Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday, from Symphony Space.
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 excerpts 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.
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that cross generations. In Justin Torres’s “Trash Kites,” performed by Colman Domingo, teens find beauty in scarcity. A daughter’s aging parent links her past and present in “The World with My Mother Still in It” by Kathryn Chetkovich, performed by Phillipa Soo. And a tutor tries to create a bond with her privileged student in “Ancient Rome” by Kyle McCarthy, performed by Tavi Gevinson.
On this SELECTED SHORTS, host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about moving out of familiar territory into new spaces and new understanding. In Meron Hadero’s “The Thief’s Tale,” read by Teagle F. Bougere, an émigré can’t leave some of his old ways behind. “The Tallest Doll in New York City,” by Maria Dahvana Headley, imagines what happens when two iconic skyscrapers fall in love. It’s read by Becca Blackwell. And summer trip yields unexpected treasures in Anne Tyler’s “The Feather Behind the Rock,” read by Jane Curtin.
Too Hot For Radio: Samanta Schweblin "An Unlucky Man"
WARNING: This story is going to make you feel a little bit or maybe a lot of bit uncomfortable—even while you're laughing.
Make a Meal of It
Guest host Roxane Gay (no mean cook herself) presents three stories centered on food. In “Three Great Meals” the late New Yorker humor writer Donald Barthelme tells you how to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner from a terrifying medley of fast food and low-end canned goods. The story is read by Nate Corddry. In "Simple Recipes," author Madeleine Thien weaves together evocative memories of traditional meals prepared by her father, with more complex images of a family in conflict. The reader is Cindy Cheung. And finally, a Roald Dahl classic, “Lamb to the Slaughter.” This tale of a model housewife’s response to a marital crisis will make you view your Sunday roast in a whole new light. She’s embodied by Catherine O'Hara.
Host Meg Wolitzer presents perfect mismatches. In “The Man and the Moose” by Ben Loory, performed by Michael Cerveris, a man’s best bud has antlers. In “Red Dirt Don't Wash” by Roger Mais, performed by Brandon J. Dirden, a young man’s courtship is at risk—she doesn’t like his shoes. And a piano lesson is out of tune in “The Piano Teacher’s Pupil” by William Trevor, performed by Kathryn Erbe. Authors Elizabeth Strout and Marlon James present commentary from the stage at Symphony Space.
Great stories - horrible host
Not a great radio voice- Ok but her content is worse! The act is reading. The stories are fantastic, as I have the stories selected.
3 cheers for Meg Wolitzer
I’ve been listening to Selected Shorts for decades. Meg’s intros always give me insight into the writer’s craft. She sets the stage for the delights to come.
It’s a wonderful aperitif to the readers’ performances.
Less Meg W
Way too much time devoted to Meg. Never had that with Isiah.