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I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from the NPR's National Story Project

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I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from the NPR's National Story Project Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

In late 1999, Paul Auster (The Book of Illusions, Timbuktu) began a stint as a storyteller on National Public Radio's weekend edition of All Things Considered. Auster asked listeners to send in their own stories and the letters flooded in. Gathering 180 of the submissions for what became known as NPR's National Story Project, Auster presents this "museum of American reality" that is not only a treat to visit, but well worth sharing with others. The binding criteria — that each anecdote be short, true, and somehow extraordinary — bring out such richness, depth, and passion in each tale that readers will be hard-pressed to forget even one. The title story is presented through the eyes of a a boy whose father tells a crotchety man to drop dead — and the man does. There are skinny dippers and unfortunate screen doors, "lost" items found under the Christmas tree, perfect martinis, timeless summer evenings, voices from the dead, and pets that make Rin Tin Tin look like a run-of-the-mill bumbler. The range of setting and personal experience is immense, and each author's emotion and tone are contagiously conveyed. This easily approachable collection is ideal for quick mental escapes and passing along to family and friends. Malia, Powells.com

Publisher Comments:

One of America's foremost writers collects the best stories submitted to NPR's popular monthly show — and illuminates the powerful role storytelling plays in all our lives.

When Paul Auster and NPR's "Weekend All Things Considered" introduced The National Story Project, the response was overwhelming. Not only was the monthly show a critical success, but the volume of submissions was astounding. Letters, emails, faxes poured in on a daily basis- more than 4,000 of them by the time the project celebrated its first birthday. Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell.

I Thought My Father Was God gathers 180 of these personal, true-life accounts in a single, powerful volume. They come from people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Half of the contributors are men; half are women. They live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, and they come from 42 different states. Most of the stories are short, vivid bits of narrative, combining the ordinary and the extraordinary, and most describe a single incident in the writer's life. Some are funny, like the story of how a Ku Klux Klan member's beloved dog rushed out into the street during the annual KKK parade and unmasked his owner as the whole town looked on. Some are mysterious, like the story of a woman who watched a white chicken walk purposefully down a street in Portland, Oregon, hop up some porch steps, knock on the door-and calmly enter the house. Many involve the closing of a loop, like the one about the woman who lost her mother's ashes in a burglary and recovered them five years later from the mortuary of a local church.

Hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbableironies, premonitions, sorrows, pains, dreams — this singular collection encompasses an extraordinary range of settings, time periods, and subjects. A testament to the important role storytelling plays in all our lives, I Thought My Father Was God offers a rare glimpse into the American soul.

Review:

"Finally, a bathroom book worthy of Pulitzer consideration: the one- to three-page stories gathered in this astonishing, addictive collection are absolute gems." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"There's something magical and electrifying about the realities these modest tales reveal, the hidden dimensions of human life, an amazing mosaic of mysterious occurrences and connections that are, apparently, as common as dust, as precious as love." Donna Seaman, Booklist

Review:

"As this collection ably proves, we all shape experience into stories, and Auster has done a storyteller's job himself of grouping the pieces effectively." Library Journal

Synopsis:

One of America's foremost writers, novelist Paul Auster ("Timbuktu") and the host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered", collects the best stories submitted to NPR's popular show--and illuminates the powerful role of storytelling in all readers lives.

Synopsis:

One of America's foremost writers collects the best stories submitted to NPR's popular monthly show--and illuminates the powerful role storytelling plays in all our lives

When Paul Auster and NPR's Weekend All Things Considered introduced The National Story Project, the response was overwhelming. Not only was the monthly show a critical success, but the volume of submissions was astounding. Letters, emails, faxes poured in on a daily basis- more than 4,000 of them by the time the project celebrated its first birthday. Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell.

I Thought Mmy Father Wwas God gathers 180 of these personal, true-life accounts in a single, powerful volume. They come from people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Half of the contributors are men; half are women. They live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, and they come from 42 different states. Most of the stories are short, vivid bits of narrative, combining the ordinary and the extraordinary, and most describe a single incident in the writer's life. Some are funny, like the story of how a Ku Klux Klan member's beloved dog rushed out into the street during the annual KKK parade and unmasked his owner as the whole town looked on. Some are mysterious, like the story of a woman who watched a white chicken walk purposefully down a street in Portland, Oregon, hop up some porch steps, knock on the door-and calmly enter the house. Many involve the closing of a loop, like the one about the woman who lost her mother's ashes in a burglary and recovered them five years later from the mortuary of a local church.

Hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies, premonitions, sorrows, pains, dreams-this singular collection encompasses an extraordinary range of settings, time periods, and subjects. A testament to the important role storytelling plays in all our lives, I Thought My Father Was God offers a rare glimpse into the American soul.

Synopsis:

The true-life stories in this unique collection provide "a window into the American mind and heart" (The Daily News). One hundred and eighty voices - male and female, young and old, from all walks of life and all over the country - talk intimately to the reader. Combining great humor and pathos this remarkable selection of stories from the thousands submitted to NPR's Weekend All Things Considered National Story Project gives the reader a glimpse of America's soul in all its diversity.

About the Author

Paul Auster's most recent novel, Timbuktu, was a national bestseller. He began the National Story Project in 1999. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction

ANIMALS

"The Chicken," Linda Elegant

"Rascal," Yale Huffman

"The Yellow Butterfly," Simonette Jackson

"Python," Judith Beth Cohen

"Pooh," Patricia Lambert

"New York Stray," Edith S. Marks

"Pork Chop," Eric Wynn

"B," Suzanne Stroh

"Two Loves," Will Coffey

"Rabbit Story," Barry Foy

"Carolina," Kelly O'Neill

"Andy and the Snake," Ron Fabian

"Blue Skies," Corki Stewart

"Exposure," Michael Oppenheimer

"Vertigo," Janet Schmidt Zupan

OBJECTS

"Star and Chain," Steve Lacheen

"Radio Gypsy," Bill Calm

"A Bicycle Story," Edith Riemer

"Grandmother's China," Kristine Lundquist

"The Bass," Mark Snyder

"Mother's Watch," Raymond Barry

"Case Closed," Jerry Hoke

"The Photo," Beverly Peterson

"MS. Found in an Attic," Marcus Rosenbaum

"Tempo Primo," Lauren Shapiro

"A Lesson Not Learned," Carol Sherman-Jones

"A Family Christmas," Don Graves

"My Rocking Chair," Dick Bain

"The Unicycle," Gordon Lee Stelter

"Moccasins," Fr. Keith Clark

"The Striped Pen," Robert M. Rock

"The Doll," Robert McGee

"The Videotape," Marie Johnson

"The Purse," Barbara Hudins20

"A Gift of Gold," John Keith

FAMILIES

"Rainout," Stan Benkoski

"Isolation," Lucy Hayden

"Connections," Miriam Rosenzweig

"The Wednesday Before Christmas," Jack Fear

"How My Father Lost His Job," Fred Muratori

"Danny Kowalski," Charlie Peters

"Revenge'" Eric Brotman

"Chris," Edwina Portelle Romero

"Put Your Little Foot," Anna Thorson

"Aunt Myrtle," Laura Braughton Waters

"American Odyssey," Jane Adams

"A Plate of Peas," Rick Beyer

"Wash Guilt," Heather Atwood

"Double Sadness," Martha Russell Hsu

"A Picture of Life," Jeanine Mankins

"Margie," Christine Kravetz

"One Thousand Dollars," I.Z.

