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KUOW Presents

Death and Hunger for a Faith with Studs Terkel


Join Steve Edwards for an exclusive interview with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel discussing his newest oral history, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith.

Terkel explains what it was like at the age of 89 to write Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, a book about life, death, and the possibility of life afterward. Relating his own experiences to those of his subjects, Terkel describes how one man reacted with relief and sadness when his father died after a long illness, and he explores the continuance of life after death with the story of a young neurosurgeon, Dr. Marvin Jackson. Terkel describes the impact Dr. Ron Sable's death had on Kathy Fagan and Linda Gagnon, and their two sons - boys who were conceived thanks to Sable's sperm donation.

This compelling program also allows listeners to hear Terkel's subjects in their own voices. Social worker Matta Kelly talks about how she battled a hospital's bureaucracy to guarantee her client, transvestite Norma Sanders, a dignified death. African American Mamie Mobley remembers her teenage son, Emmett, who was brutally killed by white men while on vacation in Mississippi in 1955. His body in pieces, his remains were shipped home to Chicago in a box within a box. Mobley explains how her religious faith helped her heal from the pain of the tragedy.

In this riveting special, Terkel explains his interest in death, a universal, yet seldom discussed, issue. Emphasizing the importance of dying with dignity, Death and Hunger for a Faith powerfully conveys the sense of hope that prevails in human suffering.

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