Series: Selected Shorts

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. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Rites & Rituals

Guest host David Sedaris offers three stories that question social rites. “Cultural Relativity” is Charles Johnson’s witty retelling of a classic fairy tale; it’s read by Regina King. Zadie Smith reads her own “Lazy River”—ostensibly about a failed holiday in Spain, but also a deft satire about Brexit, class, and exploitation. And the cantankerous spinster…

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Too Hot For Radio: Becky Mandelbaum “Queen of England”

Actor Robin Lord Taylor (You, Gotham) performs a story about a single mom with two unruly sons. And later in the podcast, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Sarah Thyre about how she chose this story for a night at Selected Shorts. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Modern Fables

Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen class “A Wild Swan,” in a reading by Valorie Curry. Next, an excerpt from George Saunders’ touching and hilarious novella, Fox 8, read by John Cameron Mitchell. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Extended Families

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories featuring unconventional families. A young girl is raised by a group of warm-hearted “mamas” in Shay Youngblood’s touching coming-of-age story, “They Tell Me, Now I Know,” read by Viola Davis. In Jai Chakrabarti’s “A Small Sacrifice for An Enormous Happiness,” a forbidden love affair and a marriage of…

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Look Again

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which young protagonists have their lives altered by acts of perception. A ten-year old girl takes a care-free walk in the woods in Alice Walker’s “The Flowers,” but the blossoms she finds conceal something darker. The reader is Crystal Dickinson. Ethan Canin’s “Star Food,” read by David…

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Only Human: Anton Chekhov

Guest host Jane Curtin presents works by Anton Chekhov that were part of a celebration sponsored by Columbia University and hosted by Chekhov scholar Laura Strausfeld. We’ll hear “A Drama,” performed by Cynthia Nixon—an ambitious writer overwhelms her idol; “Rapture,” performed by Robin Miles, Sam Underwood, Rainn Wilson, and Di Zhu—a young man enjoys his…

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It’s a Sign

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which unexpected encounters and visitations result in new love. In Ana Menéndez’s “Story of a Parrot,” a colorful bird revives a grey marriage. The reader is Jacqueline Kim. Russian Nobel Laureate Ivan Bunin penned a delicate story of an unexpected romance between a man with a wound…

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Redemption

Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about recollection and redemption. In “Sibyl,” by Carys Davies, read by Jane Kaczmarek, two lonely vacationers are brought together. Andre Braugher performs an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s master work, Beloved. And a daughter returns home to help her aging father in an excerpt from Rachel Khong’s bittersweet novel…

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Improbable Dreams

Guest host Hope Davis presents three improbable stories: in “The Orange,” by Benjamin Rosenbaum, a citrus fruit rules the world. The read is John Cameron Mitchell. In “The Man, The Restaurant, and the Eiffel Tower,” by Ben Loory, performed by Stana Katic, a father’s children conspire to make him happy. In “I, Gentile,” by David…

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Too Hot For Radio: Simon Rich “Guy Walks into a Bar”

Humor writer Simon Rich reimagines a classic joke for The New Yorker.After the reading by actor Michael Urie, Rich talks to host Aparna Nancherla about how this hilarious, and somewhat dirty piece, made it to print and went viral. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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