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Of A Piece

From: Michelle Orange
Length: 17:05

A father/daughter meditation on divorce, tradition and jigsaw puzzles Read the full description.

Dad_small How do you maintain family traditions, or build new ones, after a divorce? Would an 8,000-piece jigsaw puzzle help? Michelle Orange thinks so. In fact, she'd even go 12,500. This lovely and unconventional radio telling is about Michelle and her father, about tradition and habit, obsession and commitment, and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and the Garden of Earthly Delights. Featured on Transom.org. For more information and conversation, visit the "Of A Piece" on Transom.

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Piece Description

How do you maintain family traditions, or build new ones, after a divorce? Would an 8,000-piece jigsaw puzzle help? Michelle Orange thinks so. In fact, she'd even go 12,500. This lovely and unconventional radio telling is about Michelle and her father, about tradition and habit, obsession and commitment, and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling and the Garden of Earthly Delights. Featured on Transom.org. For more information and conversation, visit the "Of A Piece" on Transom.

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Review of 'Of A Piece'

A classic This American Life Piece that really makes you think. It weaves the loss of a family, the building of new traditions, and the way life changes and grows in a way that is quite unique. Definately a must listen to.

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Review of Of A Piece

A story of a young woman's realtionship with her father -- and the divorce of her parents -- told in in the context of the big puzzles they pieced together at Christmas time. Her narration is candid and lucid... her father is articulate as he responds to her questions about the challenge of putting together some very large puzzles.

I found the most compelling moment to be the discussion of whether or not something is a tradition if only one person carries on with it... or is it just a habit? Her father needles her about spending less time with him around Christmas. His reaction to the giant puzzle with which she gifts him is also a great moment -- "Are you out of your mind?" He asks her to return it but she -- and I -- were uncertain if he meant it.

I enjoyed this meditation on puzzles, pieces, and the tension of growing up and apart from one's parents... and the guilt that comes with holiday times. The puzzle metaphores were over occaisionally overraught, but this didn't detract from my poignance of this situations.

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Review of Of A Piece

I like to hear people talking so effortlessly about "my Dad." So much of what I hear about Dad's is that they are deadbeats, aren't pulling their weight, or are in some way responsible for the demise of the family. Well, a lot of times they (we?) are. But, it's good to hear these stories about Dads where he's a loved man, a good guy.

I heard this piece originally on Transom, and it's a good one, worthy of any time slot it can be given. Michelle covers a lot of how the story came about on Transom.org (http://www.transom.org/shows/2004/200401_ofapiece.html). I like the fact that her narration is unscripted. I'm not sure I can easily identify what it does exactly, maybe it gives it a continuous spontaneity, instead of only being spontaneous during the interview points. Some of the tape is noisy, but it's put together well and gives a different perspective on Father's Day.

There are some honest moments in this piece. This isn't about puzzles, really, it's about a relationship that uses puzzles as the MacGuffin.

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Debut. Featured on Transom.org

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