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, from Symphony Space.

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Recent Reviews
  • Chaotik_lord
    No stories here
    What is this? There are only 16 episodes and maybe a third are stories; it’s mostly interviews and discussions. I realize many hosts desperately want to make a living talking to interesting people or sharing their thoughts, but don’t deceive us by pretending this is a fiction podcast.
  • lidia___011
    What has happened?
    I’ve been listening to and loving selected shorts for the past five years. The stories used to be diverse, imaginative and fun. Unfortunately, it seems all recent stories center around race. The most recent story refers to characters as “ White lady” “Black lady”, and repeats this over and over throughout the story. Seems very divisive. Rather than promoting togetherness (or even just tell a story) you promote racism by separating and distinguishing characters only by their race. Is everyone so woke that this is now the norm? They also make a point to talk about children sexual ways in most stories. Sadistic and sick.
  • msnh08
    What is Happening?
    I used to love Selected Shorts but now I have to skip through the host’s parts because she is SO irritating. Lately, the stories are being replayed without any indication in the description. Are you sure you want to continue the podcast? Unless there are changes, I’ll unfollow.
  • Bastardsack
    What happened to all the episodes? Please don’t put this show behind a pay wall.
  • JLMiraldi
    A delight!
    I used to order Selected Shorts compilations on audio CDs from my library so you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that my favorite stories were right under my nose all along!
  • Mr. SnC
    Enjoyable, educational, fun, entertaining, and relaxing.
    I have been following this Podcast quite a while. I look forward with excitement bto each new release and play it right away. I listen to this Podcast while I knit on a project such as socks, a sweater, or some such item. They go together so well. I recommend this Podcast to anyone and everyone. Enjoy 🙂👍
  • Nerkgreg
    Thank you Meg, we’ll let you know
    Love the stories, but I’m fast forwarding past the intros, outros and interstitial comments. Can you please just tell me a story, let me savor and reflect on it, and save the writer’s workshop prattle for another podcast?
  • Lorelski
    Used to be great
    I applaud SoS for years of bringing the world brilliant short stories read by really talented people. Now I’m wondering: are there no longer any good stories? The quality has gone downhill in my opinion; I am hearing more and more “fable”-style stories that, as another reviewer observed, seem more like college or high-school English projects. And the readers for the most part deliver the stories as if they were doing cold reads. Like others, I find the protracted hosting and interviews unnecessary. So sorry! I’m going to see if I can dig up archive versions of the series from its heyday.
  • Thwr
    Great entertainment
    I’ve been listening to this podcast for a couple of years. Listen when traveling for hours while going to visit family. Love love love. Each and every podcast enlightening, entertaining and keeps me alert. Highly recommend for anyone.
  • Jubilee5750
    A favorite
    I have been listening to the show for several years. It is beautifully and professionally performed and produced Thanks so much! One constructive criticism: please consider reducing or eliminating Meg Worlitzer’s comments/monologue the beginning of the show and in between stories. I’m sorry to day it, but They are too often boring and irrelevant .
  • Phl¡¡p
    Enriched my life & enriched my mind…luv it
  • RosLindaRealtor
    Less commentary from the host, please.
    Thank you.
  • FinneyMom
    I listen to SS less than I used to
    I still savor the few “selected” stories that are worthy of a good listen. But lately, the stories are not very interesting. I loved it a few years ago when Leonard Nimoy read “What we talk about, when we talk about love” (I realize Leonard is diseased - but think you could replay)or Linda Lavin’s reading of Grace Paley stories. I loved the short story “Deep Lie the Woods” and “Illusions” where a couple become separated in the desert and the woman tries to help a family who are con artists. There are so many great stories out there. I do not know who is selecting them now, vs who selected them in the past - but please have faith that your readers can understand complex stories … because lately they are just flat. Meg does a great job of hosting - but the host of “Too Hot for Radio” voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard … sorry … but it is impossible for me to listen to her voice. OK - sorry to be a bit negative - I am hanging in there, hoping for a return to the past. Sincerely, Raine
  • mishigold
    Commentary is good, but…
    I would like it if there were an alternate feed with less commentary. Sometimes it would be nice to be read a story without the criticism or lessons in literature.
  • SunRa Rebel
    A long time favorite
    I try to listen every week. Love great stories
  • joandietitian
    This was my very favorite podcast for many years. I saved episodes for bedtime to savor before sleep. No more. The new host Meg Wolitzer has taken this delightful well crafted professional show by the wonderful Isaiah Scheffer to an uninteresting vanity project. I find her so distracting w her ME ME ME. The best readers are gone too, it appears. Too bad. It was perfect.
