Storytelling

Our guest on ST is the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg, who's known for his books "All Over but the Shoutin'" and "Ava's Man." His new book, which he tells us about, is "The Best Cook in the World." In this work, Bragg sets out to preserve his heritage as well as his family history by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking, her upbringing, her education, her child-rearing, and so forth -- from her own childhood into old age. As Bragg tell us, in the American South just like everywhere else, good food always has a good story behind it.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Fran Stallings, a longtime storyteller who has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. Stallings has two new books out, which she tells us about: "How to Fool a Cat: Japanese Folktales for Children" and "The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan." In each of these collections, Stallings has edited and adapted the stories of her friend and collaborator, Hiroko Fujita.

The StoryCorps Mobile Recording Booth has returned to Tulsa; it will be parked at the Guthrie Green in Downtown Tulsa from today (Thursday the 16th) through November 15th. How does it work, you ask? Well, people come in pairs to interview family members, friends, mentors, and loved ones; StoryCorps is all about everyday people sitting down together to ask or answer life's important questions. It's a vast and far-flung oral history project like no other; after all StoryCorps interviews are completed, the recordings are archived at the Library of Congress for generations to come.

Hemingway once noted: "There are two kinds of stories. The ones you live and the ones you make up. And nobody knows the difference. And I don't ever tell which is which." Great writers aren't the only ones who feel compelled to tell stories. It's something we all do. We have to. Doing so makes us human; sharing stories makes life easier, richer, more coherent, more meaningful. On this installment of ST, we learn about a story-driven event for the Tulsa community that's happening this weekend.