Tales from The Moth

The Moth book by Catherine Burns

The Moth is releasing its second book, All These Wonders on March 21st! What better time to review their first collection?

From the outset, I wasn’t sure how I was going to write about The Moth book, or even if I should. As a collection of stories from the incredibly popular podcast and touring show, which features real people telling real stories, this book is 50 unique voices telling their unique story.

Curated by Catherine Burns, long-time assembler of Moth events, it is bundled into seven main themes. My personal favourite was the segment called Carpe Diem simply because I found myself bookmarking nearly every story in that section.

This isn’t really a book to judged based on composition as each story is a true transcript of an oral performance. Sometimes you can tell there is meant to be a gesture but you don’t know what or improper sentences, but despite that, you find you don’t mind so much. Because you can get the sense that it is all as real as stories shared over plates of food and in living rooms across the world. Wherever people are gathered.

In an introduction by Neil Gaiman, I believe he captures the spirit of The Moth and it’s wonderful impact:

The Moth connects us, as humans. Because we all have stories. Or perhaps, because we are, as humans, already an assemblage of stories. And the gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin colour, gender, race, or attitudes, but we don’t see, we can’t see, the stories. And once we hear each other’s stories we realize that the things we see as dividing us are, all too often, illusions, falsehoods: that they walls between us are in truth no thicker than scenery. The Moth teaches us not to judge by appearances. It teaches us to listen. It reminds us to empathise.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I can’t recommend The Moth enough! I’ve included some of my favourites, both from the book and from the shows below. Listen, rejoice, cry, or get mad, any of these will bring you closer to the humanness of others: