We hear the story of a disastrous birthday party and how it's hard not to see these kinds of moments as symbolic of something bad.
Thomas Beller tells the story of how we go from innocently amusing ourselves, to less innocent activities—all in the pursuit of happiness.
There's little in adult life that can hurt as much as a character assassination attack when it happens in junior high school. We hear the story of how one boy organizes the entire school against his former best friend, a guy named Bob Cucuzza.
Sean Cole explains why he decided that he would speak with a British accent—morning, noon and night—from the age of sixteen until he was eighteen...and how he believed the lie that he was British must be true.
The story of two young people who, in their search to figure out who they were, pretended to be people they weren't. Both were from small towns; both took on false identities.
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.
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.
So what if you held onto a high-school crush? Under what conditions would it never go away? Tobias Wolff reads a short story called "Kiss." (38 minutes)
When Anh Tuan Hoang was 12 and living in Vietnam back in 1980, his cousin was scheming up a way to escape the country by boat. Anh Tuan was invited too.
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.
We begin our show with the most idealistic notion of Santa. Mike Paterniti heads on a quest across the country, looking for something we've lost, when it comes to Santa.
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.
When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books—and especially through his notes in the margins—she entered the world of 1930's American theater.
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.
Photographer Joel Meyerowitz decided to go on a last big trip with his father Hy, who has Alzheimer's. Joel also brought his own son.
More stories from Wen Huang that contradict what you think you know about the 1989 student uprising in China.
If part of the impulse behind the Tiananmen Square uprising was the pure desire to feel like life had possibility, that the future had potential...that impulse was behind another movement. This one among young people in Eastern Europe back before the Berlin Wall fell.
Since the high school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, parents and teachers are looking for warning signs that the children in their lives might suddenly strike out. But the dividing line between normal childhood aggression and social pathology can be hard to spot.
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.
When Adam and Jamie were kids, Jamie would always ask for Adam's advice, but he didn't want to hear what Adam would say himself. Instead, he wanted Adam to pretend to be an Israeli commando he once knew, named Yakov.
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.
How Kevin and his friends got into the game of pimping, and the rules of the game at the time.
Jackie and Kenny Wharton were kids in the tiny town of Canalou, Missouri, off of old Highway 61. They moved away for 40 years but always dreamed of moving back.
How believing in the end of the world can be the best thing that ever happens to you. Writer Sarah Vowell talks about three end-of-the-world groups she comes to know.