Arts

Author Interviews
3:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Siblings' Separation Haunts In 'Kite Runner' Author's Latest

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 12:59 pm

There was a time around 2003, before e-books and e-readers, when it seemed that everywhere you turned — in an airport, on a bus or anywhere people read — people were lost in The Kite Runner. An epic tale set in Afghanistan, the book sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. and catapulted the author, Khaled Hosseini, onto the global literary stage.

Hosseini followed that success with another book about his homeland, A Thousand Splendid Suns, which also became a best-seller.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Stories Of Hope Amid America's 'Unwinding'

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 12:11 pm

According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of deal among Americans — a deal in which everyone had a place.

"People were more constrained than they are today, they had less freedom," he says, "but they had more security and there was a sense in which each generation felt that the next generation would be able to improve itself, to do better."

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
2:28 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Put On Your Thinking Hat

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 12:11 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H-A and the second word starts with T.

Last week's challenge: From listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J. Name a famous American man — first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?

Answer: Ted Turner; head turner

Winner: Vernon Cole, Brownsboro, Ala.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:14 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

New 'Trek' Goes 'Into Darkness,' But Not Much Deeper

Zachary Quinto as Spock, with Chris Pine as Kirk, in Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Zade Rosenthal Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:47 pm

The opening sequence of J.J. Abram's new entry in the Star Trek universe has all the ingredients of the classic franchise.

There's Kirk and his crew bellowing on the bridge, everyone worrying about the prime directive and our favorite Vulcan trapped in a volcano.

OK, I'm in. I may not be a fanboy anymore, but I sure was in my youth, and having these guys in their youths again is just as cool at the outset as it was last time.

Read more
From Our Listeners
2:41 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Reading: 'Plum Baby'

 

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:47 pm

NPR's Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt of one of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. She reads Plum Baby by Carmiel Banasky of Portland, Ore. You can read the full story below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:41 pm
Sat May 18, 2013

'Waiting To Be Heard' No More, Amanda Knox Speaks Out

Amanda Knox enters an Italian court on Oct. 3, 2011, just before being acquitted of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
Oli Scarff AP

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:47 pm

When 20-year-old Amanda Knox left for Italy in August 2007, it was supposed to be a carefree year studying abroad.

No one could have foreseen it ending in her being accused, tried and convicted in the murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

The case, and Knox, became an international media sensation.

"I think that there was a lot of fantasy projected onto me," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden. "And that resulted in a re-appropriation and re-characterization of who I am."

Read more
Code Switch
9:44 am
Sat May 18, 2013

'Scandal': Preposterous, Unmissable, Important

Kerry Washington from ABC's Scandal is shown on a TV monitor as an iPad displays the show page.
Frazier Moore AP

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:15 pm

OK, let's get this out of the way: Scandal is a ridiculous show.

The hit ABC drama about a Washington "fixer" named Olivia Pope just wrapped up its second season with one of its trademark cliffhangers.

(Assume spoilers, y'all.)

Read more
Books
5:12 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Author Elliott Holt says: 'Go West, Young Woman'

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:52 pm

In Elliott Holt's beautifully subtle debut novel You Are One of Them, the protagonist, an American in her 20s, moves to Moscow shortly after the Cold War. After a few months, she returns to the U.S. a changed woman.

Holt, who is 39, also lived in Moscow where she worked as a copywriter at an advertising agency, as well as in London and New York. Currently, she resides in Washington, D.C., and writes full time.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
4:24 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Plum Baby

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:56 pm

There isn't enough time in this world to grow your own tree. That tree is a plum baby still, never mind it's tall as the house those men are taking from us. It grew up with me. I say this to Mama Lee as she rests her hand on my shoulder like another shoulder. She nods and nods some more. She's been nodding all day like she's got two weights, one in her chin and the other in back of her skull that can't lie at rest.

