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, December 17, 2014 12:02pm
    Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents four Christmas-themed works. First, two very different family Christmases: Ron Carlson’s “The H Street Sledding Record,” read by Keith Szarabajka, and Frank O’Connor’s “Christmas Morning,” read by Malachy McCourt. Then a whimsical comedy from the 1930s, George Shepards’s “Occurrence on the Six-Seventeen,” read by Tony Roberts. And humorist Calvin Trillin is dreaming of “Christmas in Qatar.”
  • Wednesday, December 10, 2014 5:00am
    Guest host Stephen Colbert celebrates a classic by gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We hear three chapters from his 1972 book chronicling his drug-fuelled road trip to cover a motor-cycle race, which winds up being what he called “a savage journey to the heart of the American dream.” The readers are Alec Baldwin, Anthony Rapp, and Michael Imperioli.
  • Wednesday, December 3, 2014 7:55am
    Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a program of stories about finding love in unexpected places—a cave (“I Love Girl,” by Simon Rich; performed by Michael Ian Black); in the belly of a whale “When We Lived Together In the Belly of a Whale, Some Nights Were Perfect,” by Mara McCormick Sternberg, performed by BD Wong ); and a corporate getaway (“Jubilation, Florida,” by N.M Kelby, performed by Amy Ryan).
  • Wednesday, November 26, 2014 4:07am
    Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents a program of stories about revolution—social and personal. In “Homegirls on St. Nicholas Avenue,” read by Marsha Stephanie Blake, the writer Sonia Sanchez remembers when Malcolm X changed her life. Henry Dumas’ “Strike and Fade,” brings back the volatile Harlem of the 1960s. It’s read by Francois Battiste. A mild-mannered teacher and his activist mother are brought to life by Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco, in Charles Baxter’s “Fenstad’s Mother.”
  • Thursday, November 20, 2014 2:10pm
    Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about extreme love. In “Magic and Dread,” an excerpt from Jenny Offill’s novel Dept. of Speculation, a new mother is exhausted and exhilarated. The reader is Kaneza Schaal. Broadway star BD Wong reads the story of the doomed love affair between a Trojan warrior and Dido, the Queen of Carthage, from Virgil’s Aeneid.