Duo

    Host Meg Wolitzer presents two works by the dazzling writer Joan Didion, whose essays, novels, and memoirs have been beloved by generations of readers.  This sophisticated, knowing artist placed herself squarely in her reportage, telling her own story vividly and courageously.  We’ll hear excepts from two of her best-known works, The White Album, in which she reports on her own mental collapse in the madness of California in the 1960s, and Goodbye to All That, in which her youthful self falls in, and out of, love with New York City.  Jill Eikenberry performs The White Album and Mia Dillon shares Goodbye to All That.

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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

Wilton301 ,

Great work!

Thank goodness there have been more stories about race lately. Let it continue—it’s an ever rich and essential topic.

Haley Reinhart lover ,

What is going on

Are there directors? Rehearsals? Or do they just come from the sound stage of their sit coms to speed read through volunteer gigs? More than half of the stories are ones I cringe through because of the very very poor quality of the reading. The more famous and busier the reader, the worse the reading. From the first to the last word of capotes short story I was slack jawed. Not to mention that the intro was literally as long as the story. Then the first line of the next story just starts with a mistake. Is there a period after counter? This sounds like someone had never read the story before. SS has always had a smattering of emotive readers who over do it. That’s for the last 20 years. Maybe bc I’ve decided to give it a try again over Covid I’m poorly conditioned for performances like the ones I’ve been hearing. Also I’ve been spoiled by stellar performances on audible by no name readers of superior skill. Ok I get it audible is edited and this is live. All the more reason to rehearse and direct these readings.

lidia___011 ,

Horrible narrators, ruining stories.

These readers lately.. woof.

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