We're standing in the yard facing the house in the dewy grass. The house is as old as Mama Lee's mama who died before I was born.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:18 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Dan Brown: 'Inferno' Is 'The Book That I Would Want To Read'

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 5:23 am

Robert Langdon is back. The Harvard art professor in custom tweeds — and an ever-present Mickey Mouse watch — wakes up in a hospital after getting grazed in the head by a bullet, wondering how he ended up in Florence. He's got a sinister artifact sewn into his coat and just a few hours to keep the world from a grim biological catastrophe.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

'That's That': A Memoir Of Loving And Leaving Northern Ireland

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 9:28 pm

Colin Broderick's first book, Orangutan, told the story of the 20 years — at least, as he could remember it — of being drunk, drug addicted and often desperate struggling to make his way as an Irish immigrant to New York.

Read more
Monkey See
3:13 am
Sat May 18, 2013

Working Women On Television: A Mixed Bag At Best

Geena Davis played the president in the 2005 ABC series Commander in Chief. Now, she works on issues involving women in media.
Kent Eanes AP

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 11:33 am

When actress Geena Davis was watching children's shows with her daughter a few years ago, she became so troubled by the lack of female representation, she started a think tank on gender in the media. The Geena Davis Institute recently partnered with University of Southern California professors to conduct a study analyzing gender roles and jobs on screen.

The good news? Prime-time television's pretty decent at depicting women with careers.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:44 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Not My Job: Three Headless Chicken Questions For Alice Cooper

Courtesy Alice Cooper

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 12:41 pm

When you think about heavy metal — the costumes, the makeup, the outfits, the huge stage shows filled with effects and pyrotechnics — pretty much all of that was invented, or at least perfected, by Alice Cooper. If it weren't for him, bands like Slayer and Megadeth would be playing love songs in identical suits and bowl haircuts.

Read more
Code Switch
3:58 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

'Venus And Serena': An Extraordinary Story, Told On Film

Serena (right) and Venus Williams pose with their gold medals during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Stefan Wermuth Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

It's Cinderella plus Jackie Robinson times two. When Venus and Serena Williams burst onto the lily-white world of tennis, they changed the game and made history: They were sisters. From a poor neighborhood. Who brought unprecedented power to the game. And both reached No. 1.

Their journey is the subject of a new documentary called Venus and Serena, showing in select theaters around the country.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:18 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Quinto Turns Inward To Find Spock's Soul

Leonard Nimoy (left) originated the role of Spock on Star Trek. Zachary Quinto (right) plays the character in the franchise's reboot.
Amanda Edwards Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

Read more
The Salt
1:47 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

'Picture Cook': Drawings Are The Key Ingredients In These Recipes

Katie Shelly

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 2:32 pm

Back in 2009, Katie Shelly was craving an eggplant Parmesan. Small problem: She'd never made it before. But she remembered that a college roommate used to make it, so she called her up and asked for the recipe.

The friend told her she needed to start with three bowls — one for breadcrumbs, one for egg and one for flour, salt and pepper. "In that moment, it was totally natural for me to just draw the three bowls instead of writing all that out in words," says Shelly, whose day job is as a visual designer.

Read more
Television
11:05 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, Classic Hollywood

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 3:49 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 22, 2012.

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live TV. But he's scared to death of standup.

He remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

Read more
BackTalk
9:31 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Listener Encourages Hugs And Violins

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 10:51 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us.

So, Ammad, what's going on today?

Read more
Monkey See
8:24 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Cancellation Blues And Cultural Etiquette

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

To mark network upfronts week, we talk in this episode about the cancellation of shows, including the ones that came and went that we honestly can hardly remember as well as the ones — like ABC's delightful, hilarious Happy Endings — that break our hearts.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:59 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Giving It Away

"If you have something to give, give it now." – Mark Bezos
TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:23 pm

You can give away almost anything — your time, money, food, your ideas. In this hour, stories from TED speakers who are "giving it away" in new and surprising ways, and the things that happen in return.

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

TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 17, 2013

When Is the Right Time To Give?

