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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From storytelling phenomenon and hit podcast The Moth—and featuring contributions from Meg Wolitzer, Adam Gopnik, Krista Tippett, Andrew Solomon, Rosanne Cash, Ophira Eisenberg, Wang Ping, and more—a new collection of unforgettable true stories about finding the strength to face the impossible, drawn from the very best ever told on its stages
Carefully selected by the creative minds at storytelling phenomenon The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of stories told live, onstage and without notes, Occasional Magic features voices familiar and new. Inside, storytellers from around the world share times when, in the face of seemingly impossible situations, they found moments of beauty, wonder, and clarity that shed light on their lives and helped them find a path forward.
From a fifteen-year-old saving a life in Chicago to a mother of triplets trekking to the North Pole to a ninety-year-old Russian man recalling his standoff with the KGB, these storytellers attest to the variety and richness of the human experience, and the shared threads that connect us all. With honesty and humor, they stare down their fear, embrace uncertainty, and encourage us all to be more authentic, vulnerable, and alive.
About the Author
THE MOTH is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is the story, and The Moth's directors work with each storyteller to find, shape, and present it. Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide. The Moth received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions in January 2012. CATHERINE BURNS is artistic director of The Moth and the editor of The Moth: 50 True Stories and The Moth Presents All These Wonders.
“Stirring tales of love, loss, friendship and identity.”—USA Today
“The forty-seven brief stories pulse with energy and vulnerability. . . . That magical power is more than occasional in this collection, and the book would make a great gift, perhaps even whetting the appetites of reluctant readers for one more story of bravery. Just one more.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Full of emotion, humor, and vulnerability, these stories skillfully illustrate and evoke empathy for the human condition. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] roller coaster of raw emotions . . . each story is as captivating as the one before it. If the Moth’s live events are full of people gently holding their beating hearts up to the mic in front of a breathless audience, these written adaptations definitely do such sacrifices justice.”—Booklist
“Captivating, artfully wrought tales.”—Kirkus Reviews (One of “5 Thoughtfully Inclusive Nonfiction Books”)
“The kind of stories that mesmerize everyone in the car. . . . Moving."—Family Circle