A short story, "Fatso," by Etgar Keret from his collection "The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God." A woman reveals to her boyfriend that she's not always what she seems, especially at night. Matt Malloy reads.
Etgar Keret describes the moment in the immediate aftermath of an affair. Actor Matt Malloy reads.
David Rakoff tells the story of a contract between a son and his visiting mother. David Rakoff is the author of several books including Don't Get Too Comfortable.
Actor Matt Malloy reads a short piece of fiction called "Shoes," about a boy trying not to be a turncoat. It's from Etgar Keret's book of short fiction The Busdriver Who Wanted to Be God, and Other Stories.
A short story about an orthodox Jewish man who dies on the operating table and goes to heaven. Where he meets God.
Actor Dermot Mulroney reads a new short story by Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Etgar Keret's most recent book is the short story collection, The Girl on the Fridge.
Richard Bausch reads his story "Letter to the Lady of the House" from his book, Selected Stories of Richard Bausch. His latest book is called Thanksgiving Night.
Jonathan Goldstein's story about trouble in the Town of Bedrock. One day, when he's backing out of his driveway, Barney accidentally runs over and kills a dinosaur that belongs to his neighbor and best friend, Fred.
What divorce looks like from the dog's point of view. This monologue was performed by Merrill Markoe and recorded at Un-Cabaret in Los Angeles.
Arthur Phillips reads an abridged version of his short story "Wenceslas Square," which takes place in Czechoslovakia at the end of the Cold War. (31 minutes) This story was first published in a collection of essays and fiction called Wild East: Stories from the Last Frontier.
Jonathan Goldstein retells the original sink-or-swim story, the one about Noah and the flood. Jonathan is host of the CBC radio show WireTap.
When you're powerless, you think a lot about the powerful figures above you. Especially when their actions just make no sense.
David Sedaris reads a new story that explores the age-old question: Can a parrot and a pot-bellied pig find happiness in a world that only wants to pigeon-hole them? David's most recent book is Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
Writer Larry Doyle on a love that will not die, no matter how dead it is.
A story by David Sedaris about what happens when natural enemies meet, in an Alcoholics Anonymous program, in prison. This story appears in David's collection of animal fables Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
David Sedaris reads his new fable about a squirrel, a chipmunk, and a love that could never be. He's the author of many books, including Dress Your Family in Cordoroy and Denim.
This American Life receives an emergency transmission from a rooftop somewhere in New York City, where John Hodgman reports on the true-life origins of Christmas traditions. John Hodgman is the author of More Information Than You Require.
Yeah, Mary Magdalene knew Jesus. She knew him before anybody else had ever even heard of him.
The great Christmas classics are all like fables. David Sedaris contributes his own, about barnyard animals who decide to play "Secret Santa." David is the author of many books, including a collection of Christmas stories, Holidays on Ice.
Jonathan Goldstein retells the classic Christmas story, trying to understand what exactly goes through the mind of a man about to become surrogate father to The Lord. Jonathan's the author of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!.
John Hodgman provides an occasionally true account of seven days spent at the Mall of America. After crossing mall officials, he goes rogue, drinking from the flume ride and exploring what he describes as a secret tunnel lined with human skulls.
Nick Hornby's new story about a country so tiny, it's just a field, a few houses, a shop, and a café. There, a boy whose mom happens to be president of this minuscule nation is called upon to show his patriotism by playing on the national soccer team.
Our program ends with a story of knowing your enemy in a more domestic setting: In a marriage. Actor Matt Malloy reads the story by Etgar Keret. "Eight Percent of Nothing" is from a collection of stories called The Nimrod Flip-Out.
When Burt Covit was programming his VCR one day, he accidentally tuned in to a channel showing the lobby of a building. He started to watch, and couldn't stop.