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Selected Shorts Profile

Selected Shorts

English, Literature, 1 season, 93 episodes, 3 days, 7 hours, 1 minute
About
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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In Dad We Trust -- Maybe

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about fathers and fatherhood. In “Beauty and the Beast” by Simon Rich, a self-absorbed producer gets a little Disney sparkle from his daughter. The reader is Arian Moayed. “Bedtime Story” by Victor LaValle, read by Dion Graham, features a son soothing an anxious father; and a father-daughter hiking trip involves both bonding and danger in Percival Everett’s “Exposure,” read by Denis O’Hare. The show features on-stage remarks by O'Hare about fatherhood and includes comments by Percival Everett and Dion Graham.
6/13/202456 minutes, 2 seconds
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Picture Perfect

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works about idealized lives, and ideas about what constitutes an “ideal” life.  “Boy Meets Girl” is Jen Kim’s humorous version of a Hollywood love story.  It’s read by Tony Hale.  In the John Cheever classic “The Worm in the Apple” a couple have the perfect life—but no one can believe it.  It’s read by Anne Meara.  And a harried mother fantasizes about a brand new life in Vanessa Cuti’s “Our Children,” performed by Claire Danes, followed by an interview with Danes..
6/6/20241 hour, 1 minute, 30 seconds
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Taking Flight with Amy Tan

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works featuring birds, curated by writer and bird aficionado Amy Tan.  Ben Loory’s “The Frog and the Bird,” is a twist the traditional fable genre; it’s performed by Mike Doyle.  Teenagers are transformed in “Town of Birds,” by Heather Monley, performed by Yetide Badaki; and an avian love song goes viral in Mikkel Rosengaard’s “The Mating Call,” performed by BD Wong.  Tan comments on the program’s theme and the stories and the actors provide backstage commentary.  
5/30/20241 hour, 24 seconds
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Lost and Found

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two works about losing something, but finding something revealing to take its place.  In “Light,” by Lesley Nkeka Arimah, parents differ about how to raise a strong-willed daughter.  The reader is Crystal Dickinson.  And in Taryn Bowe’s “Camp Emeline,” performed by Edie Falco, a family struggles after a loss, but grief leads to self-discovery for the determined narrator. This lovely work also introduces Selected Shorts' first-ever on-air book club.  Wolitzer joins a lively mother/daughter group to talk about Bowe’s work and how they related to it. 
5/23/202459 minutes, 20 seconds
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Great Escapes

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works that contemplate a way out—of our lives, and even of this world.  In Joe Meno’s “Books You Read,” performed by Joan Allen, a young boy helps his jaded teacher to love reading again.  J. Robert Lennon takes us into deep space and a conversation between a computer and a survivor in “Escape Pod W41,” performed by Stephen Lang.  A composition created by Lakecia Benjamin in response to the story, and performed by Junie Mojica, is also featured.  And marriage, and a friendship, are tested in Jac Jemc’s “Infidelity,” performed by Kathleen Chalfont.  All three stories were commissioned for SELECTED SHORTS’ anthology Small Odysseys.
5/16/202459 minutes
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Roz Chast: While you were Sleeping

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works from an evening with author and New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, inspired by Chast’s new book I Must be Dreaming. “The Wife on Ambien,” by Ed Park, is a sort of late-night fever dream. It’s read by John Fugelsang. In Tessa Hadley’s “Bad Dreams,” images that begin in books envelop a family in real life. The reader is Rita Wolf. Tom Barbash’s “Stay Up With Me” charts the rocky path of an old love affair. It’s read by Jason Ralph. And throughout the episode, Chast describes her cartoons based on her own weird and hilarious dreams.
5/9/20241 hour, 47 seconds
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Too Hot for Radio: Tim Jones-Yelvington "This Is a Dance Movie"

This story was read at a Selected Shorts show in L.A., hosted by the Getty Center, and co-produced with the Belletrist Book Club, the online reading community created by longtime friends and readers Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss.  Jones-Yelvington is an artist and drag performer who is also a prolific writer. They have written chapbooks, a memoir, a young adult novel and two collections of short fiction, Don't Make Me Do Something We'll Both Regret and This Is a Dance Movie! And the title story of their collection is all about movie cliches, how we might play with them, and the kinds of connection we hope we can achieve in telling our own stories.  Writer and actor Ryan O'Connell performs the story. His book I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves was adapted into the Netflix series Special—in which he starred. His novel Just By Looking at Him came out in 2022, and he has appeared in recent series including the reboot of Queer as Folk.  Our episode was hosted by comedian Aparna Nancherla.
5/6/202430 minutes, 56 seconds
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Wear and Tear

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works that offer unusual perspectives on clothes and fashion—selling, making, and coveting. In Anne Enright’s “(She Owns) Everything,” read by Mary-Louise Parker, a saleswoman becomes a compulsive consumer. In “Clothes on the Ground: A Conversation with Leap,” we hear from a Cambodian garment worker, interviewed by Julia Wallace for the compendium Women in Clothes. Leap is voiced by Jennifer Lim. And shopping is an antidote to aging in Joanne Harris’s “Faith and Hope Go Shopping,” read by Lois Smith.
5/2/202457 minutes, 53 seconds
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Nothing To Do With Love

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two unconventional love stories, one classic, one contemporary, that avoid the usual tropes of “meet cute,” “opposites attract,” or “happily ever after” but are still engaging.  In “Love in the Slump,” by Evelyn Waugh, clueless upper-crust newlyweds are sent on a comic odyssey.  The reader is Jane Kaczmarek.  And Esther Yi’s “Moon” explores something we often mistake for love—obsession, as a young woman is drawn farther and farther into K-Pop fandom.The story was selected by guest editor Min Jin Lee for Best American Short Stories 2023.  It’s read by Hettienne Park.  And we hear Lee’s and Park’s thoughts about the story.
4/25/202458 minutes, 28 seconds
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Best American Short Stories 2021 with Jesmyn Ward

