Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Voiceless Storyteller and the Secret of Happiness

Joel ben Izzy was at Borders today, telling stories and talking about his book The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness. Miriam was always telling me I ought to meet him sometime, and now I see why. He's a fascinating guy. After designing a degree in storytelling at Stanford, he's been traveling the world, collecting and telling stories. He's also worked as a "story consultant," teaching storytelling skills to lawyers, CEOs, and the people making movies at Pixar. In 1997, though, he lost his voice to thyroid cancer. For a year and a half he was a storyteller who couldn't speak above a tiny whisper, and for all he knew, the loss was permanent. The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness tells the story of how he got through this time and his eventual recovery, interspersed with stories from around the world. I haven't read it yet (I only just bought it today) but I'm going to recommend it anyway.

(So that makes two really cool events at Borders, just this week. Wow. I need to remember to check up on their schedule more often, and see what else they have going on there.)

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