Arts

Kitchen Window
1:56 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Chocolate: Out Of The Box, Into The Frying Pan

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:02 am

Chocolate is like sex or pizza: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There are those who prefer light, refreshing desserts after a big meal, but I think those people are crazy. I always gravitate to the most decadent dessert on the menu, which is usually laden with chocolate. And while I love the stuff, there is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine's Day. Each year, men and women shamefully duck into grocery stores and pharmacies to grab a box of assorted chocolates. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like chocolate from a gas station.

Read more
Monkey See
1:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Ann Harada, From 'Smash' To Stepsisterhood

Actress Ann Harada (in pink) returns to the stage in the Broadway premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, an update of the made-for-TV movie from 1957. Her other theater work has included Avenue Q and Les Miserables.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:45 pm

Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who's never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years.

Read more
Theater
10:54 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

Soprano Rebecca Luker made her Broadway debut as an understudy to Sarah Brightman in Phantom of the Opera in 1988.
Leslie Van Stelten Derek Bishop

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:39 pm

For her latest album, Broadway soprano Rebecca Luker brings her live show — featuring songs by legendary theater composer Jerome Kern, recorded at the Manhattan club 54 Below — to the recording studio. The album, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, features 14 tracks and classics ranging from "Bill/Can't Help Loving That Man" to "My Husband's First Wife."

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:17 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

Jackie, Lynn and Sue — pictured here at age 7 — are three of the children featured in the landmark 1964 documentary 7 Up. The series returns this year with 56 Up, checking in with a group of 14 men and women whose lives have been documented since they were kids.
First Run Features

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:39 pm

Every seven years since 1964, in what's known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.

The original idea behind the series was to examine the realities of the British class system at a time when the culture was experiencing extraordinary upheaval.

Read more
Monkey See
8:28 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Even Balzac Had To Intern

Before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon, the young Honoré de Balzac was proofreading legal filings.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 11:01 am

A young man graduates from college. At his father's insistence, he begins interning at a law firm. But when it comes time to pursue the profession, he refuses: He wants to do something more meaningful. He wants to write.

Sound like your son/cousin/roommate/best friend? It was Honoré de Balzac.

That's right – before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon ("Do not suppose," an Italian count wrote to his wife, "that the ugliness of his face will protect you from his irresistible power"), the young Balzac was proofreading legal filings.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:40 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Book News: Mary Ingalls May Not Have Gone Blind From Scarlet Fever

Mary Ingalls, the sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder, went blind from illness at age 14.
Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:30 pm

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Writing Well Is The Wronged Wife's Revenge In 'See Now Then'

Jamaica Kincaid, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, lives in Vermont.
Kenneth Noland Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:42 am

On one level, See Now Then, Jamaica Kincaid's first novel in a decade, is a lyrical, interior meditation on time and memory by a devoted but no longer cherished wife and mother going about the daily business of taking care of her home and family in a small New England town. But it is also one of the most damning retaliations by a jilted wife since Nora Ephron's Heartburn. See Now Then reads as if Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf had collaborated on a heartbroken housewife's lament that reveals an impossible familiarity with Heartburn and Evan S.

Read more
New In Paperback
5:03 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Feb. 4-10: Werewolves, Nano-Horror And Apartheid's Aftermath

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:10 am

Fiction and nonfiction softcover releases from Nadine Gordimer, Michael Crichton and Richard Preston, Anne Rice, Paul Krugman and Charles Murray.

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

Books News & Features
1:20 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Woody Guthrie's 'House Of Earth' Calls 'This Land' Home

The cover of House of Earth is an oil painting that Guthrie made in 1936 called In El Rancho Grande.
Courtesy HarperCollins

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:51 am

Woody Guthrie wrote thousands of songs in his lifetime — but as far as anyone knows, he only wrote one novel. Recently discovered, House of Earth is the story of a young couple living in the Texas Panhandle in the 1930s. They dream of building a house that will withstand the bitter winds and ever-present dust that constantly threaten the flimsy wooden shack they call home.

Read more
World
5:58 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre's Bolshoi Ballet, was nearly blinded by an attacker on Jan. 17.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:47 am

It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:44 am
Mon February 4, 2013

A Barbados Family Tree With 'Sugar In The Blood'

SPrada iStockphoto.com

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

Read more
Monkey See
6:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 9:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:33 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Book News: Myanmar Celebrates As Censorship Recedes; And Oh Those Seussian Hats

A sea of Seuss hats at an event at the Library of Congress in 2010.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:56 am

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

Read more
Author Interviews
1:32 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Sendak's 'Brother's Book': An Elegy, A Farewell

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:09 am

Maurice Sendak, one of America's most beloved children's book authors, evocatively captured both the wonders and fears of childhood. His books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, revolutionized picture books by adding danger and darkness to the genre.

Over the course of his life, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than a dozen widely acclaimed books and illustrated almost 80 more. And although he died last May at 83, Sendak still has one more volume on the way.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:37 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

'Disaster Diaries' Will Help You Survive The End Of The World

Courtesy Penguin Press

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

Read more
Movies I've Seen A Million Times
12:20 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

The Movie Jonathan Levine Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in a scene from the Hal Ashby film Coming Home.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

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.

