Ira plays tape from an interview that he did more than 20 years ago, with the author Doris Lessing, about her novel The Fifth Child, which tells the story of a woman who gives birth to a goblin-like baby. The archival audio appears courtesy of National Public Radio, Inc.Then Ira's conversation with Cheryl, from the top of the show, continues.
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Host Ira Glass spends time in perhaps the toughest room on earth, the editorial meeting at the satirical newspaper, The Onion, where there's one laugh for every 100 jokes.
Host Ira Glass talks to Rachel Howard, whose father, Stan, was murdered when she was 10 years old. His case was never solved.
Host Ira Glass talks with Jane Espenson—who's written for the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and Gilmore Girls—and with J.J. Abrams—one of the creators of the hit shows Lost, Alias, and Felicity—about how we might be in the midst of another Golden Age of television.
Ira and playwright David Hauptschein took out advertisements in Chicago inviting people to come to a small theater with letters they've received, sent or found. People came for two nights, and read their letters onstage.
Host Ira Glass hauls out Ye Olde Book of Christmas Stories, only to realize that everyone's favorite stories are—gasp—missing. Sounding the alarm, he sets off to save Christmas, the only way he knows how.
Host Ira Glass talks to film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader about an anonymous love letter that turned out to be very different than it seemed.
Host Ira Glass interviews Lori Gottlieb about the time she sent a letter to a writer in a magazine, a letter packed with white lies.
Ira talks to historian Ted Widmer about two of the first pen pals in the New World. John Winthrop and Roger Williams were both Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1630s.
Host Ira Glass talks to Neil Chesanow, co-author of Please Read This for Me, a self-help book that doesn't just give you general advice. It gives you actual scripts to use in various difficult situations: Pre-written speeches to deliver if you've fallen out of love with your boyfriend, say, or if you've decided you want to have a baby.
One way to understand what war will be like is to understand what past wars were like. Andrew Carroll recently started something called the Legacy Project, which collects letters Americans wrote home during wartime, from the Civil War up through the conflicts in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.
Host Ira Glass talks with Stephen Nissenbaum, author of a history called The Battle for Christmas, which explains when people started believing in a Santa who arrives Christmas Eve carrying presents. It was in 1822, and incredibly, the poem that created our modern idea of Santa is still around, known by heart by tens of millions.
The publisher of the zine Infiltration talks about the pleasure and importance of going behind the scenes of everyday life.
Ira talks with Maria, who took out a personals ad in the Chicago Reader advertising herself as "wacky and warm." (5 minutes)
Ira with an expert in medieval manuscripts, Sandy Hindman.
LuAnne Johnson is a teacher who sold her story to Hollywood and saw it made into the film and TV series Dangerous Minds, in which a character named LuAnne Johnson does things the real LuAnne believes are unethical and silly.
Ira talks about one of the purest expressions of ordinary folks' desire to be detectives: a child's detective notebook — full of information, secret codes, cases, and an application to become an FBI agent.
Evan Harris was entrenched in her life, stalled and going nowhere both personally and professionally. A silly conversation with a co-worker about the letter "Q" led her to start a magazine called Quitter Quarterly. That one conversation changed her life completely.
A story about Christmas at Juvenile Court by Chicago novelist/editor Reginald Gibbons.