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 for download at Louis CK's web site. (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)
Ira plays tape from an interview that he did more than 20 years ago, with the author Doris Lessing, about her novel The Fifth Child, which tells the story of a woman who gives birth to a goblin-like baby. The archival audio appears courtesy of National Public Radio, Inc.Then Ira's conversation with Cheryl, from the top of the show, continues.