The movie that writer-director Jonathan Levine, whose credits include The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is Hal Ashby's Coming Home.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Coming Monday: A Daily Dose Of 'Book News'

NPR

For some months now, many of us at NPR have been enjoying a daily email from our friends here who report about books and the publishing industry. It's a tip sheet with news, and a bit of attitude.

Eyder and several others started saying "hey, we ought to publish this."

So, The Two-Way will.

Annalisa Quinn, who's been writing the notes, sends along this mission statement and a little bit about herself:

Read more
Monkey See
6:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

Read more
Author Interviews
5:24 am
Sun February 3, 2013

'Fresh Off The Boat' And Serving Up Asian Culture

After stints as a lawyer, furniture salesman and stand-up comic, Eddie Huang found success as the owner of Baohaus, a Taiwanese bun shop on the Lower East Side.
Atisha Paulson Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:23 am

Eddie Huang has done many things in a short period of time.

He's been a lawyer, stand-up comic, and now he's the owner of New York's Baohous restaurant and the host of his own food show on Vice TV.

The most remarkable parts of Huang's life, however, took place before all that, back when he was growing up with his Taiwanese immigrant parents and navigating the ins and outs of American culture.

It's all chronicled in his new memoir Fresh Off The Boat.

Read more
My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Appetite For Destruction: A Deadly, Delicious Rock Memoir

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 6:16 am

Alex Stone is the author of Fooling Houdini.

I first saw Guns N' Roses on MTV when I was in middle school. Mary Jordan had just ended our rocky three-week relationship — by phone — and I was sulking on a friend's couch. "Check it out," he said, gesturing at the TV. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was playing. "These guys are my new favorite band." Four minutes and 12 seconds later, they were mine too.

Read more
Arts & Life
4:39 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Making Up A History For The 'Dutch Mona Lisa'

Very little is known about Girl With a Pearl Earring, which is often referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa.
Superstock The Art Archive

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:24 am

Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings, but very little is actually known about it. The girl herself is a mystery who has inspired both a novel and a movie speculating on her true story.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
2:27 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Tackle 'Yards' To Make A Touchdown

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:24 am

On-air challenge: In recognition of the Super Bowl, the key word is "yards." You will be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters Y, A, R, D and S. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Yvonne, Alice, Rachel, Donna and Sally.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:36 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears

A polar bear looks up as the sound of the camera catches his ear on the edge of the Hudson Bay, outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 4:41 pm

In 2008, reports of polar bears' inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger's attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

Read more
The Picture Show
6:22 am
Sat February 2, 2013

The Ways We Wait: A Train Station Tribute For Grand Central's 100th

A boy hitches a ride on a suitcase as he waits to board a train at Beijing West Railway Station during Chunyun travel peak on Feb. 8, 2007.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:30 pm

Grand Central Terminal, one of world's most iconic commuter destinations (or departure points, depending on which way you're going), celebrated a big birthday this week. Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the largest railroad terminal in the world.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'City Of Devi' Sets A Love Triangle In Pre-Apocalyptic Mumbai

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 1:07 pm

Manil Suri's new novel, The City of Devi, opens with India and Pakistan on the verge of nuclear war. India is roiled by factional violence between Hindus and Muslims. Bombers strafe citizens, vigilantes settle scores, and terrorists set off dirty bombs around the country as Mumbai boils over with fear and fury. And if that's not enough, it's also a sex comedy.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
10:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Round 10: Leave A Message After The Beep

Author Mona Simpson is the judge for Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction. She has written five works of fiction (among other short stories and essays): Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road and My Hollywood.
Alex Hoerner

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 9:59 pm

It's Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here's the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).

Our judge for this round is author Mona Simpson, whose most recent book is My Hollywood. She most recently won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. Here's her twist for Round 10:

Write a story in the form of a voice-mail message.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Astronaut Mae Jemison Plays Not My Job

NASA

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 8:53 am

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space when she served as a science mission specialist. We've invited Jemison to play a game called "Excuse me? When do we get to the Southwest terminal?" Jemison has flown in the space shuttle Endeavour, so we thought we'd ask her questions about a sometimes more unpredictable vehicle ... the airport shuttle.

Read more
Media
2:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

For Super Bowl Ads, More Social-Media Savvy

Deutsch LA

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

Read more
Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

'Schroder' Chronicles A Father's Desperate Mistakes

Twelve Books

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:43 pm

A father embroiled in a bitter custody battle abducts his 6-year-old daughter and heads off with her through upstate New York and Vermont.

His name is Eric Kennedy and he's the desperate, complicated narrator of a new novel by Amity Gaige. Schroder is written as an explanation to his ex-wife of where he went and why he did it:

Read more
The Salt
1:06 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

An Oscar-Nominated Guacamole: Your Friday Visual Feast

Fresh Guacamole, an Oscar-nominated short film by PES
PES

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:11 am

Read more

Pages