Browse our archive by

Filter by

Act One

Barbara Clinkscales grew up in Chicago's public housing projects, had her first child when she was 15, and is now—over two decades later—struggling to get her teenage son to finish his senior year of high school. Barbara is a working mom, with a network of close friends who look out for her.

Act Two

Barbara's story continues, as she hears some terrible news about her son.

Prologue

The story of the lengths a father will go to to retrieve a lost teddy bear, and why—after he's enlisted many other parents to help him wade through tens of thousands of bags of trash to find it—none of the parents involved think he's nuts.

Act Three: Age of Enchantment

What happens when a dad tries too hard to protect his child from disappointment and instead enthrall the child. With the best of intentions, New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler did all that, and in the process accidentally broke his daughter's heart.

Act Three: Shooting Lesson

Kitty Felde explores the mystic link between boys and guns when her cousin's husband, a liberal in Berkeley, gives her lessons in his newest toy: a gun that shoots potatoes 450 feet in the air. The "spud gun" has a special property: Any man who sees it instantly wants one.