Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, in Pittsburgh.
"Yeshivish Judaism life is defined by religious law," Vincent tells NPR's Arun Rath. "We keep extra-strict laws of kosher, observe the Sabbath every week, maintain a separation of the sexes and a degree of isolation from the outside world."
When she was 16, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend. Contact with men is forbidden in her sect, and she was cast out from her community.
Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads. And Hollywood can sometimes disappoint. Marc Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.
Kinder Than Solitude, the latest novel from Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, examines the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on a generation of youth. Following three friends, the novel alternates between 1990s Beijing and present-day America, where two of the friends immigrated. At the heart of the story is the mysterious murder that brought the three friends together over 20 years ago, and what they're only now learning about it.
Omar is a young Palestinian baker who often climbs the Israeli-built security barrier that divides his hometown — to visit his secret Israeli love, Nadia. After he's arrested and accused of the murder of an Israeli soldier, he starts working as an informant for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service; it's a dangerous game Omar plays, one that brings trust, love and friendship into question.
On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.
Last week's challenge: Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Who's the entertainer, and what's the organization?
The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."
Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.
In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.
Hollywood helped win World War II — and by that, we don't mean John Wayne, but five of the country's most celebrated film directors, who went to work making films for the War Department that showed Americans at war, overseas and in the skies, living, fighting, bleeding and dying. Those films changed America — and deepened the men who made them, including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra.
This chilly winter, many of us have warmed ourselves — and our kitchens — with long-cooked meals. Roasts, beans, and stews have been in heavy rotation. But there's a dish called cholent that isn't just cooked for a few hours — it's cooked for a full day.
There's an old baseball legend about the kid out of nowhere who boards a train for a tryout in Chicago with nothing but his toothbrush and a bat he calls Wonderboy. The kid strikes out the Whammer, the best hitter in the game, but gets to his hotel and opens his door to a pretty girl. Wham, bam, she shoots him in the stomach and he doesn't make a comeback for 15 years.
This month, A.A. Milne's beloved bear celebrates a big birthday. Winnie-the-Pooh made his first appearance as "Edward Bear" in a short poem titled "Teddy Bear" which was published in Punch magazine on Feb. 13, 1924.
In honor of Pooh's 90th, we're listening back to a rare, 1929 recording, in which Milne reads from his book, Winnie-the-Pooh.
So find a pot of your favorite "hunny" and click the audio link above to hear Milne's reading.
Unless you've been a devoted reader of New Yorker short stories for the last 60 years, you may not know the name Mavis Gallant. The magazine published more Gallant stories than almost any other writer, except John Updike.
Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:08 am
True love isn't usually associated with minimalism. It isn't usually associated with little animal heads, either, and yet Montreal artist Diane "Obom" Obomsawin manages to make all three work together just splendidly in her graphic novel On Loving Women. It's more like a graphic collection of short stories, actually: Obomsawin illustrates a dozen or so different women's accounts of how they first fell in love with other women, or girls — all of whom have, you guessed it, little animal heads.
Mark Warner says that he got off to a good start, making it to Harvard Law School, but then promptly failed at everything he tried. No wonder, then, that he had to settle for a career in the U.S. Senate, where he's currently a democratic senator from Virginia.
We've invited Warner to play a game called "Danger! Get Away! Ahhhhh!" Three questions about warnings.
The Sochi Winter Olympics haven't been short on drama: The Russians upset the South Koreans in figure skating; the Dutch upset us in speed-skating; everybody got upset about Bob Costas's eye infection. But after two weeks and a great deal of curling, a certain amount of Sochi fatigue is setting in. So it might be refreshing to look back at one of the iconic heroes of winter sports: Agent 007 himself, James Bond.
The 73-year-old Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki says The Wind Rises is his final film, and if that's true — and I hope it's not but fear it is, since he's not the type to make rash declarations — he's going out on a high.
The Retouchables is a column examining the recycling of pop-cultural properties. Future installments will discuss remakes in development, or that should be, or that were made but should not have been, or for which I have written several script treatments. Did you not get them? Call me.
Our inaugural dispatch deconstructs a long-in-development remake that has finally come to semi-sweet fruition.
Let's turn to Faith Matters now. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of religion, faith and spirituality. It's Black History Month so that got us thinking about the importance of faith to African-Americans throughout history and to this day. But a recent piece in the Huffington Post's religion section also got us thinking about how that faith practice is much more diverse than many people might realize.
It always feels good to see a poet rescued from oblivion. Michael Benedikt (1935-2007), a prominent figure in the poetry scene of the 1960s and 70s, was not exactly an important poet, but he was — and in his work, he remains — a deeply enjoyable one.
American art-house audiences are being offered an intriguing exercise in double vision over the next couple of weeks: two movies about Palestinian informants and their complicated relationships with Israel's secret service, one directed by a Palestinian, the other by an Israeli. Their similarities turn out to be nearly as intriguing as their differences.
You can say this for director Paul W.S. Anderson: He gets the basic purpose of 3-D movies. While the current renaissance in cinematic stereoscopy is touted as a method for creating more "immersive" experiences for audiences, the list of movies that achieve that lofty goal can be counted on one hand: Gravity, Hugo, Life of Pi. Most 3-D exists to bilk customers out of a few extra bucks.
Emile Zola was one of the founders of naturalism, and his first major work, 1867's Therese Raquin, is full of precise physical description. The novel's plot is utter melodrama, though, and that's the aspect emphasized by In Secret, the latest in a century-long string of film and TV adaptations.
With its small cast of characters and limited number of locations, the book does lend itself to dramatization. In fact, writer-director Charlie Stratton's retelling of Zola's shocker was derived in part from the stage version by Neal Bell.
Filmmaker David O. Russell first talked with Fresh Air's Terry Gross back in 1994, and two decades later, he tells her: "It's taken me 20 years since I first spoke to you to really make the films that I think I was meant to make, and to be at the level of filmmaking and storytelling and writing that I think I had ever aspired to."
If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.