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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.
 
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Host Meg Wolitzer presents three diverse stories that look at what gets left behind when life changes, gradually or suddenly. Restless retirees try on the ultimate next step in Greg Ames’ funny “Funeral Platter,” performed by Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole. The family in Julia Alvarez’s “Liberty” are on their way to a new life in America, but i…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three pieces about marriages that outlive the romance. In Etgar Keret’s “A World without Selfie Sticks,” performed by Tate Donovan, a man meets the woman of his dreams; but she’s from an alternate universe. “On the Honeymoon,” by Javier Marias, a husband has a strange encounter with a woman in the street. It’s read by Iva…
 
An FBI probe into potential terrorists at a prom is the perfect setup for this high-paced satire that covers youth, sex, politics, religion, education, and the government. Written by the award-winning author of Wrong End of the Telescope, and read by Raffi Barsoumian (DC's Legends of Tomorrow and The Vampire Diaries). It was one of the pieces commi…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three pieces about losing things: objects, opportunities, a primary sense, a new friendship. In “Any Other” by Jac Jemc, performed by Helen Hong, a woman rejects an offer without knowing the consequences. Namwali Serpell’s “Noseless” is about a loss many experienced during the pandemic; it’s performed by Kyrstina Alabado,…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about the course of true love, from two very different perspectives. Sigrid Nunez explores a roller-coaster romance in a small town in “This Is It,” performed by Christina Pickles, and Simon Rich offers up Stone-Age love in a small cave in “I Love Girl.” It’s performed by Michael Ian Black, who also chats with…
 
In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to comedian and writer Michael Ian Black about what he’s been reading and the tricky business of being funny. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.De către Symphony Space
 
This week we reprise a great show from our archives: guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories from New York Magazine’s online portal “The Cut,” which combines art, journalism, and the kind of fresh contemporary fiction that speaks to us. On this program, a woman tries on different identities, as well as clothes, in a dress shop fitting room, in “F…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories about journeys, both physical and emotional. Strangers size one another up on a busy city bus in Kurt Vonnegut’s “City,” performed by Bhavesh Patel and Sarah Steele. An excerpt from James Baldwin’s Another Country takes us on a frantic subway ride toward an ultimate moment. It is performed by Nathan Hinton. H…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories about journeys, both physical and emotional. Strangers size one another up on a busy city bus in Kurt Vonnegut’s “City,” performed by Bhavesh Patel and Sarah Steele. An excerpt from James Baldwin’s Another Country takes us on a frantic subway ride towards an ultimate moment. It is performed by Nathan Hinton. …
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that ask the big, basic questions: Who? What? Where? The characters resonate, the situations are intriguing, and each offers a fully realized world. In “What Animal Are You?,” by Etgar Keret, performed by Willem Dafoe, a celebrity writer and his son play themselves for the media. In Rumaan Alam’s “Nothing Ca…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that ask the big, basic questions: Who? What? Where? The characters resonate, the situations are intriguing, and each offers a fully realized world. In “What Animal Are You?,” by Etgar Keret, performed by Willem Dafoe, a celebrity writer and his son play themselves for the media. In Rumaan Alam’s “Nothing Ca…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about indomitable women. A mother grieves a loss fiercely in Carribean Fragoza’s “Lumberjack Mom,” performed by Roberta Colindrez. And Richard Yates’ classic “Fun with a Stranger” offers a portrait of an unforgettable teacher. It’s performed by Marian Seldes.De către Symphony Space
 
In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to journalist, activist and feminist writer Mona Eltahawy about her life, literature and what it means to be a "dangerous woman." Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works about women who defy the status quo and might therefore be perceived as “dangerous.” In Margaret Atwood’s “Unpopular Gals,” fairy-tale archetypes reclaim their power. The reader is Ann Harada. A boisterous and brilliant student threatens to upend the order of her high school in Shanteka Sigers’ “A Way with Bea…
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about close—but complex—ties of family and friendship. Jamaica Kincaid offers up a lyrical, dreamlike account of the mother/daughter bond in “My Mother,” performed by Laurine Towler. In Laura van den Berg’s “Lessons” a quartet of youthful bank robbers faces hard questions about love and loyalty. The story is r…
 
On this SELECTED SHORTS, bad guys. Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories featuring famous villains, real and fictional. A woman writes a letter to a former president—now residing in Hell, in “Thank You, Mr. Nixon,” by Gish Jen, performed by Cindy Cheung. And a man in recovery faces off against a former Roman leader with a really bad rep in "Play…
 
For Memorial Day, host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories that feature men in uniform, codes of honor, and how conflicts can sometime lead to connection. Maile Meloy’s “Red,” performed by Keith Szarabajka, takes place in London during the Blitz, where a man and woman find a rare moment of peace. In Kurt Vonnegut’s “The Cruise of the Jolly Roger,” a …
 
Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about profound and unexpected connections between people—territory she herself covers a lot as a writer. Old enemies meet in Lauren Groff’s “Once,” performed by Cynthia Nixon. Old friends come together and wonder what might have been in Rachel Khong’s “Slow and Steady,” performed by Hettienne Park. And an ar…
 
On this SELECTED SHORTS, host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories from our recently published anthology, Small Odysseys, which features 35 commissioned stories from some of the series’ favorite writers. This week, parents try to help with their daughter’s unusual school science research project. Michael Shannon reads Susan Perabo’s “The Project.” And…
 
On this SELECTED SHORTS host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories featuring mothers and children, and entertains a special guest—her own mother, Hilma Wolitzer. In Annette Sanford’s “Trip in a Summer Dress,” a young woman is setting out to get married, but leaving her real life—and a hard choice—behind. The reader is Mia Dillon. “Palaver,” by Bryan Wa…
 
A story by the Columbian-born author, set in the turbulent 70’s as a group of would-be radicals devises a plan that quickly goes awry (the narrator might be the most pathetic revolutionary ever). The story is read by Peter Jay Fernandez, translated by Beatriz Teleki. Too Hot is hosted by Aparna Nancherla. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkfo…
 
On this SELECTED SHORTS host Meg Wolitzer presents two works by the dazzling writer Joan Didion, whose essays, novels, and memoirs have been beloved by generations of readers. This sophisticated, knowing artist placed herself squarely in her reportage, telling her own story vividly and courageously. We’ll hear excepts from two of her best-known wor…
 
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