  • Haley Reinhart lover
    What is going on
    Are there directors? Rehearsals? Or do they just come from the sound stage of their sit coms to speed read through volunteer gigs? More than half of the stories are ones I cringe through because of the very very poor quality of the reading. The more famous and busier the reader, the worse the reading. From the first to the last word of capotes short story I was slack jawed. Not to mention that the intro was literally as long as the story. Then the first line of the next story just starts with a mistake. Is there a period after counter? This sounds like someone had never read the story before. SS has always had a smattering of emotive readers who over do it. That’s for the last 20 years. Maybe bc I’ve decided to give it a try again over Covid I’m poorly conditioned for performances like the ones I’ve been hearing. Also I’ve been spoiled by stellar performances on audible by no name readers of superior skill. Ok I get it audible is edited and this is live. All the more reason to rehearse and direct these readings.
  • Wilton301
    Great work!
    Thank goodness there have been more stories about race lately. Let it continue—it’s an ever rich and essential topic.
  • honolululistenet
    Just yuck
    You’re “Too Hot Explicit” segments are definitely not hot. Just no. Creepy and dull.
  • Starfinder25
    Used to be better
    I used to love listening to SS a few years ago. The actors and authors reading were fantastic, but now the “too hot for radio” is just for pearl clutching boomers. It’s gotten so boring. I used to be able to go back years in order to find the perfect story to fall asleep to, but now you have your pick of 11. No thanks
  • Devoted in Hawaii
    Stop with the overwrought acting!
    Ruining story after story by treating them as plays. The focus is on the actors rather than the story.
  • WoodfordSki
    Great Stories, Beautifully Read
    Comedy and drama read by terrific actors.
  • RosemariB
    Disappointed in “Buck Boy”
    Even if you’re Black, even if you’ve won the highest literary awards in the country, it is not okay to stereotype, mock & insult Black people. I hated Mr. McBride’s short story on so many levels. So let me just say, even if you have good intentions, “Buck Boy” is not only racist, it’s dehumanizing! Every Black person in the story except for his sister is stupid & trifling, especially Buck Boy, who McBride wants to show (stolen money in his cold dead hands) deserves to be killed. The only person the reader should have compassion for is the Asian man who killed Buck Boy after he robbed him. He is the only one who is decent in his concern for Buck Boy’s funeral costs, burial site, but strangely not his life. I racially classify characters because it was McBride’s whole point. While a whole community of black folks, from mother to minister don’t care, don’t even show up for his funeral, they just want money, things, & dope. When Toni Morrison included some of our peoples’ eccentric names, she explained how the name came about & we appreciated the wit & truth behind it. With McBride it feels mocking & insulting. If a white person wrote this terrible racist story of stereotypes he or she would be canceled. Well for this one lone Black woman, Mr. McBride is canceled. I will not read anymore of his books & I’ll side-eye Riverside Books. I’ve enjoyed Selected Shorts, but will have to take a break from it too. Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback.
  • Loyal Podfan
    Host’s Now Advertising Themselves
    Two minutes of host Maulik Panchol and a recent female author (can’t remember name) advertising themselves before the show—it’s not only in bad taste—it’s ridiculous!
  • CatManDude29
    Please, open up the archives!!!
    We keep cycling through the same handful of stories, and it really is upsetting. I am unsubscribing… And I will be boycotting your sponsor Zabar’s, until you start putting up some new content .. Or , if you go a little deeper into the archives. And one star, until things change !
  • pwb in dc
    Helpless Little Things
    Love this story telling. It’s up there with the ‘The Rattle Bags’, ‘Batman and Robin Have an Altercation’ and ‘The Taxman’. Thanks for bringing these to us!
  • sorrow56
    No, no,no!
    In these traumatizing times, I don’t want to hear political essays, charming as the readers are, I want ESCAPEs as ez a we d as z a a sad dawa. For an hour, just one measly hour, a week, I want to forget that politics and DC and campaigns, and bitter, violent partisanship don’t exist. Can’t you give that to me? Please?
  • a1waysangie
    Very entertaining
    I love a good short story. Thank you for reading to me as I drive.
  • Deborah MZ
    Bravo Donna Lynn Champlin!
    She’s one of the best readers/performers featured. Hilarious and brilliant. She brings stories to life. Feature her more please! Make the back catalog available please. Alec Baldwin reading Wharton, Jane Curtain reading anything/everything.
  • madam ripstitch
    Read to me!
    I like to listen to these readings as I’m falling asleep. Well-curated literary selections are performed by actors with a minimum of ego. Just the stories.
  • DieHardMontana
    Recycled Stories
    I love hearing good stories again, but I’d prefer if there was access to older episodes and new stories on new episodes! I get all excited for a new episode, and then it’s a story I’ve already listened to multiple times. Still love the stories!
