Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts

From 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.More from Selected Shorts »

Most Recent Episodes

You Might As Well Live: A Dorothy Parker Celebration

Guest host Jane Curtin presents sassy stories about sassy women from the legendary Dorothy Parker, including "The Sexes," read by Parker Posey and "The Standard of Living" (two secretaries on a fantasy shopping spree), read by Hope Davis. A cranky coffee shop employee with amazing luck keeps them company in Robert Coover's "Waitress," read by Sonia Manzano.

Episode 6 William Giraldi "Wonder Woman Was My Lover"

"My one and only female was an acrobat on the mattress, and the truth is, I miss her still." So begins our featured story. Read by RISK! podcast host, Kevin Allison, this story takes us on a wild romp when Wonder Woman lands in the yard of a gay man. It's a story full of humor, sex, and sweetness,. Writer William Giraldi is author of the novels Busy Monsters and Hold the Dark, and the memoir The Hero's Body.

Parents and Children

Guest host Kate Burton presents two stories about parents and children. A mother and daughter remember the past differently in Tessa Hadley's "Matrilineal," performed by Patricia Kalember. And a surprising offer divides two families in "In the Country," by Guy de Maupassant, performed by Thomas Gibson.

Between Meals

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories about food, family, and friendship. Secrets are revealed at a Christmas party in Ann Beattie's "Where You'll Find Me," read by Jane Kaczmarek; the narrator of Haruki Murakami's "The Year of Spaghetti" is using pasta to keep the world away. Michael Imperioli reads. In Marina Keegan's "Reading Aloud" an elderly volunteer forms a bond with her blind client; Rita Wolf is the reader.

Episode 5 Nathan Englander "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank"

The critically acclaimed writer's story was recently selected as one of the Best American Stories of the past hundred years. And just like all the stories here on Selected Short: Too Hot For Radio there are some adult moments - this story has grown people smoking dope, taking shots of vodka and keeping it real. Actor Dylan Baker gives a tour de force reading that will keep you laughing and on the edge of your seat. Also in this episode, Nathan chats by phone to host Aparna Nancherla from his temporary home in Malawi.

Dogs & Cats

Guest host Kate Burton presents four works about cats and dogs. "Dog" is at the center of a family power play in Richard Russo's tale, read by Stephen Lang. Saki's classic presents "Tobermory" the talking cat, voiced by Rene Auberjonois. How to live like a cat, in Helen Ellis's "Take it From Cats," read by Maria Dizzia, and a reversal of fortune in "Rosalyn's Cat," by Arthur Bradford, read by John Benjamin Hickey.

Reader, I Married Him

Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents a celebration of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, with a reading from the classic (by Joanna Gleason) and contemporary stories it inspired: Salley Vickers' "Reader, She Married Me," read by Chris Sarandon, and Audrey Niffenegger's "The Orphan Exchange," read by Tovah Feldshuh.

Episode 4 Chuck Palahniuk "Zombies"

From the dark mind of cult author Chuck Palahniuk (writer of such classic novels like Fight Club and Choke), "Zombies" is a tale of what happens when teens at a high school figure out a way to disengage with the pressure of life. It's a story anyone in modern life can relate to, and the powerful ending packs a wallop. Host Aparna Nancherla talks to Chuck about what inspired the story as well as books he loves.

Lost and Found

An abduction, a rejection, and a reconciliation in three stories presented by David Sedaris. A flirtatious girl is in peril in Joyce Carol Oates' "Where are You Going, Where Have You Been?", read by Christine Baranski. A tender-hearted librarian parts company with her feral cats in Belle Boggs' "Havahart," read by Merritt Wever. In George Saunders' "Sticks," read by Anthony Rapp, a dysfunctional father reaches out to his family in a strange way.

Animal Magnetism

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three stories with animal connections. Old lovers take stock in Grace Paley's "The Pale Pink Roast," read by Linda Lavin. A boy loves his piggy bank, in Etgar Keret's "Breaking the Pig," read by Campbell Scott. And it's man against dog in "Jerry and Molly and Sam," by Raymond Carver, read by Ana Gasteyer.

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