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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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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 …
 
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 T…
 
Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories in which fantasies and memories are both near and far. In “The Elevator Dancer,” by N.K. Jemisin, a guard is obsessed by a woman who spins when no one is looking. Laura Gomez is the reader. A woman remembers a transforming moment in her Depression-era childhood in “Marigolds,” by Eugenia W. Collier. Th…
 
From the author of novels including The Ice Storm and Purple America, a story about love, longing, and most importantly, putting your lips on somebody. Performed by Jin Ha (Devs). Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two very different stories about the overlap of aspirations and dreams. In “Fairness,” by Nigerian-born writer Chinelo Okparanta, a young girl from a well-to-do household is obsessed with the idea of having lighter skin, an obsession shared by all the women in her family circle. The reader is Chinasa Ogbuagu. In R…
 
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories about the family dynamics between children and parents. It's never too early to defy gender norms, as Ivan E. Coyote confides in "No Bikini," read by Becca Blackwell. A woman confronts her mother's aging, and her own childlessness, in Kathryn Chetkovich's tender story "The World with My Mother Still In It,"…
 
Guest host Hope Davis presents three stories about being perceived, and remembered, by others. In Aimee Bender’s “The Rememberer,” wonderfully performed by the late Marian Seldes, a woman has to reconstruct her lover from memory as he undergoes an extraordinary transformation. In “Rumors About Me,” an ordinary man becomes a media sensation. The uns…
 
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories in which a lot happens, but subtly. The narrator of A.M. Homes’ “Yours Truly” is “hiding in the linen closet” on a journey of self-discovery. The reader is Beth Malone. In Weike Wang’s “Omakase” a couple’s special sushi dinner proves unexpectedly revealing. The reader is Jennifer Lim.…
 
Guest host Roxane Gay presents two stories about making things work out, though sometimes at a cost. In “Loose Change,” by Andrea Levy, performed by Eve Best, a well-off Londoner has a strange encounter in an art gallery, one that recalls a pivotal moment in her family’s past. In Manuel Munoz’s "Anyone Can Do It,” a poor woman takes a risk in order…
 
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories by two masters of the short-story form. Humor, humanity, and fantasy all combine in four tales of things gone wrong. In “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber, a widower and his small son watch a drama unfold. In “Where Are You?” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Dianna Agron, a demandin…
 
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents two stories in which social outliers strive for love. In “Tandolfo the Great,” by Richard Bausch, a sad-sack children’s clown falls head over heels—without a banana peel. Michael Ian Black is the reader. And American master Carson McCullers presents a complex theory about the nature of love, from a surprising sou…
 
"Gideon" is read by the great American actress Danielle Brooks, known for her performance as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson on Orange Is the New Black, among many other roles. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Guest host LeVar Burton presents two of his favorite stories. In Lucia Berlin’s “Friends,” the characters have different ideas about who benefits from their weekly lunches. The reader is Lydia Gaston. Next, Burton himself reads Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s powerful “Control Negro,” in which an academic and father tries a real-world experiment to prove …
 
Guest host Meg Wolitzer presents three diverse stories that look at what gets left behind when life changes, gradually or suddenly. Restless retirees try on the ultimate next step in Greg Ames’ funny “Funeral Platter,” performed by Michael McKean and Annette O’Toole. The family in Julia Alvarez’s “Liberty” are on their way to a new life in America,…
 
Guest host Baron Vaughn presents three works where the personal and the political collide. In “Parent Night at Confidence Academy,” by Kiley Reid, a teacher lets parents know what she really sees in their kids. The reader is Juliana Canfield. Two kingdoms have created ideal societies, as long as you don’t mind a little restraint, in this playful fa…
 
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents three works about losing control. In Dmitry Biriukov’s “Hello?” a crowded city bus inspires one passenger to create a romantic scenario. The reader is Mike Doyle. Jenny Allen offers up a disastrous crafts project in “How to Tie-Dye,” reader by Jane Curtin. And Anton Chekhov gives us a clueless young man beset by de…
 
Guest host Maulik Pancholy 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 …
 
Writer and character actor Stephen Tobolowsky reads his own story about a Thanksgiving dinner that takes a most unexpected turn. Later he talks to host Aparna Nancherla about his work in TV, movies, and his podcast, The Tobolowsky Files. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=Splashpage See omnystudio.com/listene…
 
Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories in translation selected with the international literary organization Words Without Borders. A wealthy woman winds up on the other side of the poverty line in Évelyne Trouillot’s “Detour,” performed by Rita Wolf and Arian Moayed. A civil servant becomes a soccer star in Réka Mán-Várhegyi’s "Woman Striker…
 
Guest host Meg Wolitzer presents three stories about profound and unexpected connections between people—territory she herself covers a lot as a writer. Old enemies meet in Lauren Groff’s “Once,” performed by Cynthia Nixon. Old friends come together and wonder what might have been in Rachel Khong’s “Slow and Steady,” performed by Hettienne Park. And…
 
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories where facts, beliefs, and fabrications coincide. Essayist Samantha Irby debunks nature, fresh air, and sunshine in “The Case for Remaining Indoors,” performed by Retta. Rebecca Makkai shares tattered facts about a terrorist in “Everything We Know About the Bomber,” performed by John Cameron Mitchell.…
 
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