The Moth: This is a True Story
Non-fiction short story collection featuring contributions from Malcolm Gladwell and Sebastian Junger
Although it freely describes itself as a ‘storytelling sensation’, it’s hard not to indulge New York literary event The Moth its powerful sense of self. Named in honour of the days when stories were for the porch as the sun went down, and not the flickering screen, the not-for-profit organisation’s billing is as a home for ‘real life’, where participants famous and unknown tell their true stories to an audience. This book is a selection of the best of those stories.
Malcolm Gladwell ruins his best friend’s wedding in mean-spirited fashion and Sebastian Junger sees a dead body for the first time, a toe-curling, gut-punching moment. A Jewish girl from Jersey joins the Sultan of Brunei’s harem, while a man relives a small slice of the 18 years he wrongly spent on death row and Bill Clinton’s press secretary recounts the heart of the Lewinsky affair. Many of these stories are vignettes of a much longer tale and the writing quality varies (a few beg to be read aloud), but at their finest they transport the reader to the intense heart of another’s most vivid experience.