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It's hard to imagine anyone sending hate mail to Fred Rogers, but there was one episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that brought the beloved children's TV star a bit of blowback: "He did an episode about Santa Claus," explains filmmaker Morgan Neville. "And he didn't like the idea that there was somebody who snuck into your house in the middle of the night ... so he told kids the truth ... and a lot of parents wrote a lot of angry letters."

David Douglas Duncan went everywhere and took extraordinary pictures at every stop.

Duncan, who died Thursday in the south of France at age 102, was one of the greatest photojournalists of the 20th century.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Anthony Bourdain's Twitter profile just says, "Enthusiast."

The chef, food writer, Parts Unknown host, Top Chef judge — the enthusiast — has died from an apparent suicide. He was 61.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Alberto Giacometti is considered one of the greatest artists of the 20th century — but he was consumed by self-doubt. He painted, drew and sculpted, and his sculptures made him famous.

After the traumas of World War II, the Italian-Swiss artist prodded and pushed and punched his materials — clay, plaster, even bronze — into skinny, blobby bodies of men and women, striding through life like shadows. Many of his works are on view at New York's Guggenheim museum until September 12.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Every year at BookExpo, the publishing industry's annual conference, a few books emerge as front-runners in the competition for readers. This year, There There by Tommy Orange is one of those books. Set in Oakland, Calif., it explores the lives of Native Americans who live in cities, not reservations — lives like that of its author, who himself grew up in Oakland.

A few months ago, the YA adaptation Love, Simon became the first gay teen romantic comedy released by a major studio, a sign of broader tolerance — and a changing calculus — in terms of what stories are deemed suitable for mainstream consumption. (That rom-coms themselves are an endangered species made it even more of a rainbow unicorn.)

I expect you'll be wanting to know whether Mr. Rogers was really like that in life. According to Won't You Be My Neighbor? Morgan Neville's loving portrait of the much-beloved champion of slow television for children, the answer is yes, but it's complicated. Which is just what you want from a tender tribute that's anything but a hagiography of the ordained Presbyterian minister who took the pie-in-the-face out of TV-for-tots.

In time and place of utter lawlessness, what matters more than money and survival? Family and friendship, declares Hotel Artemis, amid its antic nihilism. That's not exactly a fresh movie moral. But then freshness isn't the point of this intermittently clever action-comedy, which aspires to be a B-movie but may have aimed too high.

The best horror movies are showcases for actors. Screaming and losing a spleen on cue is one thing, but the characters who really stick with us are the ones who can walk a line between victim and perpetrator, showing the possession of evil on a troubled soul made complete.

Nick Offerman has made a career out of playing colorful cranks — most notably, Ron Swanson, the hyper-masculine boss on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.

'Mariam Sharma' Nails The Fun Road-Trip Vibe

Jun 7, 2018

Summer is the season for road-trips, and Mariam Sharma Hits the Road makes for a saucy, yet emotional ride. It follows three Pakistani-American teens as they journey through the Deep South, looking for escape, answers, trouble, and above all, a fabulous adventure.

Peek into the walk-in refrigerators of the most lauded restaurants in the country, and you will likely find just one store-bought ingredient: Duke's Mayonnaise. But what most people don't know is that the company was founded by a Southern woman at a time when many women like her didn't run businesses.

In a 2000 essay for The New Republic, literary critic James Wood coined a term that's become familiar to lovers of fiction: "hysterical realism." Wood's target was Zadie Smith's "White Teeth," along with novels by Salman Rushdie, David Foster Wallace and others. "The big contemporary novel is a perpetual-motion machine that appears to have been embarrassed into velocity," he wrote.

Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven was released in December 2001. It arrived early in a long winter in which debates bubbled along over what people wanted from entertainment in the post-Sept. 11 environment. Would they seek out simple diversions? Or something uplifting?

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In the beginning, there is the woman who walks.

"I have somehow become a woman who yells," she says. "And because I do not want to be a woman who yells, whose little children walk around with frozen, watchful faces, I have taken to lacing on my running shoes after dinner and going out into the twilit streets for a walk."

This week, with Linda off galavanting around New York, Stephen and I are joined by the great and good Margaret Willison and Chris Klimek to discuss a certain quiet, subdued and exceedingly well-mannered topic that somehow we hadn't yet gotten around to: The Paddington films.

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter told reporters Tuesday that the spirit of President John F. Kennedy informs just about everything the Center does, including its new expansion called The REACH.

The REACH "came about from President Kennedy's aspirational, ever-hopeful vision for our nation," said Rutter, at a "first look" tour of the site. "He encouraged us to reach for dreams, for those moonshot moments that would move us forward."

My First (Real) Kate Spade Bag

Jun 5, 2018

I do not own a black nylon Kate Spade box bag. I own a knockoff: A black nylon Kate Spate box bag, purchased at an outdoor stand on Canal Street in the mid-'90s.

But I have handled many examples of the real thing, and here are some facts that might not be instantly recognizable about that purse — the "Sam."

"Florida in the summer is a slow hot drowning." That's one way Lauren Groff describes the state in her new collection of short stories. In another part of the book, she calls Florida "a damp, dense tangle. An Eden of dangerous things." Why Florida? "I've lived here for 12 years and it's still so alien and fecund and steamy and strange to me," she says. "Reptilian, dangerous, teeming — I mean, there are so many things that you could call Florida."


Interview Highlights

On the dangers of Florida

Near the end of Philip Roth's novel Operation Shylock, a Mossad agent makes light of the modern penchant for conspiracy theories. "It's a paranoid universe," the spy says, "but don't overdo it."

Hollywood never overdid it more than in the 1970s. In the years after Richard Nixon's tarnished presidency, movie screens were flooded with conspiracy thrillers — from Chinatown and The Parallax View to All the President's Men.

Ben Rhodes was 24 years old and working on a city council campaign in Brooklyn on Sept. 11, 2001, when a hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center. He stood on the street, watching with a group of other New Yorkers as a second plane struck and, then, as the first tower collapsed.

"I just remember walking home and thinking, 'My life is going to be different because of this; I feel a need to be a part of whatever happens because of this,'" Rhodes says. "I didn't know exactly what that meant, but I knew that I was in a fork in the road that was going to lead me in a new direction."

Photographer Andres Gonzalez's passion project might break your heart. He has spent the past five years documenting mass shootings at American schools.

But not in the way you might expect: There are no landscapes of school yards, crying teenagers, terrified parents or yellow police tape.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Miss America is waving goodbye to its swimsuit competition, scrapping one of its most iconic elements in an attempt to shift the annual ceremony's emphasis from its longtime focus on contestants' physical beauty.

Here's one advantage to discussing Rachel Cusk's trilogy of conversational novels: Because they're essentially plotless, there's little need to worry about spoiler alerts. The surprises and rewards of reading these books comes not from finding out what happens, but from getting pulled deep into their labyrinthine tête-à-têtes.

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