Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about finding happiness in unexpected places. In Michel Faber’s “Vanilla Bright Like Eminem” a single moment illuminates the life of a family. The reader is Daniel Gerroll. In Roxanne Gay’s “North Country,” an academic is a fish out of water in a backwoods community, until love finds her. Adepero Oduye reads. More


Marriages, love affairs, and other complicated relationships are explored in these four stories. First, two works by a SHORTS stalwart—Sherman Alexie. A woman confesses to a long-ago affair with haunting consequences in “Scenes from a Life.” In “The Vow,” a married couple renegotiates the terms of their contract. Alexie says the idea for this brief […] More


Guest host Neil Gaiman presents two ironic stories about wish fulfillment in this rebroadcast of a popular show from last season. In D.H. Lawrence’s classic, “The Rocking Horse Winner,” a young boy tries to help a family obsessed by money. In the show, SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti and guest host Gaiman discuss its unusual […] More


Adult children untangle their pasts in two stories about fateful marriages and what comes down from parents to children. Delmore Schwartz’s classic “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” established his reputation as a new literary voice when it was published in 1937 in The Partisan Review. Written on his 21st birthday, it describes a surreal dream in […] More


SELECTED SHORTS celebrates One Story Magazine‘s tenth anniversary with three works by favorite authors. SHORTS literary commentator Hannah Tinti is also the co-founder and editor of One Story Magazine.  In her words, “Our publisher, Maribeth Batcha, and I decided to create a new kind of magazine, one that we hoped would support up-and-coming authors, create […] More


We think of this program as a literary “mix tape,” featuring two stories mingling with the music that inspired, or played a role in them. “Milestones,” by Miles Davis was the inspiration for Hannah Tinti’s story of the same name.  It was also our introduction to Hannah—who is interviewed here by SHORTS host Isaiah Sheffer—before […] More