Mark Bezos at TED University in 2011.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:26 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Giving It Away.

About Mark Bezos' TEDTalk

Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn't go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don't wait to be a hero. Give now.

About Mark Bezos

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 17, 2013

How Do You Get People To Pay For Music?

Musician Amanda Palmer says she learned about trust and giving when she was a street performer.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:37 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Giving It Away.

About Amanda Palmer's TEDTalk

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:55 am
Fri May 17, 2013

How Can You Give A Community Better Health?

Ron Finley, renegade gardener, says food is both the problem and the solution.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:37 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Giving It Away.

About Ron Finley's TEDTalk

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."

About Ron Finley

Read more
Monkey See
6:32 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Notes On A 'Scandal': Fitz Is The Most Dumpable Man On Television

Tony Goldwyn as Fitz on Scandal.
Randy Holmes ABC

If you watch Scandal, you know that there, Fitzgerald Grant is the President of the United States, and that he goes by "Fitz." Now "Fitz," let's face it, is already a pretty punchable name, given that combined with his personality, it makes him sound like somebody with a beanie and a lot of polo shirts grew up, got even richer, had a son, and taught him how to give swirlies to the math team. Fitz is involved, on and off (currently off, or possibly on, but maybe off) (maybe half-off, like end-of-the-season shoes), with Olivia Pope.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Greta Gerwig, Blithely Spirited As 'Frances Ha'

In Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig stars as a young dancer trying to find her way on her own in New York City. Noah Baumbach shot the film in black and white because it helped him "see the city with new eyes," he says.
Pine District, LLC

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 11:14 am

Long a darling of the New York indie scene, Noah Baumbach came to filmmaking with a solid pedigree: His father is a film theorist and his mother was a movie critic at the Village Voice (where I've contributed myself).

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

'Bidder 70,' Still Raising His Hand To Be Heard

Supporters of environmental activist Tim DeChristopher picket outside his criminal trial. The economics student ran into trouble with the federal government when he bid on — and won — mineral rights he had no intention of exploiting.
First Run Features

In its final months, the George W. Bush administration hastily organized a mineral-rights auction for federal land in Utah, much of it near national parks. Environmentalist and economics student Tim DeChristopher attended the sale and — impulsively, he says — bid on and won 22,000 acres he had no intention of exploiting.

The feds came down on him like a ton of oil derricks. DeChristopher was threatened with as many as 10 years in prison, and ultimately spent 21 months behind bars.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

'Augustine' And Her Diagnosis Get Another Look

Augustine (the French singer-actress billed as Soko) was a 19th-century Paris housemaid diagnosed with the then-fashionable condition known as "hysteria" — a catchall used to label many ailments women suffered in that age.
Jean Claude Lother Music Box Films

Onstage, in front of an audience, the young woman seemingly goes into a trance, overcome by a power that shakes and contorts her. The commotion appears profoundly sexual; she grabs at her crotch as she writhes. When the woman reaches some kind of release, the spell is broken, and she becomes calm. She leaves the stage to enthusiastic applause.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

'Pieta': Suffering Toward ... Redemption?

Dark Shadows: Lee Jeong-jin plays impassive underworld enforcer Gang-do in Pieta, a dark, enigmatic redemption parable from the controversial Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk.
Drafthouse Films

Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk wastes little time establishing that Gang-do (Lee Jeong-jin) won't be pleasant company. We discover the protagonist of Kim's gritty, moody drama Pieta grunting his way through intimate relations with his pillow, falling asleep, then waking up and wandering to a bathroom covered in entrails left over from last night's fish dinner, which he brushes away with his foot before going about his business.

Read more
Parallels
1:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

From The Heart Of Egypt's Revolt, The Pulse Of Artistic Life

Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Mostafa Abdel Aty Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.

But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.

Read more
Monkey See
12:11 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

While The Audience Turned Away, 'American Idol' Found Some Great Singers

Candice Glover competes Thursday night for the American Idol win.
Ray Mickshaw Fox

Read more

Pages