"Taking Leave," Joe Miceli

"Act of Memory," Mary Grace Dembeck

SLAPSTICK

"Bi-Coastal," Beth Kivel

"A Felt Fedora," Joan Wilkins Stone

"Man vs. Coat," Mel Singer

"That's Entertainment," Nancy Wilson

"Riding With Andy," Jim Furlong

"Sophisticated Lady," Joan Vanden Heuvel

ard"My First Day in Priest Clothes," Eugene O'Brien

"Jewish Cowboy," Jennifer Pye

"How to Win Friends and Influence People," Jerry Yellin

"Your Father Has the Hay Fever," Tony Powell

"Lee Ann and Holly Ann," Holly A. Heffelbower

"Why I am Anti-Fur," Freddie Levin

"Airport Story," Randy Welch

"Tears and Flapdoodle," Alice Owens-Johnson

"The Club Car," John Flannelly

"Bronx Cheer," Joe Rizzo

"One Day in Higley," Carl Brooksby

STRANGERS

"Dancing on Seventy-fourth Street," Catherine Austin Alexander

"A Conversation with Bill," John Brawley

"Greyhounding," Beth Twiggar Goff

"A Little Story About New York, Dana T. Payne

"My Mistake," Ludlow Perry

"No Forwarding Address," Josh Dorman

"The New Girl," Marc Mitchell

"The Iceman of Market Street," R.C. Van Kooy

"Me and the Babe," Saul Isler

"Lives of the Poets," Clayton Eshleman

"Land of the Lost," Erica Hagen

"Rainbow," Katie Letcher Lyle

"Rescued by God," Mary Ann Garrett

"My Story," Rachel Watson

"Small World," Paul K. Humiston

"Christmas Morning," 1949, Sylvia Seymour Akin

"Brooklyn Roberts," Adolph Lopez

"$1,380 Per Night," Double Occupancy, Bruce Edward Hall

"A Shot in the Light," Lion Goodman

"Snow", Juliana C. Nash

WAR

"The Fastest Man in the Union Army," Michael Kuretich

"Christmas 1862," Grace Sale Wilson

"Mount Grappa," Mary Parsons Burkett

"Savenay," Harold Tapper

"Fifty Years Later," Gisela Cloos Evitt

"He Was the Same Age as My Sister," Mieke C. Malandra

"Betting on Uncle Louie," Jeanne W. Halpern

"The Ten-Goal Player," Paul Ebeltoft

"The Last Hand," Bill Helmantoler

"August 1945," Robert C. North and Dorothy North

"One Autumn Afternoon," Willa Parks Ward

"I Thought My Father Was God," Robert Winnie

"The Celebration," Reginald Thayer

"Christmas 1945," Lloyd Hustvedt

"A Trunk Full of Memories," Morton N. Cohen

"A Walk in the Sun," Donald Zucker

"A Shot in the Dark," David Ayres

"Confessions of a Mouseketeer," Doreen Tracey

"Forever," Maria Barcelona

"Utah, 1975", Steve Hale

LOVE

"What if?," Theodore Lustig

"The Mysteries of Tortellini," Kristina Streeter

"An Involuntary Assistant," C.W. Schmitt

"The Plot," Bev Ford

"Mathematical Aphrodisiac," Alex Galt

"Table for Two," Lori Peikoff

"Suzy's Choosy," Suzanne Druehl

"Top Button," Earl Roberts

"Lace Gloves," Karen Cycon Dermody

"Susan's Greetings," Susan Sprague

"Edith," Bill Froke

"Souls Fly Away," Laura McHugh

"Awaiting Delivery," John Wiley

"The Day Paul and I Flew the Kite," Ann Davis

"A Lesson in Love," Alvin Rosser

"Ballerina," Nicolas Wieder

"The Fortune Cookie," Sharli Land-Polanco

DEATH

"Ashes," Sara Wilson

"Harrisburg, Randee Rosenfeld

"Something to Think About," P. Rohmann

"Good Night," Ellise Rossen

"Charlie the Tree Killer," Frank Young

"Dead Man's Bluff," Joel Einschlag

"My Best Friend," Olga Hardman

"I Didn't Know," Linda Marine

"Cardiac Arrests," Sherwin Waldman

"Grandmother's Funeral," Martha Duncan

"High Street," Judith Englander

"A Failed Execution," David Anderson

"The Ghost," G.A. Gonzalez

"Heart Surgery," Dr. G.

