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, 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.
  • Wednesday, January 21, 2015 8:48am
    An abduction, a rejection, and a reconciliation in three stories presented by David Sedaris. A flirtatious girl is in peril in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, read by Christine Baranski. A tender-hearted librarian parts company with her feral cats in Belle Boggs’ “Havahart,” read by Merritt Wever. In George Saunders’ “Sticks,” read by Anthony Rapp, a dysfunctional father reaches out to his family in a strange way.
  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015 6:06am
    Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about choices. In Amy Hempel’s “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried,” two old friends face death together and apart. The reader is Mary Beth Hurt. In Tobias Wolff’s “The Night in Question” a sister and brother disagree about the right thing to do. Lou Antonio reads. And Sedaris gives an hilarious performance of Frank Gannon’s “I Know What I’m Doing About All the Attention I’ve Been Getting,” about a narcissist with an existential wardrobe crisis.
  • Wednesday, January 7, 2015 11:56am
    David Sedaris presents the three unconventional stories about family ties. In Amy Hempel’s “The Dog of the Marriage,” a discarded wife finds abiding love among seeing- eye dogs. The reader is Joan Allen. Veronica Geng makes fun of traditional wedding announcements in “Partners”, read by Michael Cerveris, Patricia Kalember, and Isaiah Sheffer. And William Hurt reads Tobias Wolff’s moving father-son story “Nightingale.”
  • Wednesday, December 31, 2014 9:53am
    Cynthia Nixon presents the second of two programs devoted to a reading of James Joyce’s most memorable short story, “The Dead,” first published in his collection Dubliners. “The Dead” takes place at a New Year’s dinner-dance in Dublin in 1904, and is filled with colorful characters, period detail, humor and poignancy. In this second part, the guests are leaving, and Gabriel Conroy longs to be alone with his wife Gretta, who has a secret. Nixon and prize winning author Colum McCann are the readers.