Selected Shorts

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. Whether we present stories around a lively theme, the favorite works of a guest author or a special collaboration with a museum or publication, each Selected Shorts event is a unique night of literature in performance.
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Operating as usual

“Sometimes writing a single line is enough to save your own heart.” ― "A Breath of Life." 100 years ago today, Chaya Pin...
12/10/2020

“Sometimes writing a single line is enough to save your own heart.” ― "A Breath of Life." 100 years ago today, Chaya Pinkhasovna Lispector, or Clarice Lispector was born in Ukraine, and after moving with her family to Brazil, became one of the country's most acclaimed writers.

"I think of love, and you, and my heart grows full and warm, and my breath stands still... I can feel a sunshine stealin...
12/10/2020

"I think of love, and you, and my heart grows full and warm, and my breath stands still... I can feel a sunshine stealing into my soul and making it all summer, and every thorn, a rose." - American poet #EmilyDickinson, born today in Amherst, Massachusetts (1830-1886).

This Is New York with Jane Curtin wrapped up it's final show of the year last night. Did you miss the conversation betwe...
12/09/2020

This Is New York with Jane Curtin wrapped up it's final show of the year last night. Did you miss the conversation between Jane and novelist, journalist, Twitter persona, and life-long New Yorker Molly Jong-Fast? Catch it here through December 22: https://bit.ly/2K1Bnns

Warning: This story contains swear words, sex talk, and kids behaving with a true lack of respect for their elders. Have...
12/08/2020

Warning: This story contains swear words, sex talk, and kids behaving with a true lack of respect for their elders. Have a listen to the most recent episode of Too Hot For Radio. It features a fantastic story by Becky Mandelbaum read by Robin Lord Taylor. Host Aparna Nancherla chats with Sarah Thyre about why she picked this story for a night at Selected Shorts. Listen here: https://bit.ly/3goEH8f

Both are super smart, very funny, and have a unique perspective about life in New York, which is why we're so excited fo...
12/08/2020

Both are super smart, very funny, and have a unique perspective about life in New York, which is why we're so excited for tonight's This Is New York with Jane Curtin and Molly Jong-Fast. You won't want to miss this one! Tickets available here: https://bit.ly/2VVRANs

In excerpts from a new collection, the former New York Times critic explores some of her favorite books, now with reimag...
12/08/2020
Books to Read and Reread

In excerpts from a new collection, the former New York Times critic explores some of her favorite books, now with reimagined covers.

In excerpts from a new collection, the former Times critic explores some of her favorite books, now with reimagined covers.

One was an original cast member on SNL, became a sitcom star, and shuns social media. The other is a novelist, journalis...
12/07/2020
This Is New York with Jane Curtin: In Conversation with Molly Jong-Fast

One was an original cast member on SNL, became a sitcom star, and shuns social media. The other is a novelist, journalist, and Twitter persona. We can't wait to hear what Jane Curtin and Molly Jong-Fast talk about when they meet for tomorrow night's This Is New York! Join us at https://bit.ly/39TsY02

Symphony Space is a performing arts center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan offering theater, film, literature, music, dance and family entertainment. Our mission is to connect art, ideas, and community through our programs and our commitment to literacy and education through the arts.

A show with stories about rites and rituals performed by Regina King, Zadie Smith, and Dana Ivey, and hosted by David Se...
12/07/2020

A show with stories about rites and rituals performed by Regina King, Zadie Smith, and Dana Ivey, and hosted by David Sedaris. Check out the latest Selected Shorts podcast at https://bit.ly/33U47FL

Jane Curtin on 3rd Rock, SNL, and how her improv background helped her on Jeopardy! (and a nice shout out to Selected Sh...
12/06/2020
Jane Curtin on 3rd Rock, SNL, and how improv helped her on Jeopardy!

Jane Curtin on 3rd Rock, SNL, and how her improv background helped her on Jeopardy! (and a nice shout out to Selected Shorts). Catch her this Tuesday in conversation with The Daily Beast's editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast: https://bit.ly/2JL0dI6

Jane Curtin is a comedy legend, having spent 40-plus years on-screen. She was one of SNL's first cast members, and she had hit sitcoms in the '80s and '90s. We talked to her about her life in the industry.

Did you miss last week's literary celebration of the glories and challenges of life in Gotham? Watch it on demand throug...
12/06/2020

Did you miss last week's literary celebration of the glories and challenges of life in Gotham? Watch it on demand through December 16 and discover why some call New York City "the greatest city in the world." (We're definitely biased!) Watch here: https://bit.ly/39HkIAp

“If every Tolkien fan gave us $2, we could do this.” J.R.R. Tolkien’s longtime home is about to hit the market—and fans ...
12/04/2020
J.R.R. Tolkien House Comes on the Market

“If every Tolkien fan gave us $2, we could do this.” J.R.R. Tolkien’s longtime home is about to hit the market—and fans have launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy it, hoping to turn it into a museum.

Literary fans and celebrities who starred in Tolkien films start a crowdfunding campaign to preserve the house.