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories from the Best American Short Stories 2021 anthology selected by guest editor Jesmyn Ward. Both involve adolescents facing displacement or rejection, but the stories are set in very different environments: One takes place in a surreal, Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and one inside a junior high school in Tennessee.  First, Leo Solomon reads “Playing Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain,” by Jamil Jan Kochai.  Then we hear “Biology,” a beautiful story by Kevin Wilson, performed by Mike Doyle.  And Ward comments briefly on her approach to creating this year’s diverse anthology. 
4/18/202457 minutes, 57 seconds
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Modest Expectations

Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories in which characters shape their expectations and dreams to a manageable size in collaboration with Belletrist Book Club. So if you’re “Medusa,” as in our first story, by Tania James, you try to figure out how to live in the world instead of turning it to stone. The reader is Constance Zimmer. Parents in our second story, “We Only Wanted Their Happiness,” by Alexander Weinstein, make a tactical choice about technology. It’s performed by Randall Park. The narrator of Honor Levy’s “Good Boys,” read by Annie Hamilton, understands that infatuation is a phase. And a man and a woman sidestep romance in “Arrangements” by Charlie Watts, performed by Laura Harrier and Will Harrison. The show was recorded at the Getty Center in Los Angeles and features commentary by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss of Belletrist Book Club. Since 2017, Belletrist Book Club has chosen more than 75 titles for the book club and dozens more for myriad content features across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and the newsletter The Belletrist Brief. In 2019, Emma Roberts and Karah Priess spun out Belletrist Book Club into a production company called Belletrist Productions. https://www.belletrist.com/
4/11/202459 minutes, 36 seconds
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Out of Sight

HostMeg Wolitzer shares three stories about people who put things out of sight—and try to put them out of mind. In Lisa Ko’s “Nightlife,” read by Vanessa Kai, a pair of friends quietly sidestep feelings that might complicate their relationship. A teacher tries to help a parent see who her child really is in “The Hole” by Patrick Cottrell, performed by Becca Blackwell. And Elizabeth Strout brings us a beautiful and devastating story of a woman grappling with whether to put her mother into institutional care in “Home,” performed by Mia Dillon. Strout talks with Wolitzer after the reading. All three works were commissioned for the Selected Shorts’ anthology, Small Odysseys.
4/4/20241 hour, 1 minute, 56 seconds
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Bonus: A Conversation with Elizabeth Strout

 Host Meg Wolitzer talks with author Elizabeth Strout about her story “Home” and the fictional family Strout has created.
4/4/202410 minutes, 31 seconds
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Save the Date with Belletrist Book Club

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about social occasions for introverts and extroverts alike, curated with the Belletrist Book Club, founded by actor Emma Roberts and producer Karah Preiss. The show was recorded at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Humorist Samantha Irby asks “Please Invite Me to Your Party,” but does she mean it? The reader is Richa Moorjani. Victoria Lancelotta’s “The Anniversary Trip,” performed by Judy Greer, is, and is not, about the married couple making the trip. And Jen Spyra takes it to extremes to get to the altar in perfect shape in “The Bridal Body,” performed by Erinn Hayes.This is Selected Shorts' first collaboration with Belletrist. Since 2017, Belletrist has chosen over 75 books for the book club and dozens more for myriad content features across Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and a newsletter: The Belletrist Brief. In 2019, Emma and Karah spun out Belletrist Book Club into a production company called Belletrist Productions. https://www.belletrist.com
3/28/202459 minutes, 9 seconds
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Embracing Change

On this episode of Selected Shorts, host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about change. A playful fantasy, a domestic dilemma, and a private struggle help us to adjust to the idea of transformation, losses, and gains.  In “Sea Monster,” by Seth Fried, performed by Natasha Rothwell, a husband and wife reveal their secret identities to each other.  In “Death by Printer,” by Mira Jacob, read by Rita Wolf, a widow learns to cope with loss—and technology.  And a mature woman embraces the self she is becoming in Maile Meloy’s “Period Piece,” performed by Kelli O’Hara.  The last two stories were commissioned for Selected Shorts’ anthology Small Odysseys. 
3/21/202457 minutes, 50 seconds
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What’s Your Story?

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about the act of writing and how it can remake us--a prankish skit; a playful and tender investigation of creating with words; and a fraught social encounter between two characters who don’t ‘get’ each other’s stories.  B.J. Novak takes on the old saying “Great Writers Steal” in a short piece read by Novak and Aasif Mandvi.  In Etgar Keret’s “Creative Writing” a wife writes her way out of grief.  It’s read by Alex Karpovsky.  A dinner party becomes a scene of personal and political tension in Lorrie Moore’s “Foes,” performed by Joan Allen and Kyle MacLachlan.  And Moore joins Wolitzer to talk about the story and creating fiction.
3/14/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 5 seconds
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Elements of Nature

Host Meg Wolitzer presentsfour works in which nature and the out-of-doors drive both plots and character.  Humorist Jenny Allen does battle with her stubborn plants in “Garden Growing Pains,” read by Kirsten Vangsness.  The majestic Canadian border separates an Indigenous family in Thomas King’s “Borders,” read by Kimberly Guerrero.  A housewife masters one of the elements in “Flying,” by Alyce Miller.The reader is Kirsten Vangness again.And a sudden storm creates a sense of abandon in the Kate Chopin classic “The Storm,” read by Jane Curtin.“Garden Growing Pains,” “Borders,” and “Flying,” were presented in cooperation with CacheArts and Utah Public Radio, KUSU-FM.
3/7/202457 minutes, 30 seconds
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Too Hot for Radio: Erin Somers "Variations on the Same"

