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.
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.

Most Recent Episodes

Seeking Love

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents love the modern way in two stories and a selection of posts to OK Cupid. These are read by Giullian Yao Gioiello and Colby Minifie. Then Jill Eikenberry reads Elizabeth Crane's "Ad," a stream-of-consciousness exercise for the Personals column, and love overwhelms the characters in Andrea Barrett's "The Littoral Zone," read by Becky Ann Baker and Dylan Baker.

Laugh or Cry

Guest host David Sedaris presents two ruefully funny stories. Dorothy Parker skewers a boozy, possessive mother in "I Live on Your Visits," read by Celeste Holm. Then, a country wedding becomes a comedy of errors in Arthur Bradford's "Snakebite," read by John Benjamin Hickey.

Mending Families

Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories about families. In Heather Monley's "Paddle to Canada," a risky family boating trip becomes contested history. Jenna Ushkowitz is the reader. And Jamel Brinkley's "A Family" shows people coming together in unexpected ways after a loss. Brandon J. Dirden performs this Best American Short Stories selection.

Shout It Out: The Stonewall Uprising at 50

Guest host Denis O'Hare helps us celebrate the landmark event that helped give birth to the modern movement for LGBTQIA+ rights in America. On this special program, we first hear eyewitness accounts of the riots drawn from The Stonewall Reader, published by Penguin Classics and edited by The New York Public Library. Memoirs by Jayne County, Mark Segal, Lucian Truscott IV, and Holly Woodlawn are read by Ivory Aquino, Kate Bornstein, Michael Early, and Beth Malone. Next, we hear about the origins of the Gay Pride March one year after the riots when Ivory Aquino and Kate Bornstein perform Perry Brass's "We Did It." And to show how things have changed in 50 years, comments from Tobin Low and Kathy Tu, hosts of the Nancy podcast from WNYC Studios; fierce and touching poems by trans artist Kay Ulanday Barrett, "Right to Release," and "Song for the Kicked Out," read by Barrett, and a short story by Gary Eldon Peter in which a gay man at a straight wedding imagines a possible wedding of his own. His "Wedding" is performed by John Benjamin Hickey.

Magic and Realism: Clarice Lispector

Guest host Sonia Manzano presents works by the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Carolina Ravassa reads "Remnants of Carnival," in which a little girl is briefly transformed. Denis O'Hare tells an eerie tale of a strange marriage in "The Obedient Ones," and Lynn Cohen is a scary matriarch in "Happy Birthday."

Women's Roles

Guest host Kate Burton presents three works about the roles of women. Margaret Atwood twists the tail of the fairy tale in "There Was Once," read by Jane Kaczmarek, Rene Auberjonois, and Zach Grenier. An actress is offered an unsympathetic part in "A Leading Role," by Tove Jansson, also read by Jane Kaczmarek. In Smith Henderson's "Treasure State," a young girl hitches a ride with runaway brothers. The reader is Michael Shannon.

Make 'Em Laugh: A Celebration of James Thurber

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents a program celebrating the great American humorist in some of the many genres in which he was drop-dead funny. Thurber confesses that he's all thumbs in "I Break Everything I Touch," performed by Keith Olbermann. Who knew that The Bard wrote whodunnits? Find out who in "The Macbeth Murder Mystery," performed by Michael McKean and Susannah Rogers. Kristen Nielsen, Susannah Rogers, and Keith Olbermann perform a selection of Thurber's fables, and McKean reads "Many Moons," Thurber's charming fairy tale about a princess who wants the moon.

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