Producer Alex Blumberg conducts an investigation, perhaps the first ever, into this American subspecies: People who compulsively imitate their mother's voices in everyday conversation, well into adulthood.
Writer Brady Udall with another story about what animals can take the place of, in our lives and in our homes—this one involving an armadillo. This work of fiction originally appeared in the Autumn 1999 issue of Story magazine.
This is another story of a young person making a huge, life-changing decision about his own fate while still very young. Hillary Frank tells the story, about her own little brother—and his trumpet.
When Terry Shine's father was in the hospital, Terry and his brothers spent weeks trying to do whatever they could to help. But first they had to learn the language and customs of the average American hospital.
Scott Carrier tells the story of trying to bring a part of the outside world inside the house when he was a boy. His brother wanted to capture a rattlesnake and bring it home and keep in the basement, as a secret.
True stories of what happens when children are allowed to bring nature's own creatures into the house as pets. When it comes to rodents, fish and amphibians, it often works out badly...for the pets.
The story of a book that changed a family's life, but only temporarily and not for the better. David Sedaris describes what happens when he finds a dirty book in the woods and shares it with his sisters.
In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life.
What if you asked people for advice and actually took all the advice that everyone gave you? As an experiment, writer Sarah Vowell tried exactly that, when she recently solicited advice from many different people about insomnia.
The tendency toward self-reinvention is so deep in American culture that we have an entire industry, a self-help industry, telling us how to transform ourselves into someone new. And usually, we see this as a positive thing.
Over the course of his life, Keith Aldrich was a child of the Depression; an aspiring Hollywood actor; a self-styled Beat writer, a member of the New York literati, and then a hippie. Then in the 80's, he became a born-again Christian.
There are the people who take two hours to get dressed every day, who dress primarily to be seen, and then there are most of the rest of us. Writer Sarah Vowell decides to make the leap into the two-hours group.
To end this show about parents and children at mealtime, a story about what happens when children have to become the parents. Dave Eggers' mother and father died when he was 21 and his brother Toph was 8.
Two brothers set out with a friend to cross America on horseback. They take a tape recorder with them to make a kind of audio journal of their trip.
Sarah Vowell and her twin sister Amy re-trace the Trail of Tears. They visit the town in Georgia that was the capital of the Cherokee Nation before the Cherokee were expelled.
Sarah Vowell's story continues. She and Amy visit the home of President Andrew Jackson, the villain in the Trail of Tears drama.
David Sedaris with a parable of the pressures on modern women, and how one woman — his sister — responded. David's father thought it was very important that his daughters be thin.
In which Dan Savage, who makes his living writing a nationally syndicated sex advice column, admits that there's one group of people he does not want to discuss sex with. Ever.
Sylvia's parents are immigrants who want her to be a traditional girl.
Two quick real life fables about the power of sibling rivalry.
True tales of sibling cruelty.
Tamar Brott, on growing up with two music prodigies, and Sandra Tsing Loh's sister Kaitlin, a ballet prodigy.
Deb Monroe's two daughters as they fight.
Writer Donald Antrim's The Hundred Brothers, and the question: What happens when we grow up? (24 minutes)