This story is by the writer Erin Somers. She has a novel, Stay Up with Hugo Best, and has been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere.  Performing it, we've got two actors who found the funny with both the words and each other. The first, Paget Brewster, is best known for her role on Criminal Minds. Additionally, she has appeared on Friends, Community and Comedy Central’s Another Period.  Playing off her is Andy Richter, known for his years on Conan and Late Night with Conan O'Brien; but has also appeared in cult classics like Cabin Boy and done many voiceovers for animated movies like Madagascar.  The episode is hosted by Aparna Nancherla. The story was recorded at SketchFest in San Francisco. 
3/4/202429 minutes
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Extended Families

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two works with unusual family dynamics.  In Zadie Smith’s “Grand Union,” the mother-daughter bond transcends death and brings with it a whole family history.  The reader is Kaneza Schaal.  And Richard Bausch’s “What Feels Like the World,” read by James Naughton, explores the bond between a grandparent and a grandchild.
2/29/202457 minutes, 12 seconds
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Selected Shorts Goes to the Movies with the Tribeca Film Festival

Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories so compelling that they were adapted for the screen. Selected Shorts and the prestigious Tribeca Festival collaborated and came up with three works that crossed the boundaries between fiction and film. An eerie game has unexpected consequences in Richard Matheson’s “Button, Button,” performed by Marin Ireland. The story inspired the horror film “The Box” starring Cameron Diaz and Frank Langella.  Michael Stuhlbarg gives a rousing performance of Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky;” and Andrea Martin reads the story that inspired the Hollywood classic All About Eve—Mary Orr’s “The Wisdom of Eve.”
2/22/202458 minutes, 4 seconds
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Homewreckers

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two humorous stories about marriages not made in heaven.  In James Thurber’s classic “The Breaking Up of the Winships,” a long-married couple fall out over Donald Duck. The reader is Kristine Nielsen. And in Louise Erdrich’s “The Big Cat,” read by Keir Dullea, two powerful wives, a bemused husband, and a symphony of bone-jarring snores.   The program also features an interview with Erdrich.
2/15/202458 minutes, 29 seconds
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Meg Wolitzer interviews Louise Erdrich

In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to author Louise Erdrich about her story; her writing life; and what do with left over index cards. 
2/15/202414 minutes, 52 seconds
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Reality Checks

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories in which reality contrasts with the dreams, perceptions, and actions of the characters.  In “The Leap,” by Louise Erdrich, a mother’s unusual skill set changes the outcome of events.  The reader is Elizabeth Reaser.  In “Death and the Lady,” by Ben Loory, even the Grim Reaper harbors illusions.   And his parents’ damaged marriage haunts an adult child in Delmore Schwartz’s “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” Both the Loory and the Schwartz are read by multi-talented actor Denis O’Hare, and Wolitzer talks to him about his craft.
2/8/202458 minutes, 12 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks to Denis O’Hare

In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to actor Denis O’Hare about his craft, and his approaches to readings of the two very different stories on this program.
2/8/202416 minutes, 1 second
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Hitched

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 Ivan Hernandez. And in Duncan Birmingham’s “The Cult In My Garage,” performed by Michaela Watkins, an old college buddy turns up, and he’s got a mission.
2/1/202459 minutes, 9 seconds
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I Contain Multitudes

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about complex characters and the many different roles they play in each other’s lives and in the world around us.  Cherline Bazile’s “Tender,” which guest editor Min Jin Lee included in Best American Short Stories 2023, reflects the contradictory nature of friendship.  It’s read by Anna Uzele. The show features Min Jin Lee’s on-stage remarks about the story and contemporary fiction. Our second story, Grace Paley’s “The Contest,” reflects the contradictory nature of courtship, as the bewildered narrator is alternatively flattered and bullied by a girl with way more on the ball than he has.  He tells us so himself, in the voice of actor Justin Bartha.
1/25/202458 minutes, 23 seconds
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Bradbury Centennial with Neil Gaiman

Host Meg Wolitzer presents a celebration of the great Ray Bradbury, master of science fiction and fantasy.  Author Neil Gaiman, who hosted a live event at Symphony Space dedicated to Bradbury, elaborates on the program’s stories that demonstrate Bradbury’s imagination and humanism.  In  “There Will Come Soft Rains,” a smart home is all that’s left in the wake of devastation—and it can’t stop working.  The reader is Yetide Badaki.  Javier Munoz performs “The Fog Horn,” which presents a creature of the deep as an object of both fear and sympathy. And in “Embroidery,” a simple craft turns out to have unexpected power.  It’s read by Kirsten Vangsness.
1/18/202458 minutes, 45 seconds
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Truly, Madly

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 and humor in a small cave in “I Love Girl.” It’s performed by Michael Ian Black, who also chats with Wolitzer about what he’s been reading and the tricky business of being funny. 
1/11/202458 minutes, 24 seconds
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Too Hot for Radio: James Hannaham "Cookie Monster Shares"

"Cookie Monster Shares" was performed by actor and comedian Baron Vaughn at SketchFest in San Francisco, CA. The story was written by James Hannaham, the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of sharp satires including Delicious Foods and Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta. (Which, an objectively great title that really paints a picture.) Hannaham's sharp satires take no prisoners—even in the seemingly innocuous context of a story narrated by the one and only Cookie Monster.  Episode host Aparna Nancherla talks to the author after the story. Too Hot For Radio is a bonus podcast from Selected Shorts featuring saucy and salacious tales that can't air on public radio.
1/8/202418 minutes, 45 seconds
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You've Lost It

