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.
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.

Congrats to Tony Shalhoub, Michael McKean, and Tony Hale on their Emmy nominations! These talented gents all read at Sel...
07/16/2019

Congrats to Tony Shalhoub, Michael McKean, and Tony Hale on their Emmy nominations! These talented gents all read at Selected Shorts during our 2018/2019 season 📺🎙

Congrats to Tony Shalhoub, Michael McKean, and Tony Hale on their Emmy nominations! These talented gents all read at Sel...
07/16/2019

Congrats to Tony Shalhoub, Michael McKean, and Tony Hale on their Emmy nominations! These talented gents all read at Selected Shorts during our 2018/2019 season 📺🎙 @ Symphony Space

Joan of Arc didn't go from a peasant girl to the 16-year-old leader of a French army for us NOT to one day read all abou...
07/16/2019
10 Books About Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orléans | Book Riot

Joan of Arc didn't go from a peasant girl to the 16-year-old leader of a French army for us NOT to one day read all about her:

Joan of Arc is someone many people have heard of, but not everyone knows all of the details about her. These ten books are here to change that.

"Any seasoned traveler knows no matter how small the weekend bag, you don’t forget a book and a bottle of perfume... N...
07/16/2019
The Freshest Summer Books and Perfumes, for Every Kind of Vacation

"Any seasoned traveler knows no matter how small the weekend bag, you don’t forget a book and a bottle of perfume... No other items can more seamlessly conjure the visceral, the vivid, and the personal, no matter how snug the bungalow, tent, or backseat."

Eight book and perfume pairings for every kind of summer vacation—whether a girls' trip, a bros' trip, or an ego trip.

Tech and lit collide with SentiArt: a "new machine learning technique to carry out sentiment analyses of literary texts,...
07/16/2019
SentiArt: a sentiment analysis tool for profiling characters from world literature texts

Tech and lit collide with SentiArt: a "new machine learning technique to carry out sentiment analyses of literary texts, as well as both fictional and non-fictional figures."

Arthur Jacobs, a professor and researcher at Freie Universität Berlin, has recently developed SentiArt, a new machine learning technique to carry out sentiment analyses of literary texts, as well as both fictional and non-fictional figures. In his paper, set to be published by Frontiers in Robotics...

"Even though I’ve lived in the United States for 24 years, the first thing people ask upon meeting me, courtesy of my ...
07/16/2019
I Found My American Dream at the Public Library

"Even though I’ve lived in the United States for 24 years, the first thing people ask upon meeting me, courtesy of my accent, is 'Where are you from?' And when I go back to Bulgaria, everyone calls me The American. But there is one place where I always feel at home—the library."

In his op-ed for Forbes last year, Panos Mourdoukoutas, a professor of economics at LIU Post in New York, suggested that Amazon stores should replace libraries to save taxpayers money. Following th…

Get ready for more books on screen!"Sony and HarperCollins Publishers said on Monday that they would finance a yet-to-be...
07/16/2019
Sony Gives Literary Film Division, Axed by Disney, a Second Life

Get ready for more books on screen!

"Sony and HarperCollins Publishers said on Monday that they would finance a yet-to-be-named venture run by the executive, Elizabeth Gabler, who is considered Hollywood’s foremost bridge to the New York publishing world."

Elizabeth Gabler, the executive behind hit movies like “The Devil Wears Prada,” will run a venture financed by Sony Pictures and HarperCollins Publishers.

Matt Zurbo is attempting to write 365 stories for children in just as many days. He has less than 80 to go. “The more ...
07/14/2019
He’s Writing 365 Children’s Books in 365 Days, While Holding Down a Day Job

Matt Zurbo is attempting to write 365 stories for children in just as many days. He has less than 80 to go.

“The more kids love stories and love books, the better the world will be for my daughter,” Zurbo said. “Imagination trumps violence and ignorance, and always will.”

Matt Zurbo’s challenge, named after his daughter, Cielo, is an unconventional labor of love.

Short stories are best on the beach 🦀🌊  (or on Selected Shorts, obviously). Happy summer!
07/14/2019

Short stories are best on the beach 🦀🌊 (or on Selected Shorts, obviously). Happy summer!

A quick, fascinating history of lunar literature, from Jules Verne to Ursula K. Le Guin and more:
07/14/2019
Moon on the mind: two millennia of lunar literature

A quick, fascinating history of lunar literature, from Jules Verne to Ursula K. Le Guin and more:

Fireworks, wild swans and super-cannons were propelling people mentally Moonwards long before 1969, reveals David Seed.

