Stories from This American Life

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

After watching a loved one get sick and die, the producer takes some personal questions about death and dying to a place where they’re happening all the time.

Nancy Updike
This American Life
36 min 00 sec
Air Date: 04/25/2014

Chris Garcia and his dad were driving home, listening to oldies, sharing a bag of chips. They’d driven this route probably hundreds of times, but something odd was happening in the car, so Chris started recording their conversation on his phone.

Nancy Updike
This American Life
10 min 00 sec
Air Date: 11/08/2013

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

In third grade, Shalom Auslander saw a chance to make his mom proud and push his drunk father out of the picture. The plan called for a lot of blessing, and a lot of sinning.

Shalom Auslander
This American Life
19 min 00 sec
Air Date: 01/21/2005

David Sedaris reflects on his mother’s lung cancer.

David Sedaris
This American Life
11 min 00 sec
Air Date: 10/31/1997

In the last school year alone, 29 current and recent students of Harper High School in Chicago were shot. 29. This American Life spent five months at the school to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all that violence. Listen to Part 2.

Alex Kotlowitz
Ben Calhoun
This American Life
59 min 18 sec
Air Date: 02/15/2013

After a bit role with DeNiro, ex-con-actor Richie Castellano moves to a small town and gets dozens of people to invest in a movie that never premieres. Why did they buy it?

Alex Blumberg
This American Life
22 min 00 sec
Air Date: 12/15/2000

A 15-year-old boy travels more than a thousand miles, alone, to seek out his hero.

Logan Hill
This American Life
32 min 30 sec
Air Date: 07/26/2012

Growing up in Mankato, Minnesota, nobody talked about the most important historical event ever to happen there: in 1862, it was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged by white settlers.

John Biewen
This American Life
62 min 05 sec
Air Date: 11/23/2012