Selected Shorts

Symphony Space

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, from Symphony Space. read less

Our Editor's Take

The Selected Shorts podcast brings listeners dramatic readings of short stories by famous voices. The podcast features readers like Roxane Gay, Michael Shannon, and Amy Ryan. Host Meg Wolitzer is also a writer. She guides listeners to other places, times, and fascinating lives.

The podcast comes from Symphony Space, a Manhattan performing arts center. Selected Shorts began over three decades ago on its stage. The simple formula works. Its creators pair stage and screen actors with tales from new and heralded authors. Stories come from publications like The New Yorker, Paris Review, or classic collections. Theatergoers can attend readings.

Whether read by Edie Falco or Claire Danes, the stories are always engaging. In one podcast episode, Holly Hunter reads Erin Somers' "Ten Year Affair." The narrator tells the story through doubled timelines. It explores how two people can maintain a decade-long affair. Characters Cora and Sam are both happy with their respective spouses. They meet in a group for new parents. In the beginning, there's no love involved. The passion is physical and intense. As the timelines change and converge, other versions emerge. It asks fundamental questions about meaning, being human, and imagination.

Each episode of Selected Shorts focuses on a meaningful theme. In one, Maulik Pancholy serves as guest host. He reads selections from the Best American Short Stories anthology of 2018. The stories address themes of displacement, transformation, and immigration. An episode titled "Tangled Lives" includes three stories about people who won't let someone go. They ask questions like, what unexpected encounters change lives? Can one redeem oneself from a life of sin? How does one sibling's choice affect the others? How independent can humans be?

The podcast episode "A Point of Honor" addresses what it means to belong to the armed forces. Its stories include Kurt Vonnegut's "The Cruise of the Jolly Roger" and Maile Meloy's "Red." Liev Schreiber reads Etgar Keret's "Fly Already" in an episode about things going wrong. "Pride Inside" offers stories celebrating gay pride.

Readers and story lovers may find much to love in Selected Shorts. New episodes of the podcast come out every week.

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