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

Children Will Listen

Guest host Jane Curtin presents two stories about growing up.

Best American Short Stories at 100

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard introduces two works celebrating the 100th anniversary of the anthology The Best American Short Stories.

Out of the Kitchen with Lucky Peach

Guest host Hope Davis introduces writings from the foodie journal Lucky Peach

Family Matters

Guest host Jane Curtin presents three works about family. Oscar-winning actor Anjelica Huston talks about hers in her memoir "A Story Lately Told," Russian writer Linor Goralik gives us two mini-fictions about men and marriage, in "Says," read by Nina Arianda, and Hope Davis reads a mother-daughter story about love and cigarettes, "Indulgence," by Susan Perabo.

Illusions: The Stories of Joy Williams

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories by Joy Williams. In "Charity," a good deed turns into a worst-case scenario. The reader is Patricia Kalember. The late David Rakoff performs Williams' "Baba Iaga and the Pelican Child," a cautionary tale. And Williams herself reads an excerpt from her story "Escapes," in which a child learns what is magic, and what is not.

It's A City of Strangers

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents works about living, and not living, in New York City. A passenger and a taxi driver connect in John McNulty's "The Television Helps, But Not Very Much," read by Jason Biggs. Mia Dillon reads Joan Didion's essay about leaving New York City, "Goodbye to All That." And we hear from some Humans of New York in selections from Brandon Stanton's popular book and blog.


Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories about acting purposefully. In Tobias Wolff's "In the Garden of the North American Martyrs," a meek academic goes off the rails. The young boy in Doris Lessing's "Through the Tunnel" dares himself to make a dangerous swim, and the confident young woman in "Barbara Stanwyck, It's Your Time to Shine" by Bianca Galvez isn't taking nonsense from anyone.

Curiouser and Curiouser: A Celebration of Alice in Wonderland

Guest host Cynthia Nixon introduces readings from three chapters of Alice in Wonderland. The children's classic celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015. Ari Graynor reads "The Pool of Tears;" Sonia Manzano reads "The Mock Turtle's Story;" and Dan Stevens reads "Humpty Dumpty."

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