We're so excited for next Tuesday's This Is New York with Jane Curtin. Jane is talking to author, journalist, podcaster,...
12/04/2020

We're so excited for next Tuesday's This Is New York with Jane Curtin. Jane is talking to author, journalist, podcaster, political activist, and über-Tweeter Molly Jong-Fast about her upbringing as a wild child in NYC, being the daughter of "Fear of Flying" author Erica Jong, to her pivot to politics, and everything in between. It's sure to be a fascinating, humorous, and forthright conversation between these two remarkable women. Join us! https://bit.ly/2JL0dI6

12/01/2020
Selected Shorts: New York Stories with Wyatt Cenac

Join us tomorrow night for Selected Shorts: New York Stories, starring F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Jin Ha, Sonia Manzano, Karen Pittman, oh, and the greatest city in the world! Hosted by comedian Wyatt Cenac (featured here). It happens Wed, Dec 2 at 7:30PM. Tickets at: https://bit.ly/3lpikQY

This #GivingTuesday, here is our gift to you! Enjoy this never-before-released video of “You’re Not Alone” performed by ...
12/01/2020
“You’re Not Alone” by Our Native Daughters

This #GivingTuesday, here is our gift to you! Enjoy this never-before-released video of “You’re Not Alone” performed by Allison Russell Music from our 2018 Rhiannon Giddens Residency. If you are participating in Giving Tuesday, please consider making a gift to Symphony Space. Donate here: https://bit.ly/2J8Q1ZE

The modern fables by writers George Saunders and Michael Cunningham, performed by John Cameron Mitchell and Valorie Curr...
12/01/2020

The modern fables by writers George Saunders and Michael Cunningham, performed by John Cameron Mitchell and Valorie Curry will hold you spellbound. Listen to the new Selected Shorts podcast at https://bit.ly/2Jp4W2e

What did the Wicked Witch of the West demand of Dorothy? Who was the sole survivor of the Pequod? Test your knowledge of...
11/30/2020
Characters in Literature Quiz

What did the Wicked Witch of the West demand of Dorothy? Who was the sole survivor of the Pequod? Test your knowledge of Heathcliff, Mowgli, and more in this quiz of literary characters.

What did the Wicked Witch of the West demand of Dorothy? Who was the sole survivor of the Pequod? Test your knowledge of Heathcliff, Mowgli, and more in this quiz of literary characters.

It's Black Friday! Check out this #BuyBlack Friday gift guide. Get a head start on your holiday shopping and discover do...
11/27/2020
Gift Guide | About Facebook

It's Black Friday! Check out this #BuyBlack Friday gift guide. Get a head start on your holiday shopping and discover dozens of products from Black-owned businesses.

Support these Black-owned businesses when you shop for the special people in your life. We’ll be adding new gift ideas throughout the holiday season, so stop by on a regular basis.

Did you miss this week's conversation between bestselling authors Kate DiCamillo and Judith Thurman? What a moving night...
11/26/2020

Did you miss this week's conversation between bestselling authors Kate DiCamillo and Judith Thurman? What a moving night it was! Watch it on demand through December 8th: https://bit.ly/3m2NJcN

We are so grateful for our community of artists, audiences, educators, staff, and neighbors whose heartfelt generosity, ...
11/26/2020

We are so grateful for our community of artists, audiences, educators, staff, and neighbors whose heartfelt generosity, dedication, and support continues to fuel our creative engines. We thank you and wish you and yours a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

One year ago, we closed out another decade of incredible stories with an evening celebrating 100 years of the O. Henry A...
11/25/2020

One year ago, we closed out another decade of incredible stories with an evening celebrating 100 years of the O. Henry Award. Hosted by acclaimed novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we were captivated by exceptional short fiction by past O. Henry winners performed by Mia Dillon, Jin Ha, Josh Hamilton, Kelli O'Hara, and Karen Pittman. (Photos by Kevin Yatarola) #Throwback

So many great books on this list! We're looking forward to reading them all.
11/25/2020
100 Notable Books of 2020

So many great books on this list! We're looking forward to reading them all.

The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review

11/24/2020
Tickets are now on sale for a new slate of winter events!

Brr...It’s getting cold outside, but our winter programming is heating up! Tickets are now on sale for a new slate of events, including the premiere of a concert + conversation series with blues master Corey Harris, Selected Shorts hosted by George Saunders, and our comedy debate series Uptown Showdown tackling Naughty vs. Nice. Plus, our Thalia Book Club Salon invites you into the Zoom room with acclaimed author Min Jin Lee for an exclusive evening in which Lee discusses her stunning novel, "Pachinko." Limited to just 30 guests. Get your tickets for all winter events here: https://bit.ly/3kY0HYa

Congrats to Dominique Fishback who read at our Angie Thomas literary event last year. Dominique is on Variety's top ten ...
11/24/2020
Variety Announces 10 Actors to Watch for 2020

Congrats to Dominique Fishback who read at our Angie Thomas literary event last year. Dominique is on Variety's top ten actors to watch.