New literary podcast alert! "Called “Hag” and debuting on 29th August, the podcast will see eight female writers rei...
07/14/2019
Audible launches fiction podcast featuring Johnson, McBride and Little | The Bookseller

New literary podcast alert!

"Called “Hag” and debuting on 29th August, the podcast will see eight female writers reimagine folk tales sourced from across the UK by Professor Carolyne Larrington, a specialist in Old Norse and British fairy tales at St John’s College, Oxford. Audible said the tales would explore identity, faith, religion, gender and sexual trauma."

Audible is launching a fiction podcast featuring original short stories from writers including Daisy Johnson, Eimear McBride and Liv Little.

"So has TV ended the age of the unfilmable book? Is any book truly limited to the page? Perhaps unfilmable now simply me...
07/13/2019
The Sandman, Catch-22, Cloud Atlas ... is there such thing as an 'unfilmable' book?

"So has TV ended the age of the unfilmable book? Is any book truly limited to the page? Perhaps unfilmable now simply means books often declared 'unreadable.'"

Books by authors like Neil Gaiman and Gabriel García Márquez have been dismissed as too difficult to adapt. With Netflix offering both time and cash, is that true anymore?

Facebook comment of the week ✨💗
07/13/2019

Facebook comment of the week ✨💗

New fiction from the great Mary Gaitskill:
07/13/2019
“This Is Pleasure”

New fiction from the great Mary Gaitskill:

Fiction by Mary Gaitskill: “At first, the suit was not against me but against the publishing house, and all she wanted was a payment, which the company was prepared to make—as long as she kept quiet about her complaints.”

"It seems that everywhere we look, from the psychic’s velvet draped, neon-signed shop front, to Pepsi vending machines...
07/12/2019
The Literature of Cootie Catchers - Electric Literature

"It seems that everywhere we look, from the psychic’s velvet draped, neon-signed shop front, to Pepsi vending machines, to the foggy mythos of our own childhoods, language has been playfully divining our paths for centuries."

Fortunetelling games aren't just child's play—they're all about telling stories

“My own conviction is that the whole of literature exists because listening to stories was always a first order enterp...
07/12/2019

“My own conviction is that the whole of literature exists because listening to stories was always a first order enterprise... My belief is that being read to, being narrated to, has an irrevocable effect on the writer’s imagination. It’s hard work for the mind, it’s hard work to supply what is missing, what is not rendered.” ✨#FlashbackFriday to an evening of Selected Shorts in 1986, when the legendary writer Toni Morrison had the most insightful and beautiful things to say about how we consume stories and literature ✨

Ocean Vuong's "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous," Claire Lombardo's "The Most Fun We Ever Had," and more inaugural novels...
07/11/2019
Best Summer Reads by Debut Novelists | Read It Forward

Ocean Vuong's "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous," Claire Lombardo's "The Most Fun We Ever Had," and more inaugural novels share the summer spotlight this season:

Don't miss these new novelists—poets, pop culture writers, and even a harpist—writing romance, thrillers, and family sagas. These summer reads will light up your season.

Allow Literary Hub to guide you into the second half of the year with this list of their most anticipated book releases:
07/11/2019
Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2019, Part 2

Allow Literary Hub to guide you into the second half of the year with this list of their most anticipated book releases:

Well, we’ve done it. For better or worse, we’ve made it halfway through 2019. So now that you’ve read all of the books we anticipated in the first half of the year (right?), it…

Today is Marcel Proust's 148th birthday! Celebrate by following in the footsteps of David Bowie, Joan Didion, Jane Gooda...
07/10/2019
The Proust Questionnaire Is a 132-Year-Old Personality Quiz

Today is Marcel Proust's 148th birthday! Celebrate by following in the footsteps of David Bowie, Joan Didion, Jane Goodall, and countless others and take the Proust Questionnaire:

These days, it's the easiest thing in the world to get a personality profile of yourself — better yet, you can find out if your personality is more of a ...

Week one of the Thalia Kids Book Club Camp is well underway, partly due to these two amazing junior camp counselors! Bot...
07/10/2019

Week one of the Thalia Kids Book Club Camp is well underway, partly due to these two amazing junior camp counselors! Both Zara and Lila were campers themselves for SIX summers, before returning to Symphony Space as counselors. Zara even travels all the way from England each summer to participate in the camp! Both girls are excited to experience camp from the perspective of counselors, and are looking forward to playing capture the flag in the park, forging new friendships, and having tons of fun. There's still time to sign up for the remaining weeks of camp! Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2EDzNm2 💫⛺️📚

Dame Barbara Cartland not only holds the Guinness World Record for most books published in a single year (191), but she ...
07/10/2019
Here are some good facts about Barbara Cartland, who wrote 723 novels.

