Arts

New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Feb. 11-17: Romance, Clockwork, Secrets And Empire

Vintage Books

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Christine Sneed, Peter Carey, Nell Freudenberger and Tom Holland.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon February 11, 2013

On The 50th Anniversary Of Sylvia Plath's Death, A Look At Her Beginning

Sylvia Plath

Craig Morgan Teicher's latest collection of poetry is called To Keep Love Blurry.

Fifty years ago today, Sylvia Plath ended her life as a major poet and an artist of the highest order. But one could hardly have predicted, from her taut yet unfocused first book, The Colossus, her only book of poetry published in her lifetime, that she would, or even could, become the poet we know, revere — and maybe even fear — as Sylvia Plath.

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Music
1:35 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Hollywood's 'Hooray': Hardly A Happy Hymn

Doris Day's somber 1958 version of "Hooray for Hollywood," which was included on an album of the same name, better reflects the song's creatively complicated lyrics.
Sony Picture Archives

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 9:41 am

When the Oscars are handed out later this month, the ceremony will most likely be punctuated by music that has pretty much come to stand for movies and Movieland. Ironically, the composer grew up in Detroit, and the lyricist came from Savannah, Ga. — yet together they wrote the quintessential Tinseltown anthem.

"Hooray for Hollywood" was written for the Warner Brothers film Hollywood Hotel. It was a corny little "let's-go-to-Hollywood-and become-stars" movie from 1937, with some cute dialogue.

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Books
3:01 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Last Chance To Submit For Round 10 Of Three-Minute Fiction

You have until 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday to send in your original short fiction. The challenge this round is to write a story in the form of a voice mail message. Submit your story here: https://npr3mf.submittable.com/submit

Author Interviews
1:28 pm
Sun February 10, 2013

Small Objects Reveal 'The Real Jane Austen'

Harper Collins

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 2:58 pm

Flotsam and Jetsam: of such things are stories made. Writers use objects to give their stories weight, attachment and verisimilitude, like Gary Paulsen's The Hatchet; Jean Shepherd's Red Ryder BB Gun inspired A Christmas Story; and how about Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon?

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun February 10, 2013

The Splendor Of Suffering In 'The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne'

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 6:16 am

Ann Leary's latest book is The Good House.

I tend to read funny books when I'm happy and tragic books when I'm sad, but when I'm truly depressed, when I want to be fully immersed in the horrible splendor of the most desperate human suffering, I always return to Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.

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Author Interviews
4:36 am
Sun February 10, 2013

'House Girl' Ties Past To Present In Tale Of Art And Slavery

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 7:26 am

On a Virginia plantation in 1852, a young house slave tends to her ailing mistress, creates exquisite paintings and plans her escape. In 2004 New York, an ambitious young lawyer works night and day on the biggest case of her promising career.

Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl, intertwines these women's narratives in a story of art and injustice.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:08 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

The Answer Lies Within

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 4:36 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-letter word that ends a familiar two-word phrase. You will be given the first word of the phrase. You provide the three-letter word that ends it. And the three letters in your answer will always be found, in some order, inside the first word. For example, given "Arctic," you would say "Air."

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Author Interviews
3:22 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Manufactured On YouTube, Teen Pop Star Searches For His True Voice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 4:51 pm

In Teddy Wayne's new novel, YouTube sensation Jonny Valentine has the sugar-sweet pipes of a teen heartthrob. But he also has a controlling manager-mom, a missing father, a retinue of people who work for him and a record label that's leaning on him to move the merchandise — fast.

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Books
3:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Countdown Nears to 3MF Deadline

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 4:51 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED VOICE MAIL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system.

MONA SIMPSON: Three-Minute Fiction...

(SOUNDBITE OF AUTOMATED VOICE MAIL)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: ...is not available. At the tone, please record your message.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:05 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

The Movie Roman Coppola Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Charlotte Rampling and Woody Allen in his film Stardust Memories.
Brian Hamill Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 4:51 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.

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The Salt
8:18 am
Sat February 9, 2013

What To Do With All That Snow? Cook It

For a "Cooking With Snow" class taught through Knowledge Commons DC, instructor Willie Shubert made baobing, a shaved ice dessert from China.
Courtesy of Rachel Sadon

Two feet of snow can be a major inconvenience. We feel for you, friends in the Northeast. To help you work through that serious snow surplus, we shuffled through our virtual recipe box for snow cuisine.

It's like being given lemons and making lemonade, though you definitely don't want to be doing anything with lemon-colored snow you find outside.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:29 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Singer Erykah Badu Plays Not My Job

Karl Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 3:47 pm

This week, Wait Wait comes to you from the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Turns out, singer Erykah Badu was a student at the high school for the performing arts directly across the street. We're guessing she used to gaze across the street and say to herself: "Someday I'm going to be in a theater that's not yet built, performing on a public radio news quiz." And today, that dream comes true.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat February 9, 2013

A Pale Imitation Of Magic In 'Scent Of Darkness'

iStockphoto.com

Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that what's generally referred to — often disdainfully — as "women's fiction" (not quite literature, not quite romance, definitely not Fifty Shades of Grey) is really a catch-all category into which almost any literary genre will fit.

