WNYC, one of New York City’s public radio stations, in collaboration with Symphony Space produces a series called Selected Shorts which is composed of short stories that are read to a live audience by celebrities. Some of the short stories are by contemporary writers while others are classics from long ago. All are read beautifully to a very appreciative live audience at the Peter Sharp Theater in New York City as well as at other locations throughout the country. Public Radio International (PRI) distributes the series to about 130 radio stations throughout the U.S. You can find which stations in your area airs Selected Shorts here. Under “Program Locator” click on the drop-down menu and choose “Selected Shorts.” Then choose your state from the “State” drop-down menu. Finally, click “Find” to see which public radio stations in your state carry the program. You will also see the day and time that each station carries it.
At the Selected Shorts website you will find the five most recent programs available as podcasts, and you can purchase past shows for a reasonable price in their shop. Sirius XM’s Public Radio channel broadcasts the program each Saturday night from 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. You can also listen to some of the previous readings at the WNYC website and find the names of many of the past short stories that have been presented over the years – since 1985, in fact – in this series. Note that WNYC, which is available via the internet, presents Selected Shorts at 10:00 p.m. ET every Sunday night.
Let me end with a suggestion: If you’re in a book club set aside an occasional meeting for discussing two or more short stories. Short stories are much more compact than novels and they provide a convenient break point part way through your discussion. Best of all, many of the greatest short stories from the past, such as those of Poe, Maupassant, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, are in the public domain and are in the numerous anthologies that exist.