Stories of how people cope after brushes with death. Sometimes death comes as a disease. Sometimes it swims up and bites you. And sometimes it's a pen or pencil, sitting there, just waiting for you to ingest it.
In July, Tig was diagnosed with cancer. A week later she went on stage on Los Angeles and did a now-legendary set about her string of misfortunes. This is an excerpt of the full performance, which is available on the album LIVE. (13 minutes)
Tim Kreider almost died after he was stabbed in the throat. But that wasn't nearly as interesting as the year that followed. A version of this essay appears in Tim's most recent book, We Learn Nothing. (4 minutes)
This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell tells the story of a mapmaker named Charles Preuss who charted the Western Territories with two of American history's legendary explorers—John Charles Fremont and Kit Carson.