Julia DeWitt tells the story of someone who goes to incredible lengths to do a favor for another guy, even though the guy won't ever be able to know about it. Julia's story originally aired on Snap Judgment.
Back in 2013, comedian Tig Notaro went on a tour that was filmed. It was a strange tour.
Writer Ben Loory has a short story about the 180 none of us can escape. It’s from his collection, Stories for the Nighttime and Some for the Day.
Producer Nancy Updike takes some personal questions about death and dying to a place where they're happening all the time.
David Sedaris comes from a big family, who for many years growing up, took annual vacations to the same beach house. In this story, David tells us about losing a sister last year, and how her death prompted a family reunion back at the beach.
More stories of dazzling coincidences: an old boyfriend is conjured in Morocco, a jazz singer seems to rise from the dead, and three boys believe they’ve seen a corpse. Plus stories of errant fathers, lost and found.
Most murders in Chicago happen in public places — parks, alleyways, cars. Scores of Harper students will tell you they've actually seen someone shot.
Reporter Ben Calhoun tells the story of Terrance Green, a 16-year-old who was killed three years ago but is still an iconic presence at Harper.
In the first hour of our Harper High School shows, Alex Kotlowitz talked to a junior named Devonte who a year earlier had accidentally shot and killed his 14-year-old brother. Devonte was forming a strong relationship with Crystal Smith, one of the social workers, and beginning to come to terms with both his grief and guilt.
At the first day assembly, the freshman seem confused and nervous while the seniors are boisterous and confident. It's exactly the kind of first day stuff you'd expect at any school.
Reporter Alex Kotlowitz spends time in the social work office, where the effects of gun violence are most often apparent. Early on in the year, social worker Crystal Smith spends time with a junior named Devonte, talking him through his grief and guilt after Devonte accidentally shot and killed his 14 year old brother last year.
Ira talks with UC Davis Professor Kathy Stuart about a macabre trend that dates back to 17th and 18th century Europe. It seems that in order to avoid eternal damnation for the sin of committing suicide, a number of people began committing murder for the express purpose of turning themselves in, confessing their sins to a priest in order to be blessed and forgiven before being executed.
An estate attorney in Rhode Island discovers the investor's Holy Grail: a financial scheme that guarantees only reward and no risk. All upside with no downside.
Host Ira Glass talks to someone who escaped from the twin towers with a minute to spare and someone who lost her husband on 9/11. Both say they try to avoid 9/11 commemorations.
Marian Fontana, whose husband was a firefighter who died on 9/11, originally appeared on our show in 2005. Ira talks with Marian today, about what has changed for her over the last 10 years.
Michael Ian Black reads an excerpt from his book You're Not Doing It Right, about his dad and about being a dad. Michael hosts the podcast How To Be Amazing.
Actor Michael Chernus reads Etgar Keret's short story "What Of This Goldfish Would You Wish?" in which a young man decides to make a documentary about the secret longings of everyday Israelis. But he's not prepared for what he sees in the house of a man named Sergei.
Allen Wigington, former Chief Deputy at the Pickens County Sheriff's department, now magistrate judge, tells the story a soldier killed in Iraq—Specialist David Collins—arriving back home in Georgia to be buried.
Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt has this story about a really ambitious million dollar idea: Getting people to see the good side of death. Planet Money is a collaboration between NPR and This American Life.
There is a four mile long bridge in Naan-jing China, famous for how many people jump off to commit suicide. In 2003, a man named Chen Sah began spending all of his weekends on the bridge, trying to single handedly stop the jumpers.
In the Middle East, hundreds and hundreds of tunnels connect the Gaza strip and Egypt, allowing supplies to bypass the Israeli blockade against Hamas-controlled Gaza. Producer Nancy Updike speaks with Ira about the tunnels, and plays tape from an interview she conducted with a tunnel owner.
Rebecca was 16 years old when her mother Elizabeth died of cancer. But before she died, she wrote letters to Rebecca, to be given to her on her birthday each year for thirteen years.
Shalom Auslander knows his next door neighbor will die in 2010. He's the author, most recently, of the memoir Foreskin's Lament.