A celebration of the relationships that bring us strength, purpose, and joy
Ties That Bind honors the people who nourish and strengthen us. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay draws from ten years of the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family. Between blood relations, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, in the most trying circumstances and in the unlikeliest of places, enduring connections are formed and lives are forever changed.
The stories shared in Ties That Bind reveal our need to reach out, to support, and to share life’s burdens and joys. We meet two brothers, separately cast out by their parents, who reconnect and rebuild a new family around each other. We encounter unexpected joy: A gay woman reveals to her beloved granddaughter that she grew up believing that family was a happiness she would never be able to experience. We witness lifechanging friendship: An Iraq war veteran recalls his wartime bond with two local children and how his relationship with his wife helped him overcome the trauma of losing them.
Against unspeakable odds, at their most desperate moments, the individuals we meet in Ties That Bind find their way to one another, discovering hope and healing. Commemorating ten years of StoryCorps, the conversations collected in Ties That Bind are a testament to the transformational power of listening.
A testimony to the power of narrative and vision, this inspirational collection gathers stories from the first decade of Isay s (Listening Is an Act of Love) oral history experiment, StoryCorps. Since 2003, StoryCorps s staff has recorded 50,000 interviews with nearly 100,000 participants. In the introduction, founder Isay, recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, presents the project s premise: A microphone gives people the license to ask questions they wouldn t normally ask, and... being listened to reminds people how much their lives matter. Among the many incredible stories transcribed for the book are the following: a man who falls five stories from a window as a boy and is caught by a stranger; an ex-soldier haunted by the fate of an Iraqi boy he befriended; and a woman who forgives, adopts, and calls son the man who murdered her only child. The collection features an astonishing range of voices, and the (fact-checked) stories recount exceptional events in the lives of noncelebrated people. As a result of the participants refreshing lack of cynicism, the book is appealingly down-to-earth and, ultimately, moving. The collection successfully fulfills its mission: to make readers feel more connected, awake, and alive.