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If the crisis facing the Swedish Academy looked dire earlier this month, this weekend spelled still worse trouble for the 18-member committee responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize in literature each year.

This is one weird-but-true story. It's a story that leads readers from 19th century scientific expeditions into the jungles of Malaysia to the "feather fever" of the turn of the last century, when women's hats were be-plumed with ostriches and egrets. And it's a story that focuses on the feather-dependent Victorian art of salmon fly-tying and its present-day practitioners, many of whom lurk online in something called "The Feather Underground."

Journalist Alex Wagner was 12 years old when a line cook in a diner asked her if she was adopted. Wagner was taken aback — her father's family came generations ago from Luxembourg, and her mother came to the U.S. from what was then Burma.

"It was the first time in my life that I realized [that] ... I conceived of myself as generically American, but not everybody else did," Wagner says. "To some Americans, there was no possible way I could naturally be the daughter of this white American; I had to be from someplace else."

This post contains extensive spoilers for the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. If you do not wish to be spoiled, read no further.

....

I don't trust you.

You're reading this, but you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War yet, and you don't want to be spoiled. Even though this whole post is about discussing the ending.

...

The rise of the true-crime documentary — and the true-crime podcast — has made serialized storytelling about historical controversies seem like a trial, like a presentation of evidence leading to the answer to a question. A person is innocent, or a person is guilty. Someone disappeared this way or that way. A person was a persecuted saint or a nefarious monster.

The sun is out. Flowers are blooming. Spring is here — finally.

Each year, spring is coupled with a celebration of beauty, expression and the rhythmic qualities of language: We are talking about poetry.

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, NPR's Morning Edition wants you to share a couplet, and author Kwame Alexander will pick a few and transform them into one, grand poem. But there's a catch: Your poem must be about teamwork.

Share a couplet about the presence of teamwork in your life, on or off the court, be that literally or metaphorically.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Guns and gun violence are all over the news, especially after the massive demonstrations led by the teens who survived the shooting at their high school in Parkland, Fla., in February. The teens are insisting that this time will be different from previous violent attacks in the U.S. where much was promised and little changed. But if a bracing new satire by a former congressman is to be believed, maybe not.

A museum in Southern France has discovered more than half its collection of paintings thought to be by a celebrated local artist are counterfeit. And investigators say that works attributed to other regional artists could also be fakes.

The quaint French village of Elne near the border with Spain is proud to be the hometown of Catalan painter Étienne Terrus. He was a late-19th-century artist who specialized in local landscapes and was friends with the painter Henri Matisse.

Charlize Theron is 42 and says she has more to bring to the table now than she ever did in her 20s. In Hollywood and in society overall, she says, "It's so sad that we don't value women in their later years and celebrate their stories."

Her new film, Tully, focuses on one woman's midlife journey. She plays Marlo, a mother pregnant with her third child. "She really has to say goodbye to her past her in order to make room for this next chapter of her life," Theron explains.

How do we find a real connection in a digital world?

In Mary H.K. Choi's debut novel, Emergency Contact, Penny and Sam strike up a text-based romance, and soon become take-your-phone-to-the-bathroom inseparable. But for different reasons, they have trouble making it real.

Christopher Francis prayed in earnest before arriving at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1973.

It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon and the course of his life depended on this moment. He needed to make a case to a man named David C. Harr about why he deserved a visa to the United States.

That's because Francis grew up Tamil, a persecuted ethnic minority in Sri Lanka. In the 1970s, tensions between Tamils and the majority Sinhalese government grew deadly.

Larry Harvey, co-founder of the Burning Man festival, died Saturday at the age of 70, according to the organization's Facebook page and website.

The first Burning Man event took place on a San Francisco beach in 1986 after Harvey had the idea to burn a giant effigy in celebration. The event eventually grew into the seminal arts and culture festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert marked by the burning of a giant wooden sculpture of a man.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've ever noticed that Sterling Archer of the animated Bond parody Archer and Bob Belcher of the animated family sitcom Bob's Burgers sound oddly alike that's because actor and comedian H. Jon Benjamin is behind them both. He's written a new memoir (or, as he calls it, an "attempted memoir") titled Failure Is an Option.

We've invited Benjamin to play a game called "THWACK! Bullseye!" Three questions about archery.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

'Carousel' Returns To Broadway

Apr 28, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Editor's Note: One photo in this story, of a child who died, may be distressing to some viewers.

Andrea Bruce was at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, finishing up her last semester as a journalism major, when she took a photography class for fun.

It set the trajectory of her future.

"I was not going to do anything else with my life [after that]. I dedicated everything to that," says the documentary photographer.

Near the beginning of The Red Caddy, Charles Bowden's slim tribute to the author and environmental activist Edward Abbey, Bowden makes an interesting observation about his late friend's career: "He created a fairly unusual readership — either people have never heard of him or have read everything he ever wrote." It's an exaggeration, of course — plenty of people read his most famous novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, but never become Abbey completists.

The shot is stunning at first glance. In the top half of the frame, stars hang like a spangled canopy above the vast grasslands, which would be desolate if not for the tall termite mound in the foreground. The hill glows with the bioluminescence of click beetle larvae, their fluorescent speckle looking for all the world like the stars' mirror.

Finally, we no longer have to use the word "allegedly."

A court of law has delivered a verdict that the court of public opinion seemed to have already reached: Bill Cosby, 80, has been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, resulting from allegations first made by Andrea Constand back in 2005.

The public eventually saw more than 60 women accuse "America's dad" of sexual misconduct and assault, with many alleging he surreptitiously drugged them first. This is the first of those stories to get a verdict.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Comfort Zone.

About Ann Morgan's TED Talk

In 2012, Ann Morgan set out to read a book from nearly 200 different countries around the world. She describes how that experience challenged her limits and tested her assumptions.

About Ann Morgan

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Comfort Zone.

About Luvvie Ajayi's TED Talk

Speaking up — especially about topics that are difficult to discuss — can be scary but necessary. Author and blogger Luvvie Ajayi feels it's her role to push people outside their comfort zones.

About Luvvie Ajayi

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Comfort Zone.

About Tim Ferriss's TED Talk

How can we conquer our fears? Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss says that by taking action, we can train ourselves to accept discomfort, become more resilient, and expand our horizons.

About Tim Ferriss

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Comfort Zone.

About Tanya Menon's TED Talk

Humans naturally seek out cliques or in-groups. But organizational psychologist Tanya Menon encourages us to break out of our social comfort zones, for wider opportunties to grow.

About Tanya Menon

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Comfort Zone.

About Dan Pallotta's TED Talk

Stepping outside of one's comfort zone can happen on different levels. Entrepreneur and humanitarian activist Dan Pallotta says that doing so is not only important for individuals — but for society.

About Dan Pallotta

Among Isabelle Huppert's many impressively vehement roles are several murderers, a mother who seduces her son, and the abortionist who was the last woman France ever sent to the guillotine. So the first joke of the intriguing but bewilderingly scattered Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde) is director Serge Bozon's casting of the anything-goes actress as a shy, awkward schoolteacher.

Let the Sunshine In is the poorly translated title (more on that later) of the new film by French director Claire Denis. It opens with a scene that has launched many a tale of female romantic travail.

Without getting into the particulars, the title of the lesbian romance Duck Butter refers to an unctuous medley of bodily fluids that might, say, discourage any further sexual engagement. For co-writer/star Alia Shawkat, who scripted the film with director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, Beatriz at Dinner), it's also a statement of purpose, a commitment to the down-and-dirty realness to come.

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