Dame Barbara Cartland not only holds the Guinness World Record for most books published in a single year (191), but she also rented her home to Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II and wrote 8,000 words a day. Learn more about this literary icon:

On this day in 1901, Dame Barbara Cartland was born. She lived to 98, and in that time wrote 723 novels (mostly romance), which sold more than 750 million copies combined. She is the Guinness World…

What's better than great writers writing about other great writers? Here's the incredible Lauren Groff exploring what sh...
07/10/2019
Virginia Woolf’s Pivotal Sophomore Novel

What's better than great writers writing about other great writers? Here's the incredible Lauren Groff exploring what she loves about Virginia Woolf's second novel, "Night and Day":

Lauren Groff on Virginia Woolf’s ‘Night and Day,’ which gazes backward in time with skepticism and a virago’s impulse to shred into tatters all that it sees.

Helen Phillip's hotly anticipated new novel "The Need" is out today, and we can't wait to get our hands on it! Described...
07/09/2019
What Is Scarier Than Motherhood?

Helen Phillip's hotly anticipated new novel "The Need" is out today, and we can't wait to get our hands on it! Described in Vulture as the kind of novel "Shirley Jackson might write if she’d dropped acid with Rivka Galchen," "The Need" is a thrilling, surreal book with motherhood at its center.

We've read Phillip's work many times at Shorts and in our adult-literacy program All Write, and she's been a dynamic and supportive presence in the Selected Shorts and Symphony Space community!

In Helen Phillips’s The Need, a parent’s nightmares take the form of a home intruder — who looks exactly like her.

#BookstoresAgainstBorders, the fundraising campaign launched last week to benefit RAICES has raised more than $48,000 as...
07/09/2019
#BookstoresAgainstBorders Raises $30,000 and Counting

#BookstoresAgainstBorders, the fundraising campaign launched last week to benefit RAICES has raised more than $48,000 as of Monday morning! #GoodBookNews

Money raised by the participating indie bookstores, small presses, and other literary organizations participating in this past weekend's fundraising campaign will benefit the refugee aid nonprofit RAICES.

On average, how many books are you toting around at any given time? For our Social Media Coordinator, it’s usually at ...
07/09/2019

On average, how many books are you toting around at any given time? For our Social Media Coordinator, it’s usually at least one, but she bumped her totals up to three today when she snagged a like-new copy of Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” and a classic Annie Proulx collection at Symphony Space's summer book sale! When joined by Jane Austen's "Emma," they make an attractive trio! Find your own used book treasures all summer long in the Symphony Space lobby ☀️📚

More than two dozen muralists and artists paid tribute to the great Maya Angelou in a big way: by creating 28 beautiful ...
07/09/2019
Maya Angelou, Reimagined Through Art

More than two dozen muralists and artists paid tribute to the great Maya Angelou in a big way: by creating 28 beautiful murals at the Los Angeles high school that bears her name. Check them out here:

More than two dozen artists honored the poet, artist and activist with murals at the Los Angeles high school that bears her name. Our photographer captured the works being created.

Big congrats to writer Lesley Nneka Arimah, who just won the Caine Prize for her short story "Skinned"! The story "defam...
07/09/2019
Lesley Nneka Arimah has won the 2019 Caine Prize—read her prizewinning story, “Skinned.”

Big congrats to writer Lesley Nneka Arimah, who just won the Caine Prize for her short story "Skinned"! The story "defamiliarizes the familiar to topple social hierarchies, challenge traditions and envision new possibilities for women of the world."

We read Arimah's short story "Light" at our evening celebrating Riverhead Books's 25 year anniversary earlier this season, and we couldn't be happier to see her receive this honor!

Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, has won the massively prestigious 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Skinned…

Nothing better than a great short story writer sharing some of his favorite short story collections! Check out Peter Orn...
07/09/2019
Five Indelible Short Story Collections

Nothing better than a great short story writer sharing some of his favorite short story collections! Check out Peter Orner's collection suggestions:

Peter Orner, the author of Maggie Brown & Others shares five books in his life

Riley Sager's breakout mystery novel "Lock Every Door," (which takes place in Selected Short's Upper West Side neighborh...
07/07/2019
New Novel Set on Upper West Side to Become TV Series

Riley Sager's breakout mystery novel "Lock Every Door," (which takes place in Selected Short's Upper West Side neighborhood) is set to be adapted for TV!

