A family sits down to discuss one thing.
An excerpt from “Belles Lettres," a short story by Nafissa Thompson-Spires from her book Heads of the Colored People, performed by actors Erika Alexander and Eisa Davis with a cameo from our colleague Alvin Melathe.
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.
Comedian Atsuko Okatsuka moved suddenly from Japan to the U.S. when she was eight years old, and has long joked that it was because her grandmother kidnapped her from her dad. But she'd never talked to anyone in her family about what had actually happened. (31 minutes) Tickets for Atsuko’s comedy tour at atsukocomedy.com.
Luka’s parents – Nadia and Karen – try to figure out where to take him once war breaks out. (6 minutes)
Nadia and Karen have been arguing over Russian-ness since they needed to pick a school for Luka.
Nadia remembers the times that Luka’s father would suggest going to Crimea for vacation, as if it wasn’t Ukrainian land occupied by Russia.
Nadia tells the story of her father, Alex, who lives near Bucha, and how differently he and she view the Russian atrocities there. (10 minutes)
Nadia tells the story of her mother, who lives in Russia, and how she won’t do the one thing Nadia keeps asking her to do. (2 minutes)
Karen sends Nadia a photo which drives them to a final showdown. (12 minutes)
Nadia’s step-father works for the Russian government. How to manage that? (4 minutes)
Abby Stein’s youngest sister got married last month, the last of 13 kids in their family.
Megan Tan never felt close to her father. For years they’ve been distant.
Ira talks to author Etgar Keret about his mom, and the stories she used to tell him when she put him to sleep. He explains why it's always been so hard to write about her.
Ira Glass introduces Nancy Updike, one of This American Life's founding producers.
Comedian Zarna Garg tells jokes onstage about the extreme ways she tries to control her daughter Zoya’s life.
Chris Benderev speaks with writer Georgie Codd, who went searching for someone to be the father she never had.
For more than a decade, Boris Furman has meticulously tracked the whereabouts of his family members, averaging the latitude and longitudes to arrive at “The Family Average Location.” But nobody really knows why.
Brian and Peg disagree over a very important thing. Host Ira Glass tries to figure out who’s right.
Amy D'Addario had ferried her mother to the hospital dozens of times before.
Writer Kiese Laymon tells Elna Baker his most embarrassing story, involving one of the most important people in his life. Kiese Laymon is the author of Heavy and Long Division.
Producer Aviva DeKornfeld was interested in the toll that having a wakeup-moment could have on a family, and she heard about someone who had a moment like that over a decade ago. He tried to pull his family into activism too, and what unfolded was the most extreme example of things going badly in a family that Aviva heard of.
In families with sisters, every sister has their role to play. And whatever your role is, it sort of becomes your identity: the sweet one, the diva, the rebel.
Cindy and Dayana Carcamo are close. But recently, they’ve been struggling with this thing that happened when they were very young.