Selected Shorts

Arts #29Books #10

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.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • SassyVP
    Mumbo jumbo heap of mess
    Just can’t listen to this podcast. Seems to be steeped in gay experiences and it just is. It what I want to listen to.
  • d/wj/b
    True writers read by exceptional actors who relate to what they are reading. Some stories remind me why I love literature others are just curious. But I love both, equally.
  • wordyshipmate
    Consistently interesting stories read with passion by actors; if you love short stories or literature, you will love this podcast.
  • joe14250
    Love bedtime stories!
    My father used to make up stories to get us to fall asleep! I will sometime enjoy a SS at bedtime too! I love the association!
  • CharlesThorntonPollard
    Love, love Meg♥️
    This is more of a testament to the awesome Meg Wolitzer. Meg, your insights, interviews, and passion for good literature is refreshing. This is especially true during a season of non-literate persons foisting their elementary approach to story telling on us. You encourage and promote the best. You are the best, only to be challenged by your mom—-and I love your interviews of Mom!
  • bechill59
    Always amazed…
    …by how much more life there is in the actors’ rendition of stories than there is when I read them. Many Thanks for the literary awakening.
  • Loyal fan.. disappointed
    I have been a great fan of selected shorts .. I was ready to listen Thursday .. ALL of my saved shows and newly added - are all listed as”E” explicit- What happened ??
  • Skins89
    My Comfort Zone
    This and Snap Judgement are my required listening for amazing storytelling
  • lidia___011
    What has happened?
    Long time selected shorts listener, this used to be my favorite podcast. Unfortunately, the host and stories, as well as the readers are all absolutely atrocious.
  • @Marinachef
    Great stories
    And I don’t have to dress up!
  • ckfav
    Growing tired of Ms. Wolitzer's choices.
  • Learner A.
    Thank you! The intros set the stage for time to stop - just listen and enjoy.
  • tina1269
    Introduced me to some great authors
    I found Iain McKeon here and others
  • Died_if_Death
    Love this podcast
    I honestly don’t get the negative reviews, but then I didn’t follow the show before it was hosted by Meg. Personally I greatly enjoy Meg’s intros; they add flavor and context, and I like her style. And I relish so many of the stories themselves, whether for content and/or delivery. Of course I don’t enjoy them all equally; that would not be humanly possible.
  • jo nail
    Great stories - horrible host
    Not a great radio voice- Ok but her content is worse! The act is reading. The stories are fantastic, as I have the stories selected.
  • toratoratora-100
    Less Meg W
    Way too much time devoted to Meg. Never had that with Isiah.
  • BKWcbc
    Check your facts
    Ophira is not the former host of a show….she was the host of a former show. Your editors lack of skill is very apparent
  • Rubyona
    The limiting factor
    The fiction is usually very good and the actors’ readings are great. I used to love this show but Meg Wolitzer’s style is just not for me and she takes up too much time and space, which sort of ruins it for me. So I don’t listen very often any more. I used to listen every week. [sad face]
  • Robin on your radio
    3 cheers for Meg Wolitzer
    I’ve been listening to Selected Shorts for decades. Meg’s intros always give me insight into the writer’s craft. She sets the stage for the delights to come. It’s a wonderful aperitif to the readers’ performances.
  • jajgyk
    Agree with tzila99
    See tzila99’s review
  • the fiasco kid
    OG fan moving on. Sadly.
    I’ve enjoyed Selected Shorts since the Isaiah Sheffer days when you had to tune into NPR on the radio one day a week. But i am finally giving up on it. The story selections are always so joyless the last few years. Even when they are intended to be funny, its always just grim humor, or worse, bitter humor. Just drab and joyless tales week after week. Don’t get me wrong. I am not looking for only humor. I like a good sad tale, or social commentary, but those don’t have to be dreary. A moving story now and then would be great too. I will miss the professionally read stories, so much talent. However, all the talent in the world can’t save story after story of the divorcee coming to terms with - fill in the blank: spousal betrayal, kids leaving home, friendship failures, aging parents. We need a better mix: Down to the Sea in Ships, mixed with Cheever, then Frankencat, then Wharton, then, fine, some dreary modern angst. But, please, a larger emotional range than story after story of ho-hum nobody’s muddling through a joyless experience/life/day/interaction. So sick of it. Every week i try to listen and every week its a different version of the same thing. Stories can be meaningful and witty without being comedy. And there is a filling of the heart in a moving, heroic, or poignant tale that is like joy. So, I am not trying to say that the show has to be more funny. By the way, SS, throwing in the occasional Etgar Keret doesn't prove I am wrong. It just proves I am right. Yes he is a fenius surrealist and often funny, but his stories are mostly grim looks at a harsh realities. So just another example of the narrow emotional range that i am entirely over. I cannot be the only one here who would like a fresh take on story selections. Maybe I will check back in the future.
  • artsdistrictchic
    Meg, Daddy loves you! now can someone else host?!?
    For the love of God could someone somewhere somehow get Meg Walletzar to read all these bad reviews?! All these people are not trolls! Really! Not a joke. If I accidentally don’t fast forward through her mother*#@!ing break down analysis of the writers it ruins the writer for me. I had to rip my earbuds out and throw them when she started in on Grace Paley. Even worse is the way she has to relate every short story with autobiographical details from her life, most of the time she relates with excruciating details about how she doesn’t relate. Why won’t someone tell her?! Is Meg short for megalomaniac? Is she such a rock star in the world of short stories that she is surrounded by yes men? Ughh!!!
  • My chosen Nickname 2
    I want more Meg!
    Her narrative is it’s own story
  • Jtrom345
    Meg is great !
    Love Meg’s thoughtful reflections. A great addition to one of my long time favorite shows.
  • tzila99
    Please less Meg
    The stories and the actors are the highlight, but you have to get through an unnecessary amount of commentary from Meg Wolitzer to get to them. The episode where she interviews her own mother made me want to throw my phone out the window. It was fun when they had different hosts each episode.
  • Caybree
    …in how this show has changed. I listen for the stories and the intros that used to be brief. I don’t enjoy the new format at all.
  • Marilynium
    Stories Without Personal Commentary
    I agree with several fellow listeners that the podcast was better before Wolitzer became host. She is fine when limiting her commentary to the story at hand but, frequently, she inserts annoying bits and bobs from her own life. I am also dismayed to see Wolitzer being permitted to have her mother pop up on the podcast sometimes, which I feel to be an inappropriate use of Wolitzer’s platform as host. The mother’s recent story was cute, but not of the caliber listeners have come to expect. It then went on to include an interview with Wolitzer’s mother during which Meg as host shamelessly continued to promote her mother’s work, as she did during a Mother’s Day segment. That, too, included a not-terribly-interesting interview of mother by daughter, during which her mother offered rather prosaic thoughts about writing, under the guise of insights. I listen for the stories, not for background about Meg — or her mother. Meg seems not to understand or care about this. (Does anyone on the Selected Shorts’ Board read these reviews?)
  • LMM-0210
    Wish Meg Wolitzer would keep herself out of it
    Loved this podcast until she began hosting. I listen because I am interested in the authors and the readers — I don’t dislike Wolitzer as a writer but this series is NOT about her. It’s annoying to me to hear her insert her into it so much — enough so that I no longer subscribe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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