A fictional mystery set on the Upper West Side was just published. Titled "Lock Every Door", it will soon be released as a TV series.

Ticker sales for the new season of Selected Shorts open later this month, but you can preview our incredible slate of sh...
07/07/2019
Selected Shorts

Ticker sales for the new season of Selected Shorts open later this month, but you can preview our incredible slate of shows below! Subscriptions for the 2019-2020 season of Selected Shorts are on sale now at the box office 🎉📚

Inside the "Philosophy Major Turned Lawyer" lending library, you'll find "the complete works of Schopenhauer and an LSAT...
07/07/2019
Little Lending Libraries

Inside the "Philosophy Major Turned Lawyer" lending library, you'll find "the complete works of Schopenhauer and an LSAT study guide."

No lending library is the same: find an LSAT study guide, manuals for heartbreakingly out-of-date software, and other free books.

We’re wishing the happiest birthday to a Selected Shorts all-star, a champion Bloomsday veteran, and an all around fan...
07/07/2019

We’re wishing the happiest birthday to a Selected Shorts all-star, a champion Bloomsday veteran, and an all around fantastic and talented person! We ❤️ you, Kirsten Vangsness!

Add some books in translation to your stacks this summer:
07/07/2019
50 Must-Read Short Books In Translation | Book Riot

Add some books in translation to your stacks this summer:

Argentine writer César Aira said once, "The longer a book is, the less it is literature." Check out this great list of amazing short books in translation!

"The San Francisco Chronicle once put it this way: 'India has the Taj Mahal. Berkeley has Moe’s.'"
07/07/2019
The Legend of Moe’s Books

"The San Francisco Chronicle once put it this way: 'India has the Taj Mahal. Berkeley has Moe’s.'"

It remains a landmark in Berkeley, one of America’s very best bookstores and worth an epic detour to visit.

“They were your mothers and before that, your grandmother owned them. Keep them in the box and only use them in case o...
07/07/2019
Divide and Conquer

“They were your mothers and before that, your grandmother owned them. Keep them in the box and only use them in case of emergency.”

New fiction from Kristen Arnett!

— Short Fiction —

"Think about the impact that books have had on your life, the lives of your family members, friends, and the world. Thin...
07/06/2019
Why Books Are Worth Your Money || The Value of a Book

"Think about the impact that books have had on your life, the lives of your family members, friends, and the world. Think about all of the times you’ve gotten lost in a good story, one that prompted you to find out more about who you are and what your values are in life. Think about the capacity of a book to expand empathy and understanding, and think about all of the people who are better off because they found themselves in the pages of a book they never knew they needed."

Read It Forward editor Jess explains the value of a book. She makes the case for buying books from time to time to support independent bookstores and the hard work that goes into making every page count.

A new book from Lore Segal is on the way! " The Journal I Did Not Keep" will be a "retrospective selection of short stor...
07/06/2019
Lore Segal Is Still Making Edits Even 50 Years Later

A new book from Lore Segal is on the way! " The Journal I Did Not Keep" will be a "retrospective selection of short stories, essays, and novel excerpts written over the course of the 91-year-old author’s long career."

The 91-year-old author, who escaped the Nazis and satirized New York literary society, collects a lifetime of writing in The Journal I Did Not Keep—and makes some changes.

#FlashbackFriday to 1988, when this @selected_shorts listener wrote in to say that the readers and the stories he heard ...
07/05/2019

#FlashbackFriday to 1988, when this @selected_shorts listener wrote in to say that the readers and the stories he heard on the program were “enchanting, intriguing, and delightful.”
#listenerletters #publicradio

Mo Willems, the acclaimed children's author, is  first ever Education Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center in Washi...
07/05/2019
Kids' Author Mo Willems Has A New Creative Challenge (And So Should You)

Mo Willems, the acclaimed children's author, is first ever Education Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.! Some of his projects at the Kennedy Center will include "collaborating with Ben Folds on a 'symphonic spectacular'; working with Jason Moran on a Jazz Doodle Jam; and adapting 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus' into a musical."

The creator of the Pigeon series, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant & Piggie is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Kennedy Center. He says if you want kids to draw, you should let them see you drawing.

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