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, Deborah S. Craig, Zach Grenier, and Calvin Leon Smith. And Lauren Groff’s “Such Small Islands” charts the perilous course of a childhood infatuation and betrayal that ends with figurative loss and a literal disappearance. It’s performed by Crystal Dickinson.  In a special bonus: multi-instrumentalist Laura Gibson performs a song inspired by Groff’s story.
1/4/202458 minutes, 51 seconds
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To the Rescue

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about characters who try to prepare for trouble, sometimes doing more harm than good.  In Joe Meno’s “Animal Hospital” a well-meaning father is surprised by his kids’ response to a game of doctor.  The reader is Becky Anne Baker.  An interview with Meno is featured in the show.  In “The Silk Handkerchief,” by Sait Faik Abasiyanik, a thief and a night watchman have a moment of rapport.  It’s read by Amir Arison.  And Margaret Atwood’s recurring couple Nell and Tig try to stave off the inevitable by taking a  “First Aid” class. The reader is Maggie Siff. Margaret Atwood introduces the story from the stage.
12/28/20231 hour, 1 minute, 31 seconds
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Holiday Hurdles

Guest host David Sedaris presents stories that reimagine holiday rituals. In Tobias Wolff’s “Powder,” a pre-Christmas snowstorm provides an adventure for a father and son. SELECTED SHORTS’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer is the reader. A long-established couple turn out to be able to surprise one another in Allegra Goodman’s gentle borrowing from an O. Henry classic. Dana Ivey and Michael Cerveris read her “Gifts of the Jewish Magi.” And David Sedaris says English writer Jeanette Winterson captures the city to a “T” in “Christmas in New York,” a modern fairy tale with just a hint of magic, performed by Richard Masur.
12/21/202359 minutes, 12 seconds
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Coming and Going

Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories about journeys, performed by actors including Stephen Colbert and John Turturro.  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. Hopeful immigrants try to reach America in a dubious boat in “The Long Voyage” by Leonardo Sciascia, performed by John Turturro. And a man in transit takes the opportunity to try to recover a bit of his past, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Three Hours Between Planes,” performed by Stephen Colbert.
12/14/20231 hour, 1 minute, 38 seconds
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Ken Burns Presents Willa Cather’s America

Host Meg Wolitzer helps a great documentarian celebrate a great American author.  Cather, author of novels like My Antonia and O Pioneers! just had her sesquicentennial—her 150th birthday. And Burns hosted a live evening of her shorter works.  On this program, we feature “The Way of the World,” in which an imaginary town’s young “citizens” are rife with romance and rivalry.  The reader is Sonia Manzano.   And a weary farmer’s wife recaptures her long-dormant passion for music at “A Wagner Matinee,” read by David Strathairn.
12/7/202358 minutes, 53 seconds
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Who, What, Where?

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 Can Come Between Us,” performed by Nathan Hinton, a man goes into sensory overdrive.  And a fierce and traditional grandmother tries to find her place in a new world and a new family in Gish Jen’s “Who’s Irish?” performed by Frieda Foh Shen. 
11/30/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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A Simple Solution

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about finding solutions to complex problems, and to simple ones. T. C. Boyle tackles evolution and government intervention in “Top of the Food Chain,” read by Zach Grenier. In Matthew Ryan Frankel’s “Carapace,” a young boy struggles with feelings at a family funeral—with the help of some crabs. The reader is Philip Estrera. And a young woman traveling between two worlds and two families has to deal with what to put in “The Suitcase” by Meron Hadero. The reader is Renée Elise Goldsberry. The show also includes an interview with Hadero.
11/23/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ferocious Figureheads

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.
11/16/202358 minutes, 36 seconds
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Dangerous Women

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three works about women who defy the status quo and might therefore be perceived as “dangerous” in this encore presentation.  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,” performed by Pascale Armand.  And a Victorian-era wife fights for her sanity in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic “The Yellow Wallpaper,” performed by Carrie Coon.  The show also includes commentary by journalist and activist Mona Eltahawy. 
11/9/202358 minutes, 8 seconds
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Intervention

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about people inserting themselves into the lives of others—in their own best interests.In Simon Rich’s “Relapse” friends rally ‘round when one of their number heeds the call of the muse.  It’s read by Ophira Eisenberg.  In Langston Hughes’ “Thank You, M’am,” read by Pauletta Washington, a fierce old lady sets a young man straight.  And a young woman finds an ingenious way to cheer up retirees—and herself—in Miranda July’s “The Swim Team,” read by Parker Posey. 
11/2/202358 minutes, 35 seconds
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Too Hot for Radio: Jen Spyra "The Secret Meeting of the Women's Club"

Jen Spyra has worked in nearly every kind of comedy there is: penning stories for The Onion, writing skits and one-liners as a staff writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, contributing pieces to The New Yorker and McSweeney's, and taking the stage for improv at UCB Theatre in Manhattan. Her story comes from her first short story collection, Big Time.  It's performed by Mary Lynn Rajskub. She's someone with so many fun credits it's hard to pick: 24, Mr. Show, Punch Drunk Love and, who could forget, her break-out role as the voice of the Female Radio Caller from The Truth About Cats and Dogs? She read this story at Sketchfest in San Francisco. This episode includes a conversation with host Aparna Nancherla and Jen Spyra.
10/30/202339 minutes, 31 seconds
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Inseparable

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 read by Emily Skeggs.
10/26/202357 minutes, 40 seconds
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Just the Thing

