Mary Kay Prucha tells her story about the lies she told herself to deal with cystic fibrosis.
Host Ira Glass talks with a guy who hit the road after his mother's death, hoping for some experience that would change him and shed light on what had just happened. This never happens to him, or to most of us.
Reporter Scott Carrier does a story about Harvey "Job" Matusow.
Poet Donald Hall reads about his wife Jane Kenyon, who contracted leukemia, went through treatment, and died. His book is also called Without: Poems.
Ira with Lloyd Natoff, on killing chickens.
Susan Berman, author of the memoir Easy Street, the True Story of a Gangster's Daugher, reads from her book about her father Davie Berman, a Jewish gangster and one of the men — with Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel — who created modern Las Vegas. (7 minutes) Act Two continues after the break.
Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.
An Allen Ginsberg poem and Ira Glass.
Thomas Lynch reads from his book The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade.
Michael Lesy reads.
Actor Michael Stumm reads from fireman and fiction writer Larry Brown's book On Fire.
Meema Spadola with Lou Zeidberg.
Before Sinatra died, Sarah Vowell appeared on this radio program and made a prediction about how network news would cover Sinatra's death ... and she made a simple plea. We hear whether her prediction came true.
Ira with Clarence Hicks, who picks up dead animals for a living.
Ira with a girl gang member about the day she nearly died.
Kevin Kelly is interviewed.
Claudia Perez talks about how her 21-year-old brother was shot and the family thought he'd die.
Fiction writer George Saunders reads his story "Offloading for Mrs Schwartz," from his book CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. It's the story of someone who can't get over the death of his ex-wife.
Carmen Delzell/Jay Allison's story on a guitar player.
Jo Carol Pierce released a CD, Bad Girls Upset by the Truth, which documents in part her teenage years. Host Ira Glass shares a couple of songs from the CD and some of the stories behind them.
Erika Yeomans sees a young man's photo in an art magazine and decides to track him down. Problem is: he's Dutch, he's a performance artist, and he's dead.
Jack Hitt reviews the strange case of William Kane, his mistress, his family, and fifteen vials of frozen sperm.
The late Ron Brown, the former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, could have had an easy life, but chose instead to take on stressful, difficult tasks.
Sarah Thyre reads author David Sedaris' "The Last Time You'll Ever Hear from Me," a story of the ultimate Machiavellian scheming.