The Moth

Catherine Burns, Editor, George Dawes Green, Foreword by, Adam Gopnik, Preface by
Edited by Catherine Burns. Hyperion, $15.99 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-4013-1111-7
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4013-0596-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-75136-0
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-84668-989-5
Hardcover - 459 pages - 978-1-78283-068-9
Hardcover - 227 pages - 978-0-316-28736-4
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This archive of confession, catharsis, and the exuberance of truth lures readers to the storyteller's porch. Burns, artistic director of the award-winning The Moth Radio Hour, frees stories whetted for a live audience onto the page, proving the richness of great storytelling: that one can gain as much as a member of an audience communally cringing, laughing and weeping, as a reader privately surrendering to the complicity of human experience. Here, a Russian music teacher's tale of conviction in the face of machine gun-wielding soldiers is salvaged from the muffled audio of a handheld recorder; the clipped sentences of a veteran astronaut bear the fear in his voice as he recounts his crew's rescue of a spacewalk in peril; the fidelity of spoken pauses and "um's" retain the essence of Kimberly Reed's humor as she describes her long-lost hometown's embrace of her gender transition in the wake of her father's death. These selections bespeak the importance and popularity of The Moth as a storytelling venue. A live audience is wanted at times; some jokes are lost on the page without the accompaniment of audience laughter. However, these stories capturing the "biggest moments of their [storyteller's] lives" remind us that those who are willing to be vulnerable are our best teachers. (Sept.)
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