​​Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories about characters coping with problems, large and small—and then encountering someone or something with a solution. In “Shoulder-Top Secretary,” by Shinichi Hoshi, a door-to-door salesman unveils the must-have technology of the future. It's read by Thom Sesma.  In “It Had Wings,” by Allan Gurganus, performed by Marian Seldes, a celestial being offers up a possible remedy for the aches and pains of life.  And our final story, “The Toynbee Convector,” is a Ray Bradbury classic in which a time machine delivers a hero to our tumultuous present.  It’s read by Mike Doyle. Doyle provides backstage commentary about his process.
10/19/202357 minutes, 42 seconds
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It's About Time

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about the nature of time and how it shapes our lives. In Helen Phillips’ “The Knowers,” a woman chooses to learn a vital fact about her future, while her husband does not. Stockard Channing reads this thought-provoking fantasy. In Anita Felicelli’s “Time Invents Us” a chance encounter turns the clock back for an aging artist. It’s read by Kirsten Vangsness.
10/12/202358 minutes, 49 seconds
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Antagonists Wanted

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 "Playing Ping-Pong with Pontius Pilate" by Greg Ames, performed by Nate Corddry. Finally, Moby Dick has a say in its own epic in “Captain Ahab, A Novel by the White Whale,” by Paul West, performed by Diane Venora. Author Gish Jen provides on-stage commentary about her work.
10/5/202358 minutes, 16 seconds
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A Didion Duo

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 excerpts 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.
9/28/202358 minutes, 35 seconds
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Generation Gap

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories that cross generations. In Justin Torres’s “Trash Kites,” performed by Colman Domingo, teens find beauty in scarcity. A daughter’s aging parent links her past and present in “The World with My Mother Still in It” by Kathryn Chetkovich, performed by Phillipa Soo. And a tutor tries to create a bond with her privileged student in “Ancient Rome” by Kyle McCarthy, performed by Tavi Gevinson.
9/21/202357 minutes, 14 seconds
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Uprooted

On this SELECTED SHORTS, host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about moving out of familiar territory into new spaces and new understanding.  In Meron Hadero’s “The Thief’s Tale,” read by Teagle F. Bougere, an émigré can’t leave some of his old ways behind.  “The Tallest Doll in New York City,” by Maria Dahvana Headley, imagines what happens when two iconic skyscrapers fall in love.  It’s read by Becca Blackwell.   And summer trip yields unexpected treasures in Anne Tyler’s “The Feather Behind the Rock,” read by Jane Curtin.
9/14/202357 minutes, 47 seconds
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Too Hot For Radio: Samanta Schweblin "An Unlucky Man"

Much of Samantha Schweblin's writing has a kind of dangerous element to it, and that's in this story, too. It's kind of a nailbiter, but not for the usual reasons. This story was written for McSweeney's and was performed as part of Selected Shorts' celebration of the 25th anniversary of this mighty indie publisher. Performed by Carmen Lynch, a comic who has performed stand-up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and has appeared on series including Inside Amy Schumer and Life & Beth. And she has just the right touch with the story. After her reading, she talks to host Aparna Nancherla about how she approached such a tricky story.
9/11/202329 minutes, 7 seconds
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Make a Meal of It

Guest host Roxane Gay (no mean cook herself) presents three stories centered on food. In “Three Great Meals” the late New Yorker humor writer Donald Barthelme tells you how to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner from a terrifying medley of fast food and low-end canned goods. The story is read by Nate Corddry. In "Simple Recipes," author Madeleine Thien weaves together evocative memories of traditional meals prepared by her father, with more complex images of a family in conflict. The reader is Cindy Cheung. And finally, a Roald Dahl classic, “Lamb to the Slaughter.” This tale of a model housewife’s response to a marital crisis will make you view your Sunday roast in a whole new light. She’s embodied by Catherine O'Hara.
9/7/202358 minutes, 15 seconds
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Perfectly Unmatched

Host Meg Wolitzer presents perfect mismatches. In “The Man and the Moose” by Ben Loory, performed by Michael Cerveris, a man’s best bud has antlers. In “Red Dirt Don't Wash” by Roger Mais, performed by Brandon J. Dirden, a young man’s courtship is at risk—she doesn’t like his shoes. And a piano lesson is out of tune in “The Piano Teacher’s Pupil” by William Trevor, performed by Kathryn Erbe. Authors Elizabeth Strout and Marlon James present commentary from the stage at Symphony Space. 
8/31/202357 minutes, 55 seconds
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Small Odysseys

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories from our 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.  
8/24/202359 minutes
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The Way I See It

On this Selected Shorts, host Meg Wolitzer offers up stories about limited viewpoints and larger visions. In “You Can Find Love Now" by Ramona Ausubel, performed by Amy Ryan and Martin Short, an unusual character drops into the dating pool; in “The Weave,” by Charles Johnson, performed by Arnell Powell, a heist gets hairy; and in J. Robert Lennon’s “Blue Light, Red Light,” a child's fears find his family seeking tech support.  It’s performed by Fred Hechinger.
8/17/202359 minutes, 26 seconds
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Mothers Know Best

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.
8/10/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 50 seconds
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Tangled Lives

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about tangled lives; those situations; those people that pull you in and won’t let you go.  These works focus on encounters that affect a character's life in some unusual or enduring way.  “Missed Connection—M4W,” by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, takes the idea of “chance encounter” to its limits.  It’s performed by Richard Kind. “My Years of Living Dangerously,” by Danielle Henderson, explores the idea of sin and redemption. It’s performed by Karen Pittman.  And in Melissa’ Banks’ ruefully comic “Run Run Run Run Run Run Run Away,” performed by Julianna Margulies, one sibling makes a bad choice the other has to live with. Both Julianna Margulies and Karen Pittman talk about their readings backstage at the live show, which was hosted and curated by Meg Wolitzer. 
8/3/202359 minutes, 50 seconds
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Behind Her Eyes

