August 11, 2000

Nobody's Family Is Going to Change

Three stories that consider the question: Does anyone's family ever change?

Julia Pimsleur, from Act One, with her brother.


Host Ira Glass describes a children's book from the 1970s called Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy. On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different. The question is, though: Is it true? Does anyone's family ever change? (3 minutes)
Act Two

Matching Outfits Not Included

What can happen if a sibling relationship doesn't ever change. Hillary Frank brings us the story of two sisters, now in their seventies, who have preserved the same relationship they had as girls...for better or worse. (9 minutes)

Act Three

The Artist Formerly Known As Dr. Sarkin

What happens when you want your dad to change—and he wants to change, too—but there's literally nothing that can be done to change him. Jon Sarkin was a chiropractor with workaholic tendencies. Then in 1988, something changed in his brain, something his family is still getting used to. (14 minutes)