Variety has selected its 10 Actors to Watch for 2020, an honor the publication has bestowed since 1998. Past honorees include over 35 now Oscar winners and nominees, such as Mahershala Ali, Timothé…

Viola Davis and Bhavesh Patel perform two spellbinding stories about what it means to be a family on the Selected Shorts...
11/23/2020

Viola Davis and Bhavesh Patel perform two spellbinding stories about what it means to be a family on the Selected Shorts podcast. Stories by Shay Youngblood and Jai Chakrabarti. Listen at https://bit.ly/2UPXW0u

"Judith Thurman’s biography of the storyteller Isak Dinesen is a book that I have read and re-read for more than 30 year...
11/23/2020
In Conversation: Kate DiCamillo & Judith Thurman

"Judith Thurman’s biography of the storyteller Isak Dinesen is a book that I have read and re-read for more than 30 years now. It has shaped my journey as a writer. I turn to it again and again for inspiration, courage, and insight. I am honored and excited to get to talk with Judith Thurman about this life-changing book in a virtual event with Symphony Space later this month."-Kate DiCamillo.

Join Judith Thurman and Kate DiCamillo to discuss Thurman's book "Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller." The two authors meet for the first time to discuss this extraordinary work. Nov 24 at 7pm ET. Tickets here: https://bit.ly/36T3Fs2

Symphony Space is a performing arts center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan offering theater, film, literature, music, dance and family entertainment. Our mission is to connect art, ideas, and community through our programs and our commitment to literacy and education through the arts.

Head into the holidays with some food for thought! Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, founders of the popular culinary we...
11/22/2020
Meet Food52

Head into the holidays with some food for thought! Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, founders of the popular culinary website Food52, joined us at Symphony Space in 2018 for a mouthwatering evening of food stories worth devouring. Enjoy some cooking inspiration here.

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, founders of the popular culinary website Food52, joined us at Symphony Space in 2018 for a mouthwatering…

What books are you reading this month? We're escaping the late fall chill by cozying up with these reads.
11/22/2020

What books are you reading this month? We're escaping the late fall chill by cozying up with these reads.

Did you miss Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Jane Curtin in conversation? Feed your creative spirit and watch it on demand th...
11/21/2020

Did you miss Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Jane Curtin in conversation? Feed your creative spirit and watch it on demand through Dec 2. Hear why as a young, Black chef, New York City offered Marcus opportunities no other city could, and why turkey is not the star of his Thanksgiving table. Enjoy it here: https://bitly.com/

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 National Book Awards!
11/19/2020
Charles Yu Wins National Book Award for ‘Interior Chinatown’

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 National Book Awards!

The nonfiction prize went to Les Payne and Tamara Payne for “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X.” The crime novelist Walter Mosley received a lifetime achievement award.

"An all-star cast came together, remotely and in socially distanced shoots, to turn Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoir into a viv...
11/19/2020
‘Between the World and Me’: From Page to Stage to Screen

"An all-star cast came together, remotely and in socially distanced shoots, to turn Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoir into a vivid amalgam of art, music and performance for HBO."

An all-star cast came together, remotely and in socially distanced shoots, to turn Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoir into a vivid amalgam of art, music and performance for HBO.

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Comments

Can you fix the audio in the "Reality Checks" evening? Impossible to hear the end of the Josh Radnor story because of an audio problem.
Ilya Krivosheev is young prose writer, pastry cook and traveler from Russia. His last literary project “The Major Arcana” is collection of twenty-two stories, where the plots are played on the basis of tarot cards.
Heck, I'm trying to find an audio of Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" I heard in the 90s (and I think played on the radio?) that was in a Caribbean accent and full of sass. Anyone know where to find it? I've reviewed the audio and video bits I could find by googling. Thanks! I may have heard it on SS.
I have been searching for a Yom Kippur story, I think it was called "The Cell Phones," but I can't find it. Does anyone know where I can find this story, or at least the author's name?
I was hoping someone could help me - I heard a story several years ago on Selected Shorts and I don't remember the title or author. The story was about a teenager who babysat young children at an old mansion. The children had a ritual where whenever they walked up the stairs they would spin around and say a chant, which they claimed kept the monsters/ghosts away. The babysitter plays along until one day an intruder breaks into the house and chases her up the stairs until suddenly he vanishes. Does anybody know this story?
We are deeply saddened to hear that Selected Shorts host Isaiah Sheffer has passed away. May he Rest In Peace. Prayers to the Family....Bob & Holly Gerspacher
I'm looking for a short story that was about a man describing his childhood. It seems like it was a Christmas episode. There was something about a sled and snow. My late brother played this story for me years ago and I am having the hardest time recalling the episode. I remember loving it and sharing in that story with him.
Ian Fraser's Lamentations of the Father, broadcast Jun 23 2018 was HYSTERICAL
Sad day, fellow Selected Shorts fans: My hard drive with the complete downloaded archive of all episodes gave up the ghost. If you would like to gather 'round and say a few words–what are your favorite episodes? I listened to some old Edgar Allen Poe readings more than once as well as this tower of Babel story that had something to do with digging. I remember a story about a man in Japan who survived, or did not survive, a tsunami. So many stories. :-(
Just discovered this website-so interesting!
I love the podcast but I wonder if there is any way to hear it uncensored.
Awesome program been listening a long time