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Selected Shorts

PRI

Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.

Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.
More Information

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

PRI

Panoply

Description:

Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.

Language:

English

Contact:

Selected Shorts c/o Symphony Space 2537 Broadway New York, NY 10025-6990 212-864-5400


Episodes

Dance in America

5/16/2019
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Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents works celebrating dance. A domineering mother uses an evening at the ballet to find fault in "My Mother Explains the Ballet to Me,” by Jesse Eisenberg, performed by Patricia Kalember. A pioneering African-American dancer remembers an audition in “Léonide Massine,” by Janet Collins, performed by Carmen de Lavallade. A magical garment transforms its owner in “The Cape,” by Ben Loory, performed by Tony Yazbeck. And the “Tango” undermines a stuffy WASP...

Duration:01:03:51

I Did It My Way

5/9/2019
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents four works about fame, celebrity, show biz, and what it takes to survive them. First, actor Cole Escola channels the legendary Joan Crawford in an excerpt from her autobiography, My Way of Life. Author Zadie Smith channels the dauntless spirit of Billie Holiday in “Crazy They Call Me,” performed by Karen Pittman. Will Eno’s “Interview" is a freewheeling monologue which offers both sides of an extensive and confessional outpouring performed by the...

Duration:01:06:32

Uncharted Territories

5/2/2019
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Guest host Sonia Manzano presents three works about entering uncharted territories. An early John Updike fable, “The Different One,” imagines a bold bunny. It’s read by Michael Emerson. A gentrified town morphs into a dreamscape in Steven Millhauser’s “Coming Soon,” ready by David Morse. And Kirstin Valdez Quade’s essay “Youth From Every Quarter” looks at the harsher side of assimilation. It’s read by Manzano.

Duration:00:59:15

Modern Fables

4/25/2019
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Guest host Kirsten Vangsness presents two contemporary fables. First, Michael Cunningham reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen classic “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.

Duration:01:01:28

Courtship and What Comes After

4/11/2019
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Guest host Jane Curtin offers up tales of courtship and its consequences. In “Prince Amilec,” by Tanith Lee, a handsome prince pursues a beautiful princess, but it’s not the same old, same old fairy tale. Gildart Jackson performs. A couple explores their relationship in a humorous piece by A.M. Homes. “Be Mine is performed by Sanjit De Silva and Adina Verson. And in “The Idea of Marcel,” by Marie-Helene Bertino, a breakup leads ex lovers to reboot each other. It’s performed by Jenna...

Duration:00:59:39

Untrue Love

4/4/2019
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about untrue love. A devoted wife worships her sailor husband in Daphne du Maurier's "La Sainte-Vierge," read by Kathryn Erbe. And Paul Giamatti reads a sci-fi classic by Robert Sheckley, "Pilgrimage to Earth," in which a traveller from a distant planet comes to Earth to find love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:15

After Life

3/28/2019
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Guest host John Darnielle presents favorite works that reflect on life and death and what comes after. He reads Robert Browning’s chilling poem “My Last Duchess,” and also offers up a new song, “Skeleton’s Tooth.” Molly Ringwald performs “No More Loves,” by Javier Marias, in which a ghost learns to read by proxy. Kirsten Vangsness reads Neil Gaiman’s “When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11 ¼; the child narrator doesn’t like what she finds in this magical...

Duration:01:03:22

Riverhead at 25

3/21/2019
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Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents works that reflect on the diversity and excellence of Riverhead Books, celebrating a quarter century. The program features “Flower Hunters,” by Lauren Groff, performed by Maria Dizzia, and “Buck Boy,” by James McBride, performed by Teagle Bougere, as well as special commissions from Aja Gabel (“Alarm”) and R.O. Kwon (“Tempo”) both performed by Hettienne Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:04:40

Twice Told: Stories Inspired by Books

3/14/2019
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents four stories inspired by other books and authors. Immigrants collide at Wal-Mart in Juan Martinez's “Best Worst American,” read by Cristin Milioti. An old friendship is strained in Namwali Serpell 's "Double Men," read by Nikki M. James. Seth Fried re-imagines Kafka's "Metamorphosis"; the reader is Jennifer Mudge. And Dino Buzzati visits "Kafka's Houses" on trip to Prague. The reader is Tony Roberts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...

