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Selected Shorts

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.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Make a Meal of It

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 Thien weaves together evocative memories of traditional meals prepared by her father, with more complex images of a family in conflict.  The reader is Cindy Cheung.  And finally, a Roald Dahl classic, “Lamb to the Slaughter.”  This tale of a model housewife’s response to a marital crisis will make you view your Sunday roast in a whole new light.  She’s embodied by Catherine O'Hara.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

58mins

2 Dec 2021

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Safe Distance

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.  The story is performed by Sharon Washington. Ursula K. Le Guin moves and surprises us in “The Wife’s Story,” performed by Joanna Gleason.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

58mins

25 Nov 2021

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Too Hot for Radio: Rick Moody "The Grid"

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=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

35mins

22 Nov 2021

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Shared Realities

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 Rachel Simon’s eerie “Little Nightmares, Little Dreams,” a husband wants to share everything with his wife of fifty-four years, including their dreams.  The story is performed by Maria Tucci.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

59mins

18 Nov 2021

Most Popular Podcasts

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Children and Their Parents

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," read by Phillipa Soo.  And three generations are "At the Zoo," in a story by Caitlin Horrocks: a rowdy grandpa, a sensitive child, and a mother caught between the two.  The reader is Kate Walsh.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

58mins

11 Nov 2021

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Remember Me

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 unsettling story is by Yasutaka Tsutsui, translated by Andrew Driver, and performed by Kennedy Kanagawa.  And an orange rules the world in a gentle fantasy by Benjamin Rosenbaum, performed by John Cameron Mitchell. Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1hr 5mins

4 Nov 2021

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Quiet Revelations

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.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

58mins

28 Oct 2021

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Survival Skills

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 Muñoz’s "Anyone Can Do It,” a poor woman takes a risk in order to provide for her family.  The reader is Monica Raymund.Join and give!: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/symphonyspacenyc?code=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

59mins

21 Oct 2021

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Too Hot For Radio: ZZ Packer "Gideon"

"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=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

20mins

20 Sep 2021

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Too Hot for Radio: Stephen Tobolowsky "Listen to the Dog"

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=SplashpageSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

31mins

9 Aug 2021

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