Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps

Title: Ties That Bind:  Stories of Love & gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps
Author:  Dave Isay
Publication Information:  The Penguin Press, Penguin Group, a Penguin Random House Company. 2013. 202 pages.

Book Source:  I received this book through the GoodReads First Reads program free of cost in exchange for an honest review. The book arrived as a hardcover edition.

Favorite Quote:  "StoryCorps is based on the belief that we can discover the most profound and exquisite poetry in the words and stories of the uncelebrated people around us, if we just have the courage to ask meaningful questions and the patience to listen closely to the answers."

Before reading this book, I was not familiar with the StoryCorps project . I am so glad that I read the book and learned more. I will now follow the project and perhaps, at some point, be a part of it.

The StoryCorps project began in New York City in 2003. It is a nonprofit whose mission is "to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives." In ten years, almost 50,000 interviews have been recorded and preserved as a part of our history - "an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations".

The original idea was to create a soundproof booth in which, with the assistance of a facilitator, you can interview someone important in your life. At the end of the session, the participants get a CD with the recorded interview, and StoryCorps submits a copy for preservation to the Library of Congress. This means that generations later, someone could hear the words of their ancestors.

Just reading that description brings tears to my eyes. My father passed away a number of years ago, and I would have loved to have that memory of him. I have many memories, but I often find myself wondering what he would have thought about something, and as I get older and more understanding, wondering how he made it through some things in his life. Now, having learned of the idea, I hope to use it to capture the legacy of the people important in my life.

This is not the first book to come out of this project, but I have not yet read the others. I now probably will. This book focuses on stories of people we call family - whether born or created through love. The individual interviews are only a couple of pages long. They don't tell a complete story because that is not the intent. They capture a conversation with a lifetime behind it.

Some touched me more than other because of where I am in my life and my own experiences. All left me thinking that this is a memory I want to one day capture for own life. A beautiful glimpse into an amazing project.

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