Podcast

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.

Episodes

  • Not Quite Human with John Darnielle

    Feb 14 2019

    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

  • Overcome: A Valentine’s Day Special

    Feb 07 2019

    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

  • No Place Like Home: Best American Short Stories 2018

    Jan 31 2019

    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.&n...more

  • Growing Pains

    Jan 24 2019

    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

  • Dangerously Funny: George Saunders & Carrie Brownstein

    Jan 17 2019

    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

  • Moving On

    Jan 10 2019

    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...more

  • Morality Tales

    Jan 03 2019

    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...more

  • New Beginnings

    Dec 27 2018

    Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about new beginnings and missed connections.  Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi story “Beyond Lies the Wub” asks what it is to be human.  The reader is Denis O’Hare.   And a Russian émigré eagerly awaits the New York City of his dreams in Lara Vapnyar’s “Waiting for the Miracle,” read by David Costabile.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Too Hot For Radio Greg Ames "Benefactor"

    Jul 14 2018

    A story from Greg Ames, the author of a novel, Buffalo Lockjaw, and a collection of stories entitled Funeral Platter. His work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Southern Review, McSweeney’s, North American Review, Catapult, and The Sun, among others. “Benefactor,” is something of a cautionary tale for all would-be patrons of the arts; please don’t let it stop you from sending us your tax-deductible donations. We recorded this story earlier in 2018 as a part of our live show in S...more

  • Too Hot For Radio Richard Bausch "Billboard"

    Jun 05 2018

    Today we’re going to hear a story from Richard Bausch. This lifelong writer has produced novels and short story collections including Before During After, Peace, In the Night Season and the 2017 title Living in the Weather of the World. The actor performing it is David Strathairn, who is known for John Sayles films, Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln, Alphas and so much more. Strathairn brings a lovely restraint to his performances, and as you’ll hear, that quality lends a new dimension to Bausch...more

  • Too Hot For Radio Kevin Canty "God’s Work"

    Apr 30 2018

    On this episode, a tale that involves a teenage evangelist coping with teenage lust. “God’s Work,” by Kevin Canty, was read during the annual Selected Shorts celebration of the Best American Short Stories series. The editor of the 2017 volume—novelist Meg Wolitzer - talks to host Aparna Nancherla after the reading describing Canty's keen insights about his characters which make them easily relatable, and there’s some lovely lyricism to his writing, as you’ll hear in today’s story.  The acto...more

  • Too Hot For Radio Brit Bennett "Ain’t That Good News"

    Feb 28 2018

    A story by the up-and-coming writer Brit Bennett. Bennett is the real friggin’ deal: Her debut novel “The Mothers” made a splash in 2016 (soon to be a movie starring Kerry Washington), the same year she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” She has written essays for The Paris Review, The New York Times and The New Yorker, but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune coo...more