One of America's foremost writers collects a treasure trove of stories, and illuminates the powerful role of storytelling in an our lives. In October 1999, Paul Auster and the hosts of National Public Radios Weekend All Things Considered programme asked listeners to send in true stories, to be read on-air as part of The National Story Project. The response was overwhelming: Auster received more than 4,000 submissions. Everyone, it seemed, had a story to tell. True Tales of American Life gathers 180 of these personal accounts in a single, powerful volume. They come from men and women of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life; together the contributors represent 42 states. Most of the stories are short, vivid bits of narrative, describing a single incident in the writers life. Some are funny, like the story of how a Ku Klux Klan members beloved dog rushed out into the street during the annual KKK parade and unmasked his owner as the whole town looked on. Some are mysterious, like the story of a woman who watched a white chicken walk purposefully down a street in Portland, Oregon, hop up some porch steps, knock on the door, and calmly enter the house... Hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies, premonitions, sorrows, pains, dreams - Time Tales of American Life encompasses an astonishing range of settings, time periods and subjects, offering a rare glimpse into the American soul.