10 episodes

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.

Selected Shorts PRX

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.4, 1.9K Ratings

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.

    I Do, I Do

    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.

    • 58 min
    Best Intentions

    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.”

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

    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.

    • 36 min
    CHILD'S PLAY

    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.

    • 58 min
    Past and Future

    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.

    • 58 min
    Journeys, Memories, and Miracles: Italian Short Stories

    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.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.9K Ratings

1.9K Ratings

MooperDumpling ,

Fantastic

It doesn’t matter what race, gender, ethnicity or orientation, the stories read are wonderful. Thank you!!

better sories please ,

Bring back the great writers please and don’t waste our time!

I have listened to Selected Shorts for a long time and used to love it. More recently, they have eschewed great writers ( one superb reading and story was Leonard Nimoy’s reading of a Cheever story- I will never forget it) and are doing nothing but readings of mediocre writers. Such a shame- this program used to be a treasure- now, for the most part, it is just a waste of time. Bring back the good writers Selected Shorts!

Mommabird25 ,

Fantastic Podcast

I believe I’m a better person for taking the time to listen to these stories. The ones chosen are wise, entertaining, soulful and well crafted.

I’m wanting to write like that, but it sure isn’t easy!

The narrators are varied and well rehearsed. Each reader is very different from the others.

Yeah we shouldn’t bash the president. He is able to damage the decency of our constitution and demonstrate incompetence, entitlement and small-mindedness without needing any help from the great artists putting on this production.

And to those who need to bring up anything negative and sully the greatness of this endeavor, I say ba-fong-guu.

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