Selected Shorts: Objects of Desire

This week’s Selected Shorts features two stories that explore the place of objects in our lives: “Counting the Ways” by Susan Perabo, performed by Robert Sean Leonard, and “The Pony Problem” by Sloane Crosley, read by Kirsten Vangsness. Robert Sean Leonard joined me as co-host for this show, and  had many interesting things to say […]


As some of you may have heard, the host of Selected Shorts, Mr. Isaiah Sheffer, has passed away. I first met Isaiah about two years ago, but even before I walked into the studios at WNYC I felt like I already knew him–I’d been listening to his voice on Selected Shorts since I was a […]

Selected Shorts: Island Magic

I’ve been on the road, and have fallen behind on my Selected Shorts posts. But wanted to make sure everyone had the chance to listen in to this great program that ran recently, with two amazing stories: “Vaclav & Lena” by Haley Tanner (read by Sarah Steele) and “Swept Away” by T.C. Boyle (read by […]

Selected Shorts: One Story

Last spring, Selected Shorts hosted a gala evening to celebrate One Story’s 10th Anniversary. Four One Story authors, Seth Fried, L.Annette Binder, Tom Barbash and Jim Shepard came to New York City and introduced their stories to an eager audience, then listened in while four outstanding actors performed their pieces live on stage. When One […]

Selected Shorts: A compendium

Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading (as well as listening), to those books we’ve been meaning to get to but never seem to have the time for. I plan to crack open some Proust, and meander joyfully through a few more chapters, before turning to the giant pile of galleys on […]

Selected Shorts: Bright Stars

The transit of Venus, combined with Ray Bradbury’s passing this week, made us all turn our eyes to the heavens. I contemplated Bradbury’s advice on how to become a writer, and many people, including the New York Public Library, broadcast his moving rendition of “If Only We Had Taller Been.” Bradbury said the poem was […]

Selected Shorts: Neighbors

Two great stories on this week’s Selected Shorts that shed an unsettling light on the neighbors: “Adults Alone,” by A.M. Homes, read by Christina Pickles and “The Knocking,” by David Means, read by our own Isaiah Sheffer. There’s also a bonus interview with A.M. Homes about “Adults Alone,” which was originally published in her amazing […]

Selected Shorts: Silverwater

One of my favorite short stories is on Selected Shorts this week: “Silverwater” by Amy Bloom (performed by the great Linda Lavin). I first read this story in the 1992 edition of Best American Short Stories (a banner year for short fiction—the book also includes “Emergency” by Denis Johnson, “The Pugilist at Rest” by Thom […]