Here's the second installment in a series of "Stories About Stories," in which I post stories from "This American Life" and other sources that are about storytelling itself. In preparation for Valentine's Day, these two stories deal at least loosely with romantic love. The first, of course, is about the mother of all "stories about stories," namely "The Arabian Nights." The second is a hilarious take on how reality TV might just have to coax drama into being -- fictional, but somehow I imagine it mimics pretty closely what goes on behind the scenes of reality TV.
"WHO DESERVES WHAT: The story of The Arabian Nights is actually 350 or 400 stories,
depending on how you count them. Many of the stories are stories of
impossible love, including the very last story in the whole epic
tale—the story of Jasmine and Almond. Mary Zimmerman, a Chicago director
who adapted The Arabian Nights for stage, explains the story and reads from it. (5 minutes)"
"GOSSIP: ACT TWO: Chicago writer Rebecca Makkai
bring us the story of a reality television producer attempting to
gossip love into existence—and just how complicated that gets. This
fiction story originally appeared in the journal Crazyhorse. Rebecca is the author of the novel The Borrower, and 'The November Story' is part of her collection-in-progress Music for Wartime. (18 minutes)"