StoryCorps: A Decade Of ‘Ties That Bind’
NPR. December 15, 2013
The StoryCorps project has collected more than 50,000 stories, many of them shared on NPR’s airwaves, and it recently marked its 10th anniversary with a book: Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps.
David Isay, the project’s creator, tells us that StoryCorps is like “a shake on the shoulder every week … reminding you: this is what’s important.”
Let’s hear a bit of Guinevere Mann. She lives with short-term memory loss as the result of complications from a surgery. And here she is speaking with her boyfriend, Yasir Salem, about the idea of confabulations.
after they went to StoryCorps, Guinevere, she said that she’s listened to the interview 10,000 times. Yasir told me that she listens to it multiple times a day because getting the chance to listen to her story, as she recorded it with Yasir, helps ground and remind her about, you know, who she is and about her life.
MARTIN: You have heard so many of these stories, so many conversations between people deeply connected in some way. Have you seen the nature of these conversations changed over the last decade?
ISAY: The answer is definitely no. You know, the accents change and the occupations change depending on where you’re recording these things. But people talk about the same things.
They talk about love. They talk about death. They talk about family.
They talk about the things that matter. In some ways, I think that with the book and with the, you know, audio segments, it’s kind of like a shake on the shoulder every week you saying, you know, reminding you this is what’s important, this is what’s important.