"The Crying Place," Tim Gibson

"Lee," Jodi Walters

"South Dakota," Nancy Peavy

"Connecting with Phil," Tom Sellew

"The Letter," Brian F. McGee

"Dress Rehearsal," Ellen Powell

"The Anonymous Deciding Factor," Hollie Caldwell Campanella

DREAMS

"4:05 A.M.," Matthew Menary

"In the Middle of the Night," Steve Harper

"Blood," James Sharpsteen

"The Interpretation of Dreams," V. Ferguson-Stewart

"Half-Ball," Jack Edmonston

"Friday Night," Steve Hodgman

"Farrell", Stew Schneider

"Jill", Kara Hussonb

"D-Day," Richard R. Rosman

"The Wall," Vicky Johnson

"Heaven," Grace Fichtelberg

"My Father's Dream," Mary McCallum

"Parallel Lives," Timothy Ackerman

"Anna May," Jeff Raper

"Long Time Gone," Lynn Duvall

MEDITATIONS

"Sewing Lessons," Donna M. Bronner

"Sunday Drive," Bob Ayers

"Mayonnaise Sandwiches," Thomas Corrado

"Seaside," Tanya Collins

"After a Long Winter," Eileen O' Hara

"Martini With a Twist," Dede Ryan

"Nowhere," John Howze

"Where in the World is Era Rose Rodosta?," Carolyn Brasher

"Peter," Mark Gover

"At Sixes and Sevens," Sandra Waller

"Reflections on a Hubcap," Roger Brinkerhoff

"Homeless in Prescott," Arizona, B.C.

"Being There," Tim Clancy

"An Average Sadness," Ameni Rozsa

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

F. Chapman, May 9, 2007 (view all comments by F. Chapman)
As an NPR junkie, I picked this book up at one of the airport Powells. I cannot tell you how many times I have read this book! It is an amazing collection of true stories from NPR listeners, talking about everything from a priest's first day in his garb, to a couple fatefully meeting once again (in Paris!) after they had lost each other's phone numbers years previous. It is the perfect "anytime" book since the stories are so short, but it is so enthralling and sincere you could easily read the book cover to cover in one sitting.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(44 of 83 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805067149
Subtitle:
And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project
Author:
Auster, Paul
Editor:
Reifler, Nelly
Author:
National, Public Radio
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Location:
New York
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Folklore & Mythology - Storytelling
Subject:
Oral history
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Essays
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
#37
Publication Date:
20010913
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 BandW illustrations
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.28 x 5.5 x 0.735 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » American » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General

I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from the NPR's National Story Project Used Hardcover
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$2.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805067149 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Finally, a bathroom book worthy of Pulitzer consideration: the one- to three-page stories gathered in this astonishing, addictive collection are absolute gems."
"Review" by , "There's something magical and electrifying about the realities these modest tales reveal, the hidden dimensions of human life, an amazing mosaic of mysterious occurrences and connections that are, apparently, as common as dust, as precious as love."
"Review" by , "As this collection ably proves, we all shape experience into stories, and Auster has done a storyteller's job himself of grouping the pieces effectively."
"Synopsis" by , One of America's foremost writers, novelist Paul Auster ("Timbuktu") and the host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered", collects the best stories submitted to NPR's popular show--and illuminates the powerful role of storytelling in all readers lives.
"Synopsis" by ,
One of America's foremost writers collects the best stories submitted to NPR's popular monthly show--and illuminates the powerful role storytelling plays in all our lives

When Paul Auster and NPR's Weekend All Things Considered introduced The National Story Project, the response was overwhelming. Not only was the monthly show a critical success, but the volume of submissions was astounding. Letters, emails, faxes poured in on a daily basis- more than 4,000 of them by the time the project celebrated its first birthday. Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell.

I Thought Mmy Father Wwas God gathers 180 of these personal, true-life accounts in a single, powerful volume. They come from people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. Half of the contributors are men; half are women. They live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas, and they come from 42 different states. Most of the stories are short, vivid bits of narrative, combining the ordinary and the extraordinary, and most describe a single incident in the writer's life. Some are funny, like the story of how a Ku Klux Klan member's beloved dog rushed out into the street during the annual KKK parade and unmasked his owner as the whole town looked on. Some are mysterious, like the story of a woman who watched a white chicken walk purposefully down a street in Portland, Oregon, hop up some porch steps, knock on the door-and calmly enter the house. Many involve the closing of a loop, like the one about the woman who lost her mother's ashes in a burglary and recovered them five years later from the mortuary of a local church.

Hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies, premonitions, sorrows, pains, dreams-this singular collection encompasses an extraordinary range of settings, time periods, and subjects. A testament to the important role storytelling plays in all our lives, I Thought My Father Was God offers a rare glimpse into the American soul.

"Synopsis" by ,
The true-life stories in this unique collection provide "a window into the American mind and heart" (The Daily News). One hundred and eighty voices - male and female, young and old, from all walks of life and all over the country - talk intimately to the reader. Combining great humor and pathos this remarkable selection of stories from the thousands submitted to NPR's Weekend All Things Considered National Story Project gives the reader a glimpse of America's soul in all its diversity.

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