Ron Mallett was ten years old when his father died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A year later, after picking up a comic book based on H.G.
Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance: The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love and decided to get married.
Host Ira Glass talks to ordinary Iraqis about life in their country since the U.S. invasion. Every one of them has friends and relatives—civilians—who've been killed in the violence there.
Two years ago, a Johns Hopkins University study published in The Lancet estimated the number of civilian casualties in Iraq. It came up with a number—100,000 dead—that was higher than any other estimate at the time and was mostly ignored.
Captain Ryan Gist was given a particularly tough assignment in Iraq: To build relationships with a town where U.S. bombs had killed twelve innocent people. But first he has to apologize to the families of those who were killed.
The Lancet's new study of deaths in Iraq, by the same research team that did the earlier study, yielded an astounding number—650,000 civilian deaths. Producer Alex Blumberg talks to Ira about the debate over this new study.
Writer Bill Eville and his brother, late at night, are picked up on the side of the road, and not taken to their destination. (10 minutes)
Weeks ago, we set up a special 800-number for listeners to call with their true-life scary stories. Over five hundred people called.
Michael Beaumier tells a story about a family member who keeps vanishing and returning. This is an excerpt from Michael's book I Know You're Out There.
This American Life producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of how her stepsister Rue bought a house on the cheap, with the understanding that the previous owner would soon move out. More than ten years later, she's still waiting.
When Gene Cheek was ten years old, his mother began dating a black man. It was 1961, in North Carolina.
Will Seymour reads letters he and his grandmother exchanged when he was in high school. He was miserable at the time—his parents had just gotten divorced and he had no friends—and so was his grandma.
When Emily Helfgot was ten, her dad was a sex therapist on a call-in radio show, which thoroughly embarrassed her. He also kept a stack of Playboy magazines in their house, in plain sight.
Jonathan Goldstein retells the classic Christmas story, trying to understand what exactly goes through the mind of a man about to become surrogate father to The Lord. Jonathan's the author of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bible!.
Lisa LaBorde has two daughters, and having grown up an only child, she can't understand why they fight all the time. Her idea of sisterhood is more like a scene from The Sound of Music. Wanting to create that kind of bond for her girls, Lisa decides to enlist the aid of science to see if she can turn these enemies into friends—in just one month.
Continuing from our prologue, host Ira Glass checks in with Lisa and her older daughter, Kennedy, to see how the experiment went. After a month, they've charted surprising results, learned that the girls aren't the only ones in the house who need to change, and found out just how much money it takes to get a twelve-year-old to play with a five-year-old.
Erin Einhorn grew up begging her mother to tell her all about the remarkable story of how she survived World War Two, thanks to a Polish woman named Honorata Skowronski, who risked her life. But her mother didn't like to talk about it.
Erin Einhorn's story continues. She tells what happens once she arrives in Poland.
Six-year-old DJ has two dads, Dan Savage and Terry Miller. DJ is being raised by two gay men, but he has a preschooler's understanding of what gay means.
The story of an Iranian couple who were unhappily married for 27 years. He had a temper.
Lennard Davis grew up hearing from his parents that he should, at all costs, avoid being like his good-for-nothing Uncle Abie. Later, after his father died, that very same uncle told him that his father was not, in fact, his father.
When Muhammad Kamran's Pakistani parents sent him off to college in Philadelphia, it was understood that he'd come back to Karachi after four years. But now that graduation is almost here, Muhammad thinks he might want to stay in America.
A story by regular contributor David Sedaris involving his sister Lisa, a secret, and her very understanding parrot. David read this story live, and it's on his CD Live at Carnegie Hall. The story is also published in his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
Host Ira Glass talks to Eddie Schmidt about his Aunt Mary, the source of the best stories in his family—including how she was so cheap she stole azalea bushes from the side of the highway.