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.
7/27/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 25 seconds
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Mcsweeney’s 25th Anniversary Extravaganza

Host Meg Wolitzer presents a celebration of the 25th anniversary of powerhouse indie publisher McSweeney’s, known for clever, funny, playful, weird, and literary writing.  Ophira Eisenberg reads “Poor Little Egg-Boy Hatched in a Shul,"  by Nathan Englander. Andy Richter performs “Crumb Cake,” by Etgar Keret.  And B.D. Wong reads “Stay Brave, My Hercules,” by Ernie Wang. Singer and songwriter Stephin Merritt, who’s recognizable as the mastermind behind The Magnetic Fields, also performed live onstage at Symphony Space as part of the tribute to McSweeney’s.
7/20/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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Didn’t See It Coming

Meg Wolitzer presents two stories with surprises the characters didn’t anticipate.  A smart Mom defies expectations in “Agouti,” by Brenda Williams, performed by Laurine Towler.  And a smart house has unexpected features in a classic by sci-fi master Ray Bradbury.  Stephen Colbert reads “The Veldt.” 
7/13/202359 minutes, 11 seconds
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Punching In

Meg Wolitzer hands off to guest host Maulik Pancholy, who presents three stories about workers and the workplace—and "the daily grind."  In a John Cheever classic, “Bayonne,” a busy waitress defends her territory.  The reader is Mary Kay Place.  The always succinct Lydia Davis gives us “Alvin the Typesetter,” in which a bohemian artist battles job conformity.  The late David Rakoff performs.   And in “OBF, Inc." by Bernice L. McFadden, an interviewee at a hip start-up learns about a secret organization that sells cultural capital.  It’s performed by Teagle F. Bougere.
7/6/20231 hour, 3 minutes
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#42 Reading Between the Lines

Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about the things she loves most: books and words and why they matter. In Ben Loory’s “The Book,” a contrarian volume becomes a literary sensation, and alters one woman’s life. The reader is Jane Kaczmarek. In “Things I Know to be True,” by Kendra Fortmeyer, originally published in One Story,” a damaged veteran uses words to hold his life together. The reader is Calvin Leon Smith. And in a special feature, Wolitzer visits a favorite indie bookstore, Three Lives & Company.
6/29/202359 minutes, 8 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Visits Her Favorite Indie Bookstore

Host Meg Wolitzer visits a favorite indie bookstore, Three Lives & Company in Greenwich Village, remembers her early years there as a writer and reader, and is let in on some trade secrets.
6/29/202315 minutes, 56 seconds
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Sleight of Hand

Meg Wolitzer presents three stories with a little bit of trickery. The British writer Penelope Lively offers up a tricky combination of love and real estate in “The Third Wife,” performed by real-life husband and wife Patricia Kalember and Daniel Gerroll. The only “trick” in our next story, “Tempo,” by R.O. Kwon, is the trick the mind plays when it wishes the present would restore a lost bit of the past. The reader is Hettienne Park. And Dave Eggers’ “The Alaska of Giants and Gods” includes a real magic act, but also the longing for some other kind of magic, misplaced on a rocky road, to be restored. Kate Burton reads the literally laugh-out-loud story.
6/22/202357 minutes, 53 seconds
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Margaret Atwood: Future Imperfect

Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories by the incomparable Margaret Atwood, drawn from our archives and a live performance evening hosted by the author. “There Was Once” is a brief satire about the art of writing and the importance of free speech. It’s performed by René Auberjonois, Zach Grenier, and Jane Kaczmarek. “Widows,” performed by Ellen Burstyn, is a delicate and ironic tale in which a recently widowed woman becomes accustomed to her new role. And Atwood is in full dystopian throttle in “Freeforall” where reproductive rights have become a matter of life and death. The reader is Becky Ann Baker. Both “Widows” and “Freeforall” have been published in Atwood’s new collection Old Babes in the Wood: Stories. Portions of Atwood’s onstage talk with fellow writer A.M. Homes are also featured.
6/15/202358 minutes, 27 seconds
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Bonus: Margaret Atwood and A.M. Homes

In this bonus conversation, writers Margaret Atwood and A.M. Homes discuss everything from feminism, time, writing and dystopian fiction, to Atwood’s new short story collection “Old Babes in the Wood.” The interview was recorded in front of a live audience at Symphony Space.
6/15/202317 minutes, 54 seconds
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All of It with Alison Stewart

Host Meg Wolitzer 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.”   
6/8/202358 minutes, 29 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks to Alison Stewart

In this bonus conversation, host and best-selling author, Meg Wolitzer, talks to host of WNYC’s All of It, Alison Stewart. Wolitzer reveals some of the secrets to great writing and the two share their own reading habits and thoughts about the importance of fiction.
6/8/20239 minutes, 12 seconds
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Pride Inside

It’s June, time to celebrate Pride privately and publicly.  Host Meg Wolitzer presents four works that delve into the complexities of love, family and belonging. Ivan E. Coyote’s “No Bikini,” read by Becca Blackwell, offers one child’s act of quiet rebellion. Lovers drift together, and apart, in Michael Cunningham’s “Sleepless,” read by Mike Doyle.  A newish couple faces harsh weather in Deesha Philyaw’s “Snowfall,” read by Michelle Beck, and poet Kay Ulanday Barrett shares their “Song for the Kicked Out.”
6/1/202359 minutes, 18 seconds
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A Point of Honor

