Arts

Fresh Air Interviews
10:39 am
Mon March 25, 2013

How And Why The Hollywood Star Machine Made 'Gods Like Us'

promo image
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:25 pm

As a film critic for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr has met a lot of movie stars and is often asked what they're really like. What he has realized is that often, the actor's image has little to do with their actual personality, but that's not what interests him; Burr is more curious about why we ask that question to begin with. Burr wants to know "why we respond to these people who we think are larger than life [and] that are — especially in the classic days — manufactured and all their irregularities sanded off and presented to us as some kind of perfection."

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Fresh Air Interviews
10:39 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Remembering Chinua Achebe And The Importance Of Struggle

To remember Chinua Achebe who died last Thursday, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the great African writer that originally aired on May 10, 1988. In it, Achebe talks about the literary trope of the white explorer or missionary living amongst the savages, and the importance of struggle.

The Two-Way
5:16 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Book News: Willa Cather's Letters To Be Published Against Her Wishes

Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Willa Cather wrote such novels as My Antonia and O Pioneers!
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon March 25, 2013

March 25-31: Freedom, Peace And Pilgrimages

Penguin Books

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:45 pm

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

The Movie Chris O'Dowd Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in a scene from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:41 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
3:01 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

For Toms River, An Imperfect Salvation

Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 12:03 pm

In 1953, the Swiss chemical company Ciba came to Toms River, N.J. By all accounts, the community was delighted to have it. The chemical plant for manufacturing textile dye brought jobs and tax revenue to the small town on the Jersey shore. The company invested in the town's hospital and donated land for a golf course.

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The Picture Show
7:34 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Drawing Artistic Inspiration From C-SPAN's Talking Heads

(Left to right) Sketches of Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama
Courtesy of Michael McCutcheon

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 11:49 am

A few months ago, Reid Cherlin, a GQ magazine contributor and former White House spokesman for President Obama, was sent a link to a website with what he says was "a sort of grotesque sketch" of his face.

It was the website of Michael McCutcheon, a 73-year-old retiree who draws sketches of all of the guests on C-SPAN's morning programming. Cherlin was a guest on C-SPAN last year, a pretty normal thing for D.C. pundits.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:05 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Beyond Teen Spirit: Learning From Kurt Cobain's Mistakes

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 9:00 am

Nicole J. Georges' latest book is Calling Dr. Laura.

My mother picked me up from school in early April 1994. I was barely a teenager, lips stretched over braces as I focused my attention on the radio dial, seeking an alternative station when my mom delivered some news: "Oh, your buddy died."

"Who is 'my buddy?' "

"Uhhh ... whatshisname ... the screaming, you know, the blonde. ..."

She was talking about Kurt Cobain.

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Arts & Life
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Where To Sit To Keep A Big Dinner Interesting

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 6:05 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Here's a scenario you have probably faced.

ALEX CORNELL: Sometimes you go to dinner with a lot of people you know, but then there's some friends from out of town and you end up sitting next to the, you know, the roommate of the friend who doesn't know anyone...

MARTIN: Who you're never going to see again.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Finding The Answers Within

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 6:05 am

On-air challenge: You'll be given clues for some five-letter words. In each case, the letters of the answer can be found consecutively somewhere inside the clue. For example, given "Some teenagers' language," the answer would be "slang"(hidden inside "teenagerS' LANGuage").

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Author Interviews
3:33 am
Sun March 24, 2013

Love, Roughhousing And Fifth Position In 'Brothers Emanuel'

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:40 am

The brothers in the Emanuel family are known for their success and for their chutzpah. The youngest is Ari Emanuel, a high-powered Hollywood agent. The HBO show Entourage actually based a character on Ari, and that character is a bit, well, blunt — threatening, for example, to rip out someone's tongue and serve it to his son's pet lizard.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Integrated Baseball, A Decade Before Jackie Robinson

Hake's Americana & Collectibles/Atlantic Monthly Press

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:05 pm

In 1947, Jackie Robinson famously broke the color line in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending racial segregation in the major leagues.

That moment was a landmark for racial integration in baseball, but there's another moment few may be aware of, and it happened more than a decade before Robinson, in Bismarck, N.D.

Tom Dunkel writes about this Bismarck team in his new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:33 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Professional Pickpocket Apollo Robbins Plays Not My Job

Douglas Sonders

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 8:52 am

Apollo Robbins may be one of the few people in the world to proudly identify as a professional pickpocket. He shows off his skills in Vegas and elsewhere, and works as a consultant to help all kinds of organizations protect themselves from people like him.

We've invited Robbins to play a game called "Try to pick this pocket, hot shot!" He may know all about picking pockets, but what does he know about Hot Pockets? Three questions about microwavable turnovers.

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NPR Story
5:57 am
Sat March 23, 2013

From One Author To Another, Letters Of Praise

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

Host Scott Simon reads some of the best fan mail to authors, written by authors.

Author Interviews
4:24 am
Sat March 23, 2013

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal and professional jealousy, alcohol abuse and mental illness — which they both immortalized in their writing.

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Movie Interviews
4:23 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Maori-Mentored, Soul-Singing Mom Inspired 'The Sapphires'

In The Sapphires, an R&B-loving musician helps turn four Australian aboriginal women into a soul act. From left: Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), Gail (Deborah Mailman) and Kay (Shari Sebbens).
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:13 am

In the late 1960s, an all-girl singing group hit it big. But they didn't come from Detroit or Memphis — the four young aboriginal women hailed from the Australian Outback.