Duration:00:59:50

Rituals

3/7/2019
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Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about rituals. A young author takes a glamorous older woman to lunch and all does not go well in “The Luncheon” by Jeffrey Archer, performed by Jefferson Mays. And host Davis performs Amy Bloom’s touching story “Love is Not a Pie,” in which family secrets, and family bonds, are shared after a funeral. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:41

Longings and Secrets

2/28/2019
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Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories about longing. In Peter Carey’s “American Dreams,” a small Australian community is transformed into a tourist destination by a bizarre bequest. Strathairn is the reader. And writer and actor Lisa Fugard performs her own beautiful “Night Calls,” about a lonely widower, his young daughter, and an endangered bird.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:00:03

Against All Odds

2/21/2019
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Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about people who beat the odds. In Lauren Groff’s “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners,” read by Amy Ryan, a sensitive boy grows up in a house full of snakes. Then, writer Kiese Laymon recalls coming of age in racist Jackson, Mississippi in his memoir “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,” read by Brandon J. Dirden.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:08

Not Quite Human with John Darnielle

2/14/2019
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Guest host John Darnielle presents two of his favorite weird stories. In Amparo Davila’s “Moses and Gaspar,” a grieving man has inherited two—creatures—from his dead brother. But what in the world are they? Peter Jay Fernandez reads. A slick salesman has a little something extra up his sleeve in Dennis Etchison’s “The Pitch,” read by Michael Shannon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:05

Overcome: A Valentine’s Day Special

2/7/2019
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Guest host Michael Cerveris presents three unusual love stories. A goofy guy meets the girl of his dreams in a really strange way in "Chainsaw Apple," by Arthur Bradford, read by Josh Radnor. Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov recalls a ten-year-olds' "First Love," read by Edward Herrmann. And a desperate housewife's plans for adventure are foiled in Dorothy Thomas's "The Getaway," read by Mia Dillon.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:14

No Place Like Home: Best American Short Stories 2018

1/31/2019
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Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two selections from this year’s Best American Short Stories anthology, with comments by this year’s guest editor, Roxane Gay. In “Suburbia,” by Amy Silverberg, a young girl leaves home for the first time, and both she, and it, are transformed. The reader is Martha Plimpton. “Everything is Far from Here,” by Cristina Henriquez, goes to the heart of the country’s immigration crisis with an affecting portrait of a migrant mother and her son. It’s performed by...

Duration:01:01:14

Growing Pains

1/24/2019
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Guest host David Sedaris presents three stories about growing up and rites of passage. A young woman is drawn into a social charade in Joyce Carol Oates' "Nairobi," read by Alison Pill. Best friends re-examine their relationship in Amy Hempel's "The Most Girl Part of You," read by Kate Burton. And Rick Moody follows two brothers from childhood to maturity in "Boys," read by BD Wong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:59:12

Dangerously Funny: George Saunders & Carrie Brownstein

1/17/2019
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Guest host Josh Radnor presents works by Carrie Brownstein and George Saunders. Brownstein reads from her memoir “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.” BD Wong performs Saunders’ “My Chivalric Fiasco,” about a goofy knight errant at a Renaissance Fair, and Anthony Rapp performs Saunders’ “Sticks”, a brief portrait of an eccentric dad. We also hear Brownstein and Saunders in conversation with Radnor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:58:56

Moving On

1/10/2019
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Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about emotional transitions—what happens after divorce, or the death of a loved one? In our first, prankish story by Ron Carlson, lunch with an ex becomes an Olympic sport. The reader is Sean Astin. Tom Barbash’s thoughtful story “The Women” explores the very different ways a father and son cope with the loss of a wife and mother. Michael Imperioli is the reader. And we finish with an elegant classic by the French writer Colette, read by Barbara...

Duration:00:59:15

Morality Tales

1/3/2019
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Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories with lessons for us. In T.C. Boyle’s “The Five-Pound Burrito,” a chef goes over the top. Santino Fontana reads. A lonely millennial learns that you can’t hurry puppy love in “Love (or Live Cargo)” by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, read by Valorie Curry. Military acronyms can’t disguise the emotional toll of war in Phil Klay’s “OIF,” read by Brandon J. Dirden; and The Last Supper may be depicted in “The Tablecloth of Turin,” by Ron Carlson, read by Edi...

Duration:00:58:28