On this SELECTED SHORTS, we celebrate 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 retired army man searches for the next chapter in his life.  The reader is Teagle F. Bougere.  We also hear Vonnegut’s “Letter Home,” written to his family after being a prisoner-of-war.  It’s read by Jordan Klepper.
5/25/202357 minutes, 29 seconds
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With a Little Help

Host Meg Wolitzer presents four stories in which characters give, and get, a little assistance, from friends, strangers and family. A daughter copes with a cantankerous parent in “How to Take Dad to the Doctor,” by Jenny Allen, performed by Jennifer Mudge. A woman moves to a new town and makes a strange new friend in Laura van den Berg’s “Friends,” performed by Roberta Colindrez. A Tyrolean café improbably situated in South America is home to mysterious strangers and new and old romances, in Isabel Allende’s “The Little Heidelberg.” It’s performed by Kathleen Turner. And a budding singer and socialist gets unwelcome help from Mom in Grace Paley’s “Injustice,” performed by Jackie Hoffman.
5/18/202359 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Best American Short Stories

American guest editor Andrew Sean Greer, “The Little Widow from the Capital,” by Yohanca Delgado, performed by Krystina Alabado.  And our second story was selected by John Updike for the volume Best American Stories of the Century.  It’s Grace Stone Coates’ “Wild Plums,” read by Mia Dillon. This episode features on-stage commentary by Greer. It's dedicated to mix engineer Dennis Jacobsen. 
5/11/202358 minutes, 30 seconds
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No Filter

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about selves obscured and revealed, by characters whose own identities are mysteries to them.In Aimee Bender’s “Un-Selfie, a woman reveals her extraordinary past to a stranger.  The story was a commission for our 2022 Small Odysseys anthology, and is read by Alysia Reiner.  In our second story, “Best Western” by Louise Erdrich, a young wife struggles to maintain a romantic fiction, until the real world crashes in on her.  It’s read by Patricia Kalember.
5/4/202357 minutes, 36 seconds
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Too Hot For Radio: Erin Somers "Ten Year Affair"

A story with double timelines that depart and converge about marriage, love and the path not taken. Read by Holly Hunter (The Paino, Succession and Mr. Mayor). The story was written by Erin Somers. She has a novel, Stay Up with Hugo Best, and has been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. This particular story, "Ten Year Affair," was chosen for the Best American Short Stories collection of 2022. Too Hot is hosted by Aparna Nancerla. This episode includes a conversation between Aparna Nancherla and Erin Somers.
5/1/202334 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Stories We Tell Ourselves with Brooke Gladstone

Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories chosen by On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone. Gladstone was our guest for a live Selected Shorts event in which all the stories explore the theme of tales we tell ourselves—and others. The title says it all in Mary Gordon’s “My Podiatrist Tells Me a Story about a Boy and a Dog” read by Bebe Neuwirth and Richard Masur. Two imaginative cooks reinvent themselves in a new country in Meron Hadero’s “A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times” read by Chinasa Ogbuagu. And a child imagines an absent parent through her postcards in “Love, Your Only Mother” by David Michael Kaplan, read by Bebe Neuwirth. In addition to Gladstone’s on-stage remarks, this episode features backstage interviews with actors Masur, Neuwirth and Ogbuagu.
4/27/20231 hour, 12 seconds
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Secret Spaces

Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about secret spaces, and what they represent.  In N.K. Jemisin’s speculative fantasy “Elevator Dancer” a security guard in a totalitarian regime is beguiled by an act of freedom.  The reader is Laura Gomez.  And Hugh Dancy reads Greg Jackson’s “The Hollow,” about a secret room, a purposeless life, and a guy who can’t stop talking about Vincent Van Gogh. 
4/20/202358 minutes, 30 seconds
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On Repeat

 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.
4/13/20231 hour, 1 minute, 12 seconds
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Grace Paley Centennial

Host Meg Wolitzer shares our tribute to the influential and outspoken New Yorker Grace Paley, who would have turned 100 in 2022.  Her emphasis on friends, family, and doing the right thing are evident in the three stories on this show. In “Wants,” a woman has a chance encounter while returning a lot of overdue library books. It’s read by Adina Verson. Two old friends work their way from childhood to middle age in “Ruthy and Edie,” read by Rita Wolf.  And we meet a woman with a wonderfully checkered past in “Goodbye and Good Luck,” read by Joanna Gleason.  Backstage interviews with Wolf and Gleason are featured. 
4/6/202359 minutes, 51 seconds
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Friendship!

On this show, host Meg Wolitzer gets friendly, and shares three stories about friendships of all kinds.  Kelly Stout’s zinger “Let’s Get Drinks,” offers up the perils of conducting a social life via hyperbolic texts, which are hilariously performed by Jane Curtin and Jane Kaczmarek.  Next, “True Friendship,” by Jorge Hernandez describes a life-long friend who’s almost too good to be—true.  The reader is Michael Urie.  And three misfits fit together in Anthony Marra’s “The Last Words of Benito Picone,” performed by John Turturro. A brief interview with Turturro follows the story. 
3/30/202358 minutes, 50 seconds
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Approaching Peace

On this show, Meg Wolitzer hands things off to guest host Hope Davis, who presents three stories about finding some kind of peace and stability in a variety of challenging circumstances. In Rabih Alameddine’s “Break” a trans woman reconnects with a sibling. The reader is Pooya Mohseni. Dave Eggers imagines a world changed by determined parents in “Your Mother And I,” performed by the late David Rakoff. And love triumphs over illness in Amy Bloom’s “Silver Water,” performed by Linda Lavin.
3/23/202358 minutes
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Slippery Roads and Fancy Shorts

Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories in which some things are saved and some are left behind. Both stories also have a connection to the German language. In Haruki Murakami’s “Lederhosen,” performed by Aasif Mandvi, the traditional German shorts become a singular obsession for one half of a married couple. In Elizabeth McCracken’s “Robinson Crusoe at the Waterpark,” a couple and their son find themselves in over their heads. Mike Doyle is the reader.
3/16/202359 minutes, 11 seconds
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The World According to Vonnegut

Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories by Kurt Vonnegut in which the Slaughterhouse Five author somehow managed to make a bleak dystopia funny and a high school band teacher a hero. The stories 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. The show features commentary from The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper and backstage interviews with the Bakers, a husband-and-wife duo. 
3/9/20231 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds
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Too Hot For Radio: Roxane Gay "Men On Bikes"

Roxane Gay's story was published in an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern in which all the authors "covered" a story, in the way a musician might cover a famous song. Gay took a famous Margaret Atwood story, titled "Rape Fantasies," as her inspiration. Both "Rape Fantasies" and "Men on Bikes" are about imagination, revenge and joking about subjects that make people uneasy. It's read by actress Jane Kaczmarek.Comedian Alison Leiby knows how to make us laugh about a subject people aren't prepared to laugh about. Her solo show "Oh God, a Show About Abortion," had a sold-out run in New York and has been touring the U.S. She and host Aparna Nancherla discuss how she approached finding the funny in a hot button topic.
3/6/202327 minutes, 1 second
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The Road Not Taken

On this Selected Shorts program, host Meg Wolitzer presents stories about journeys—physical and emotional—that end in unexpected places.  In “A Woman Driving Alone,” by Marie-Helene Bertino, the main character travels s long way to see a friend, but seems also to be escaping a challenging moment in her life.  The piece was commissioned for Selected Shorts’ anthology Small Odysseys, and is read by Amber Tamblyn.  In Tom Perrotta’s “Nine Inches”, a teacher drives only across town, to chaperone a middle school dance, but almost gets into trouble himself.  The story is performed by Santino Fontana.
3/2/202358 minutes, 30 seconds
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Work of Art

Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories of inspirations small and large. In these tales, writers investigate moments in which art inspires life, or life inspires art, especially in a visual medium. In Elizabeth Crane’s “Blue Girl,” read by Valorie Curry, a young woman's secret life is given an unusual public forum. In Jai Chakrabarti’s “Lessons with Father,” commissioned for our Small Odysseys anthology, a middle-aged child tries to connect with her late father through brushstrokes. The reader is Purva  Bedi.  And in William Boyd’s “Varengeville” read by Dan Stevens, a young man strays from his famous family as he discovers himself on canvas.
2/23/202358 minutes, 31 seconds
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Almost Like Love

On this week’s SELECTED SHORTS, Meg Wolitzer presents two stories about love, or the next best thing. In Pam Houston’s “How to Talk to a Hunter” a smart woman can’t get enough of what her man can’t offer. The reader is Mia Dillon. And a widow and a lonely man make an odd couple in Lisa Ko’s “Pat + Sam,” performed by Jennifer Ikeda.
2/16/202359 minutes, 10 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks to Patricia Marx

In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to friend and New Yorker humorist Patricia Marx about her story “Singin’ in the Acid Rain,” and writing funny. 
2/9/202312 minutes, 18 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks with George Saunders

In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to friend and Booker Prize-winning author George Saunders about crafting short stories, where ideas come from, and how his work has evolved over the years. 
1/12/202320 minutes, 15 seconds
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Too Hot For Radio: Kim Fu "Pre-Simulation Consultation XF007867"

Our new Too Hot episode features a story about memory, fantasy, and a realm somewhere between the two—a place to which we might escape, for a price (calling all Black Mirror and Westworld fans).  It's dark, thoughtful, and surprisingly funny. It was written by author Kim Fu, and is part of her 2022 debut story collection, Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, which among other honors was picked as a TIME Top 10 Fiction Book of 2022. Performed by actors  Kirsten Vangsness, beloved for her long-running role on Criminal Minds, and Justin Kirk, known for series including Weeds, You’re the Worst, and Modern Family. The episode is hosted by Aparna Nancherla.
1/9/202332 minutes, 48 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer Talks to Elizabeth Strout

In this bonus conversation, host Meg Wolitzer talks to friend and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout about writing, short stories, and the use of recurring characters in her work.
9/8/202210 minutes, 31 seconds
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What's Your Story?

Host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about the act of writing and how it can remake us--a prankish skit; a playful and tender investigation of creating with words; and a fraught social encounter between two characters who don’t ‘get’ each other’s stories.  B.J. Novak takes the old saying “Great Writers Steal” literally in a short piece read by Novak and Aasif Mandvi.  In Etgar Keret’s “Creative Writing” a wife writes her way out of grief.  It’s read by Alex Karpovsky.  A dinner party becomes a scene of personal and political tension in Lorrie Moore’s “Foes,” performed by Joan Allen and Kyle MacLachlan.  And Moore joins Wolitzer to talk about the story and creating fiction.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage
8/18/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 27 seconds
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Host Meg Wolitzer Talks to Comedian Michael Ian Black

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
7/21/202219 minutes, 22 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer and Mona Eltahawy Talk Being a Dangerous Woman

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
6/16/202221 minutes, 51 seconds
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Too Hot for Radio: Helena Araújo "Asthmatic"

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.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage
5/2/202239 minutes, 39 seconds
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Bonus: Meg Wolitzer and Alison Stewart Talk Fiction

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!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage
4/14/20229 minutes, 12 seconds
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Coming of Age

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!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage
2/17/202258 minutes, 28 seconds