Stories that are Strange

The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter, is marketed as a simple homespun autobiography of a Cherokee orphan. But the book is not at all what it seems. Its author shared a deep secret with the segregationist speechwriter Asa Carter. A non-narrated version of this story was originally produced for Radio Diaries.

Alex Blumberg
Joe Richman
This American Life
31 min 00 sec
Air Date: 06/13/2014

What do you do in the face of a monstrous disease with a 100 percent fatality rate? A Milwaukee doctor tries to knock death incarnate off its throne.

Tim Howard
31 min 02 sec
Air Date: 08/13/2013

In 1984, Benjamen Walker was 12 years old and like George Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith, he kept a diary, for the citizens of the future. Travel back in time and find out what totalitarianism really sounds like.

Benjamen Walker
Theory of Everything
52 min 21 sec
Air Date: 04/04/2014

Dr. Benjamin Gilmer gets a job at a rural clinic. He’s replaced the last doctor — also named Dr. Gilmer — who went to prison for murder. But the more Dr. Gilmer talks to his new patients, the more confused he becomes. Everyone loved the old Dr. Gilmer.

Sarah Koenig
This American Life
60 min 33 sec
Air Date: 04/12/2012

Lewis Greenberg is fighting to preserve a giant installation in his yard, Holocaust Revisited. He calls the neighbors who object Nazis, but it’s not nearly so black and white.

David Weinberg
Love + Radio
23 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/21/2012

What if the moon were just a jump away? A beautiful answer to that question comes in Italo Calvino’s story, read live by Liev Schreiber.

Liev Schreiber
40 min 36 sec
Air Date: 04/16/2013

Completing an accurate map of all the stars in the night sky is the lifelong goal of astonomer and self-confessed nocturnal hermit Brian Skiff. Diane Hope documents a night in the life of one of this dwindling number of professional stargazers.

Diane Hope
Falling Tree
27 min 33 sec
Air Date: 05/26/2008

As a teenager, Jessica Riddle and her friends would pick up the phone and dial the letters “H-E-A-T-H-E-R.” An old man would pick up the phone and talk to them. At first they were prank calling. But it turned out to be much more.

Jessica Riddle
This American Life
18 min 00 sec
Air Date: 02/07/2003

A contemplation of time and mortality, including stories about a family’s tragic visit to Palestine and a man who attends a dinner party after learning he might be dying.

Joe Frank
28 min 30 sec
Air Date: 07/24/2012

Jarrod Livingstone was once officially dead for three minutes. His sister wants to know what the experience was like, but he refuses to talk about it.

Carma Jolly
13 min 28 sec
Air Date: 12/13/2004