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Theater
4:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

The Scottish Play (The Olivier Way)

Laurence Olivier, seen here in his film adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, also intended to create a film version of Macbeth.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:11 am

Laurence Olivier, whose interpretations of Shakespeare's signature roles were often considered definitive, adapted several of those roles for film. He wrote and directed widely praised versions of Hamlet, Henry V and Richard III.

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Books
4:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Life, Love And Undeath In The 'Lemon Grove'

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:11 am

Karen Russell has a new short-story collection out, her first book since 2011's best-selling Swamplandia! The stories range from senior citizen vampires sucking lemons and wondering about their future, to a war veteran whose wounds are both locked up inside, and bright and bold across his body.

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Author Interviews
4:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Healing 'Brick City': A Newark Doctor Returns Home

Sampson Davis was born and raised in Newark, N.J. He is an emergency medicine physician and a founder, with two childhood friends, of The Three Doctors Foundation.
Rainer Hosch Spiegel&Grau

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:11 am

When Sampson Davis was in high school, he and two of his friends made a pact that they would someday become doctors. All three of them did. Along with those friends — and now fellow doctors — George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt, Davis co-authored a 2003 book called The Pact, about that promise and the way it shaped their lives.

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Books
4:37 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Literary Types Find Love In 'The New York Review Of Books'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 10:11 am

There are a lot of places these days to look for all kinds of love, especially online. But what's an aging intellectual who loves William Gass, Philip Glass and a good merlot to do?

The distinguished New York Review of Books celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. It is noted for its rigorous writing and stellar cerebral lit stars — and its personal ads.

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Art & Design
3:06 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Could Reclusive Designer Balenciaga Make It Today?

Cristobal Balenciaga was known as a perfectionist, especially when it came to sleeves. Blume says, "It was perhaps a sign of real personal attention if you were one of the rare clients that he had lunch with, and at the end of the lunch he ripped out [your] sleeve and reset it."
Francois Kollar AP

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 5:37 am

As New York Fashion Week looks ahead to fall 2013, we're taking a moment to look back at one of the 20th century's most well-known designers — and how life as a designer has changed since his time.

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Movie Reviews
9:53 am
Fri February 8, 2013

'Caesar' Comes Alive In An Italian Prison

Brutus (Salvatore Striano) fixes a wild stare at the witnesses and conspirators after Julius Caesar's murder, in a scene from Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Caesar Must Die.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 11:09 am

In the early '80s, Italy's Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, made one of the true modern masterpieces, The Night of the Shooting Stars. Set in the last days of World War II, when Germans laid mines all over Tuscan villages and Fascists loyal to Mussolini killed their own countrymen, it was a very cruel film.

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Monkey See
9:26 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Halftime Shows And Love Stories

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

When it's early-mid February, the mind naturally turns to those fundamentals of the good life: love and football.

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Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

He Was In That?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Okay, let's bring on our next two contestants. Please welcome Hannah Van Winkle and Jason Shapiro.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So happy to have you both, welcome.

HANNAH VAN WINKLE: Thank you.

JASON SHAPIRO: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Hannah, you are a television producer.

WINKLE: Indeed.

EISENBERG: Do you watch a lot of movies?

WINKLE: Yeah, a fair amount.

EISENBERG: What is one movie in your like top ten?

WINKLE: "Ghostbusters."

EISENBERG: "Ghostbusters," nice.

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Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Capital, Not The Capital

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

In this Ask Me One More final round, John Chaneski names a world city, and contestants must decide whether or not it is its nation's capital. Former geography bee champions and map enthusiasts, rejoice!

Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

As Seen On TV

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

If you call in the next ten minutes, we'll throw in an extra-special trivia game hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle guru John Chaneski about those fabulous late-night commercials selling products that you must buy right now! Operators are standing by.

Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

The "I" In Team

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

Who are you rooting for this season? If it's the Phoenix Sins, then watch out--your starting lineup may include sloth, gluttony, envy and pride. Puzzle guru John Chaneski has taken the names of U.S. pro sports teams and swapped out a vowel for the letter "i" to imagine some hilarious team names you might hesitate to wear proudly on a jersey.

Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Something In Common

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

"He played Rick in Casablanca, and it's also one stroke over par in golf." Crossword puzzlers will delight in this game's clues, which appear to be about two very different things, but the answer to which is, in fact, the same. If you knew the answer to the clue above was "Bogey," this game will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Sing What?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 10:03 am

You remember the chorus to Jimi Hendrix' famous song "Purple Haze": "S'cuse me while I kiss this guy." No? You caught us. This game, led by guest musician John Roderick, is made of often-misheard lyrics, known as "mondegreens." Get your karaoke voice ready, because you'll want to sing along with these answers.

NPR Story
8:13 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Sharpen Your Wits (And Your Pencils)

Guest musician John Roderick, of the band The Long Winters, addresses the crowd at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:43 pm

"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team--the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.

Movie Interviews
3:33 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

'Warm Bodies' Director: Teen Romance, Undying

Nicholas Hoult, Rob Corddry and Teresa Palmer lurch through a scene in Levine's zombie romantic comedy.
Jonathan Wenk Summit Enterainment

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:50 pm

This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.

Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

A '70s 'Playroom,' Without Much Room For Fun

Donna (Molly Parker) is the drunk, distracted matriarch to Maggie (Olivia Harris) and her nervous siblings in The Playroom.
Freestyle Releasing

There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.

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