At the time, aboriginal people were just gaining basic civil rights, like voting and being counted as Australian citizens. The girls faced intense racism at home, but they took their act all the way to Vietnam to entertain American troops.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sat March 23, 2013

At 80, Philip Roth Reflects On Life, Literature And The Beauty Of Naps

The Library of America recently published the ninth and final volume of a complete collection of Philip Roth's works, and a new documentary on PBS looks back on his prolific career.
Courtesy PBS

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 11:01 am

Philip Roth turned 80 years old this week, and his hometown of Newark, N.J. — a city he left long ago, but often returns to in his books — honored the man often acclaimed as America's greatest living novelist with a marching band, a birthday cake in the shape of books piled high and lots of symposia.

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Author Interviews
1:10 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

With Humor And Sorrow, 'Life After Life' Explores Death

Elderly and young person holding hands
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 5:17 pm

A woman who moves from Boston to be near the grave of her lover; the widow of a judge who keeps a scrapbook of murder and crime; an 85-year-old who has always seen the sunnier side of life; an old man feigning dementia. In the fictional Pine Haven retirement center, together and separately, these characters face the ends of their lives. They're the stars of Jill McCorkle's new novel, Life After Life, which balances humor and sorrow as it explores the moment of death.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Chinua Achebe And The Bravery Of Lions

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian-born novelist and poet speaks about his works and his life at his home on the campus of Bard College in 2008.
Craig Ruttle ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:30 pm

Chinua Achebe, the prominent Nigerian novelist and essayist who died on Thursday, said in a 1994 interview with the Paris Review, "There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."

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Movie Reviews
11:59 am
Fri March 22, 2013

With Vengeance And Violence, 'Olympus Has Fallen' Flat

Aaron Eckhart and Ashley Judd as the president and first lady in Olympus Has Fallen.
Phil Caruso Millennium Films

What surprises me about the ongoing discussion of violence in cinema and whether it influences violence in the real world is how people fail to engage with the male fantasy behind these films. There's a template for them, a theme; it hinges on violation and vengeance. A seminal action picture of the last 50 years is 1988's Die Hard, in which a lone male cop operates behind the scenes after an ingeniously orchestrated foreign attack on American soil. He's symbolically emasculated — he has no gun or even shoes, his wife is now going by her maiden name.

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Author Interviews
9:56 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Nathan Englander: Stories Of Faith, Family And The Holocaust

Nathan Englander grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family. He now splits his time between New York and Madison, Wis.
Juliana Sohn

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:59 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 15, 2012.

The stories in Nathan Englander's short collection that's out now in paperback are based largely on his experiences growing up as a modern Orthodox Jew with an overprotective mother.

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Remembrances
9:52 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Remembering Chinua Achebe, Who Defended Africa To The World

Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.

Music Interviews
9:49 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Timberlake On 'N Sync, Acting And Bringing Sexy Back

Justin Timberlake performs at Myspace Secret Show at SXSW on March 16 in Austin, Texas.
Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:59 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 6, 2010.

Justin Timberlake has come a long way from the first time he stepped on a stage at the age of 8.

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Monkey See
9:14 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Kickstarter TV And Comedy Contests

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, the regular band is back together, and I am a rock. I am an island.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Chinua Achebe, Nigerian Author Of 'Things Fall Apart,' Dies

Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe in January 2009.
Abayomi Adeshida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 11:45 am

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from Lagos, Nigeria, on the death of one of Africa's greatest contemporary writers. Quoting his publisher, AP, CNN, and the BBC are reporting Chinua Achebe has died.

Chinua Achebe who taught at colleges in the United States made literary history with his 1958 best-seller Things Fall Apart, a sobering tale about Nigeria at the beginning of its colonization.

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The Two-Way
5:54 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Book News: Newly Found Oscar Wilde Letter: 'Sacrifice For Your Art'

Playwright Oscar Wilde poses in an 1882 photo.
New York Public Library, Sarony ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 7:05 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Movie Interviews
10:03 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Tina Fey, Movie Star? Not Quite Yet, She Says

Tina Fey stars as Princeton University admissions counselor Portia Nathan in the new comedy Admission. Fey says the movie's frankly manic depiction of the college application melee appealed to her.
David Lee Focus Features

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:55 am

Writer, actor and producer Tina Fey stars in a new movie out today called Admission, a film that's nominally about getting into college. Fey plays an admissions officer at Princeton University, one of those diligent bureaucrats who cull thousands of applications in search of a small cadre of brilliant young people who will be the freshman class.

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Ask Me Another
5:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Movie Favorites: Act III

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:16 am

It's the final act of Ask Me Another's collection of favorite movie games. Find out what gets lost in translation when American movies go global. We wonder if it's true what they say: is there really no such thing as an original idea? And we wrap things up by examining films with hilarious subtitles. Air Bud: Golden Receiver, anyone? Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle gurus Art Chung and Will Hines take you through "Movies In Other Languages," "All Movies Are The Same" and "Electric Boogaloo."

Ask Me Another
5:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Movie Favorites: Act I

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:15 am

Ask Me Another goes Hollywood with an hour of games and puzzles inspired by Tinseltown. Ever think that Gone With the Wind should really be a TV series, and each episode should start with Rhett, Scarlett and friends at a coffee shop? If so, play along as host Ophira Eisenberg leads "Small Screen Adaptation." Plus, we rework some movie theme songs in the style of Randy Newman in "Let's Get Randy," with a cameo appearance by music duo Paul and Storm.

Ask Me Another
5:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Movie Favorites: Act II

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:17 am

We continue the hour of our favorite games about the silver screen. Can you think of a movie that does not star Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, or Anthony Hopkins? Go on, name one; or just play along with "He Was In That?" Then guess the titles of mashed-up movie plots in "Double Feature." Plus, it seems even movie monsters have a hard time finding love — so we make Godzilla an online dating profile in a game called "E-Horror-Mony." Join host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton as they lead the show.

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