  • #1 Daughter-in-law
    The 12” Pianist
    I wanted to share a few episodes with my father-in-law while he’s recovering from COVID and poof! they’ve disappeared!! I thought they weren’t going to disappear until spring... when the weather warms up... like magic... Seriously, this man could use a good laugh- what’s a girl to do when the 12” pianist goes missing? PS- I found another reading of the 12” you-know-who and it was terrible. It’s really ironic that the somewhat vague punchline was the only thing that disappeared...
  • tammytalking
    Where are all the back episodes? I listened to some and I’d like to share them and listen to them again.
  • mmnwmn
    Kwan is a bore.
    I’ve been a Selected Shorts fan for years, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Lately, though, Kevin Kwan has been self-promoting with such a heavy hand that I cringe every time I hear his voice. We know about your books, Kevin. Thanks for the constant reminders.
  • alliechip
    Dislike that episodes disappear
    Is there any way to access the David Schwimmer episode?
  • DXHZ
    Amazing performances but why don’t they stay?
    The performances are incredible but why do older episodes disappear? Such a shame that they don’t remain accessible to listeners.
  • hopedavisfan
    Always great
    Also Hope Davis’ performance in Your Honor is absolutely perfect (and gorgeous). Thank you!
  • The Bob Loblaw Law Blog
    David Sedaris is ignorant, ableist, and lacking in empathy.
    I sure love Zadie Smith’s work! However, I can’t stomach David Sedaris’ voice since reading his hateful, bigoted, ignorant 2013 essay about his sister, who had committed suicide earlier that year. I used to think he was funny; now I just hear him as snide and cruel.
  • Squeakernorm
    Fox 8 Amazing!!
    Terrific story - outstanding performance!!
  • With wephone
    A MUST in the Pandemic.
  • B34552
    Like the variety of stories
    Thanks for this podcast. I like that there are a variety of performers and different types of stories.
  • akaEvelyn
    Less “performing” please
    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought a few years ago Selected Shorts used “readers,” not “performers,” to present the stories. I agree that it is good to have readers who understand the material, who speak clearly, and who have pleasant voices. But lately, the stories seem to have become mere vehicles for actors to show off how much they can emote and how many versatile voices they can use. The quality of the writing now takes second place to the actors’ egos. The podcast will be better when the priorities are reversed: choose well-written material; present it by articulate readers who are intent on making the stories—not themselves—shine. Eve Brouwer
  • Kah Povi
    Sadly Mediocre
    I've listened for many years. The stories have gone down in quality and depth - very shallow plots, predictable writing, mainstream themes that aren't very stimulating: obvious, pedestrian responses to mundane melodramas read breathlessly to give them the intensity that they don't inherently have. The stories sound like they were written by college students or genre writers. What happened? This podcast seems like a reflection of American society's dumbing down, lack of artistic sophistication and grit. I go back every now and then to check out a podcast that I once loved. It's vapid.
  • Brokenboxer
    Note to Michael Ian Black
    I am 64. Still love sex and drugs. Interest has not diminished. To be fair, my drugs are medical marijuana exclusively and my sex is with myself. Don’t assume us old guys have no interest. After all, we were around in the 60s. That doesn’t fade.
  • MizzleD123
    My favorite podcast
    This podcast is driving in the car on a sunny afternoon with a good friend, prepping for dinner in a warm kitchen, The stories are so freaking good and the readers, for the most part, are really well paired to the story and really good performers. Sometimes funny, sometimes devastating, always human. Love.
    I just
    I just love it. I love it and I look forward to it. Thank you guys.
  • yunfeii
    Amazing show
    Impeccably delivered, witty and multi faceted. This is a must have for any modern cultural elite.
  • better sories please
    Bring back the great writers please and don’t waste our time!
    I have listened to Selected Shorts for a long time and used to love it. More recently, they have eschewed great writers ( one superb reading and story was Leonard Nimoy’s reading of a Cheever story- I will never forget it) and are doing nothing but readings of mediocre writers. Such a shame- this program used to be a treasure- now, for the most part, it is just a waste of time. Bring back the good writers Selected Shorts!
  • Mommabird25
    Fantastic Podcast
    I believe I’m a better person for taking the time to listen to these stories. The ones chosen are wise, entertaining, soulful and well crafted. I’m wanting to write like that, but it sure isn’t easy! The narrators are varied and well rehearsed. Each reader is very different from the others. Yeah we shouldn’t bash the president. He is able to damage the decency of our constitution and demonstrate incompetence, entitlement and small-mindedness without needing any help from the great artists putting on this production. And to those who need to bring up anything negative and sully the greatness of this endeavor, I say ba-fong-guu.
  • puzzled72
    I love everything
    But if you ever bashed the president, I missed it. Could you please point out where this happened so I may listen? Puzzlesd72
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