Selected Shorts



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


  • It Takes Two

    19/05/2022 Duración: 01h01min

    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 artistic collaboration takes a bizarre turn in Elizabeth Crane’s “Something Shiny,” performed by Kate Walsh.       Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Small Odysseys

    12/05/2022 Duración: 58min

    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 in Luis Alberto Urrea’s “King of Bread,” a father carves out his own little kingdom in the barrios of San Diego—handing out doughnuts, and hope.  The reader is Javier Muñoz. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Mothers Know Best

    05/05/2022 Duración: 01h12min

    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 Washington, offers a playful—but also serious—battle of wits between a strong-willed mother and her grown son, each wanting to know more about the other without giving away too much of themselves.  The alternating narratives are performed by Petronia Paley and Michael Potts.  And host Wolitzer quizzes her own mother about her writing life, the impact of feminism, and raising a novelist to be. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Too Hot for Radio: Helena Araújo "Asthmatic"

    02/05/2022 Duración: 39min

    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!: See for privacy information.

  • Behind Her Eyes

    28/04/2022 Duración: 01h04min

    Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about social masks and what might lie beneath.  Truman Capote’s “A Lamp in a Window” introduces an eccentric character with a secret.  It’s performed by Arian Moayed. In Molly Giles’ “What Do You Say?” a mother and daughter lunch at a diner, where the mother encounters a bit of her past.  The reader is Parker Posey. And novelist Zadie Smith channels the legendary singer Billie Holiday in “Crazy They Call Me,” performed by Karen Pittman. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • A Didion Duo

    21/04/2022 Duración: 01h07min

    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 works, The White Album, in which she reports on her own mental collapse in the madness of California in the 1960s, and Goodbye to All That, in which her youthful self falls in, and out of, love with New York City.  Jill Eikenberry performs The White Album and Mia Dillon shares Goodbye to All That. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • All of It with Alison Stewart

    14/04/2022 Duración: 58min

    We partnered with WNYC’s Alison Stewart on this program featuring tales of love and haunting by new and established writers who have been featured on her show All of It.  In Hilary Leichter’s “Doggy-Dog World” family life takes an unexpected turn. It’s read by Sarah Mezzanotte. Is “Horror Story” a series of hauntings, or is it the form that love takes when it’s not working?  Carmen Maria Machado’s story is read by Molly Bernard.  And the masterful Louise Erdrich gives us an old story—falling in love with your teacher—in a new guise; she happens to be a nun.  Cynthia Nixon is the reader of “Sister Godzilla.”   Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Bonus: Meg Wolitzer and Alison Stewart Talk Fiction

    14/04/2022 Duración: 09min

    A bonus interview between our host and best-selling author, Meg Wolitzer, and the host of WNYC’s All of It, Alison Stewart. Wolitzer reveals some of the secrets to great writing and the two women share their own reading habits and thoughts about the importance of fiction.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.


    07/04/2022 Duración: 01h01min

    On the next Selected Shorts, it's all about the Slaughterhouse Five author who somehow managed to make a bleak dystopia funny, and a high school band teacher a hero. With host Meg Wolitzer we celebrate 100 years of Vonnegut with stories that explore the darkly absurd side he’s known for—“Harrison Bergeron” performed by Becky Ann Baker--and a softer, touching side in “The Kid Nobody Could Handle,” performed by Dylan Baker. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • On Repeat

    31/03/2022 Duración: 01h01min

    SELECTED SHORTS host Meg Wolitzer presents three provocative works about rituals that reshape and define their characters. In “oh she gotta head fulla hair,” by Ntozake Shange, a woman’s attention to her hair consumes her life. The reader is Tamara Tunie. In “Half a Day,” by Naguib Mahfouz, performed by Bruce Altman, time collapses and a lifetime goes by in a flash.  And in Charles Baxter’s “Fenstad’s Mother,” a mother and son rehearse old patterns and find new ones. The reader is Edie Falco. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Too Hot for Radio: N.K. Jemisin "The Storyteller's Replacement"

    28/03/2022 Duración: 41min

    A haunting story from one of the major figures in modern speculative fiction, short story- and novel-writer N.K. Jemisin.The New York Times called her  “The Most Celebrated Science Fiction And Fantasy Writer of Her Generation," with good reason. Beautifully read by Purva Bedi, "The Storyteller's Replacement" is about a king on the hunt to secure and eat a dragon’s heart to ensure his own virility. Host Aparna Nancherla discusses the story and more with Jemisin after the reading.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Coming of Age

    17/02/2022 Duración: 58min

    Guest host Tayari Jones presents stories about rites of passage between childhood and adulthood.  In Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s lyrical “The First Kiss,” a young boy has his first brush with the sensual.  Pepe Nufrio is the reader.  A fiery country girl shows a cool city boy the ropes—and a gator—in “Hellion,” written by Julia Elliott, and read by Donna Lynne Champlin.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Too Hot for Radio: Souvankham Thammavongsa "Slingshot"

    31/01/2022 Duración: 38min

    On this episode, a story about sexual encounters between the seventy-year-old narrator, voiced by Kathleen Chalfant, and her thirty-two-year-old neighbor Richard. Plus host Aparna Nancherla chats with the author about her inspiration for this story, and more. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Too Hot for Radio: Rick Moody "The Grid"

    22/11/2021 Duración: 35min

    From the author of novels including The Ice Storm and Purple America, a storyabout love, longing, and most importantly, putting your lips on somebody. Performed by Jin Ha (Devs).   Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Too Hot for Radio: Stephen Tobolowsky "Listen to the Dog"

    09/08/2021 Duración: 31min

    Writer and character actor Stephen Tobolowsky reads his own story about a Thanksgiving dinner that takes a most unexpected turn. Later he talks to host Aparna Nancherla about his work in TV, movies, and his podcast, The Tobolowsky Files. Join and give!: See for privacy information.

  • Only Human: Anton Chekhov

    05/11/2020 Duración: 58min

    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 15 minutes of fame; “Which is Better?,” performed by Rainn Wilson—Chekhov debates the merits of schools vs. pubs; and “Verotchka,” performed by Rainn Wilson—a studious young man confronts romance.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.