“Some of the people in Reality Radio I’ve met; some I’ve worked with. Yet much of the wisdom found in these pages is new to me. Each piece taught me something about radio that I didn’t know.”—Starlee Kine, host of Mystery Show, from the foreword

“Somehow in this manic digital age, Reality Radio—a mere book!—is more relevant than ever. Form and function manifest, here is the story of contemporary documentary audio, thoughtfully composed and offered straight from its most respected producers. Reality Radio is required reading for anyone at the beginning of her audio career. Or in the middle. Or finishing up. And for all invested listeners. This is radio canon.”—Julie Shapiro, executive producer, Radiotopia from PRX

Reality Radio is a fabulous book I wish I could have read when I started at NPR. It would have shaved ten to fifteen years off the learning curve discovering how to make great radio.”—Bob Edwards, former host of the Bob Edwards Show and now the Bob Edwards Podcast

“The essays in this book were written by people thinking with their ears.”—Rick Moody, author and audio maker

“How could something so good get better? Well, John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth have managed to do just that. Reality Radio will remain required reading for all my students—especially given the addition of essays from some of my radio heroes like Alix Spiegel, Dave Isay, and Sarah Koenig.”—Rob Rosenthal, independent radio producer and lead instructor at the Transom Story Workshop

“[Biewen] offers a lively history of creative documentary radio in his introduction to 19 passionate, instructive, and unexpectedly moving essays by innovative audio journalists and artists who use sound to tell true stories artfully. . . . Invaluable and many-faceted coverage of a thriving, populist, and mind-expanding art form.”—Booklist

“What is striking about this collection is how clearly the reader can 'hear' the diverse voices and stories, despite the print medium. . . . A wonderful and accessible read. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice

“An incredibly important contribution to the field of public media, one that will invite introspection, spark creativity, and hopefully teach people that the first step in learning is listening.”—Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0

“This book is valuable for those who believe radio's future is in the art of storytelling and can be a particularly good resource for students enrolled in radio narrative or radio/audio documentary classes, and a valued tool for faculty teaching documentary, narrative, audio drama, and radio writing.”—Journal of Radio and Audio Media

“The producers who wrote these essays prove that there's nothing more moving than real, truthful radio. I read a lot of the book in bed and soon heard the voices whispering in my ear: 'Get up. Go record something. Now.' You will feel the same.”—Neenah Ellis, independent radio producer and author of If I Live to Be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians

“In [these] highly autobiographical essays . . . some of the finest practitioners of broadcast aural storytelling describe and celebrate their craft. . . . Though not every documentarian profiled in the book provides equally useful guidance to oral historians interested in transforming their work into aural narratives, they all provide plenty of inspiration and useful general principles.”—Oral History Review



Saturday, March 6, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Words on Sound: Book Launch and Signing

With contributors Ira Glass, the Kitchen Sisters, and Joe Richman

Third Coast Filmless Festival

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

“A book launch at a radio festival?! You got it. The TCF is thrilled to celebrate the launch of Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound, a brand-new / first-of-its-kind collection of essays written by some of the most accomplished radio producers working today. Re:sound’s Gwen Macsai will join Reality Radio contributors Ira Glass (This American Life), Joe Richman (Radio Diaries) and the Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, Lost & Found Sound) for a lively discussion—including lots of audio, of course—about what makes radio stories so damn special. Copies of Reality Radio will be available for purchase at a book signing following the event.”

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