Simon Rich reads his short story "History Report," in which a father explains the sex robots of the future.
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There are many kids who do not gradually discover that grown ups don’t have a handle on everything. These kids already know. Miriam Toews’s novel, “Fight Night,” is about a nine-year-old named Swiv who takes care of her grandma and manages her mom’s mental health struggles.
Writer Marie Phillips has a short story about a strange man in a parking lot, offering to grant one wish.
Producer Sean Cole tells one of his favorite stories — about the ending of the book A Clockwork Orange.
Shamyla always loved books. Like lots of other eleven-year-olds back in 1989, she loved The Babysitters Club.
Host Ira talks with producer Emanuele Berry about the man who tried to find one of history’s — and literature’s — most storied cities.
Lilly Sullivan tells the story of the writer Robert Walser, who moved into a mental hospital and then seemed to disappear from the world. Until people looked more closely.
In Richard Brautigan's novel "The Abortion," he imagines a library where regular people can come and drop off their own unpublished books. Nothing is turned away.
Two women attempt very different transformations. One wants to become a mother.
Ira talks to Australian novelist Gerald Murnane. He’s never left Australia.
Actor Alex Karpovsky reads a short story by Etgar Keret, from his book, “The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God." (4 minutes)
A story about God and extraterrestrials, told by Elna Baker.
Richard Klein of Cornell University explains that the way we view love really began with love poems in the 13th century—an illusion.
A Christmas poem from David Rakoff, about holidays in The Big City. Rakoff's the author of, most recently, Half Empty.
Julia Sweeney, a Catholic, tells the story of how her faith began to crack after reading a most alarming book...called the Bible. Her story is excerpted from her play, "Letting Go of God," which ran in Los Angeles.
A story from David Sedaris about how the movie The End of the Affair almost ended his relationship. He argues that being in love sometimes means not saying what's going through your head.
David Sedaris outlines an experiment he conducted with fluids and a tube and a bag. The result: The Stadium Pal.
We hear excerpts from two autobiographies which each describe the same moment, but in very different ways. Elia Kazan and Arthur Miller agree that they met with each other in 1952, around the time Kazan named the names of his old friends to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
A story of faith lost, thanks to a book about extraterrestrials and a Rabbi.
Host Ira Glass talks with Francine Pascal, who's written or invented the plot lines for over 700 books for teenagers in the various Sweet Valley High series....Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley University, Sweet Valley Senior Year. She explains why a prom story is a must for teen movies and TV shows.
Ira talks with Jonathan Morris, the amazingly funny and charming editor of the website Gone and Forgotten, an Internet archive of failed comic book characters. Jonathan explains what makes a new superhero succeed, and what makes him tank.
Sarah Vowell visits four Presidential libraries on a fact-finding tour for...President Clinton. Not that he asked her.
Host Ira Glass describes a children's book from the 1970s called Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy. On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different.
A truly remarkable children's book just came back in print: The Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. Jean Nathan tells the story of the book and its author, and how the author's life came to resemble something from her book.