Selected Shorts

Sunday nights from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Selected Shorts presents some of the finest artists in American theater and screen reading short fiction by classic, contemporary and bold new writers. Selected Shorts is a weekly public radio show broadcast on over 130 stations to about 300,000 listeners. It is produced by Symphony Space and WNYC Radio, and distributed by Public Radio International.

Each program is recorded live at Peter Norton Symphony Space in Manhattan. The programs have featured works by master writers, from Chekhov to Wharton and Hemingway; stories by contemporary greats from John Updike to Alice Walker; and the fresh works of new literary talents, from Pulitzer Prize-winning Jhumpa Lahiri to promising newcomers like Rattawut Lapchararoensap and Etgar Keret.



  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 9:04am
    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.
  • Wednesday, February 18, 2015 12:27pm
    Guest host Stephen Colbert presents two modern fables. In Gail Godwin’s “St. George,” a lonely medieval scholar gets a pet dragon—really. The reader is Jane Curtin. And James Naughton reads Annie Proulx’s tale of a man born not to succeed: “The Trickle-Down Effect.”
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015 7:27am
    Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents a program of stories in which things don’t quite work out as planned. Three are by humorist BJ Novak. He reads his “All You Have to Do;” Allison Williams reads “Missed Connection,” and Novak, Aasif Mandvi, and Williams read “Closure.” In Miranda July’s “Roy Spivey,” read by Amy Ryan, a shy woman attracts a celebrity, and another shy woman yearns for happiness in James Joyce’s “Eveline,” read by Kelli O’Hara.
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2015 12:31pm
    Guest host Jane Curtin presents a program of stories by humorist BJ Novak from his book One More Thing. Novak reads his re-mix of the tortoise and the hare fable, “The Rematch.” He’s joined by Aasif Mandvi and Anthony Rapp for “Great Writers Steal,” and then he reads a comic coming-of- age story, “Kellogg’s (or: The Last Wholesome Fantasy of the Middle-School Boy)."
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015 12:53pm
    Guest host David Sedaris presents a program celebrating the late David Rakoff, and praising him as a great reader and lover of language. Rakoff reads Leonard Michaels’ “Cryptology” in which a neurotic mathematician has a strange encounter, and Roberto Bolano’ s “Gomez Palacio,” which is a dead-end town where a young man’s life nevertheless takes a turn for the better.