Arts

Theater
2:07 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Playwright Fugard Bucked South Africa's 'Racist Ideas'

South African playwright, actor and director Athol Fugard was a thorn in the apartheid regime's side. Now 80, he calls any suggestion that he would slow down "nonsense."
Gregory Costanzo

South African playwright, actor and director Athol Fugard describes the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 as "a period of euphoria that was the most extraordinary experience of my life."

He says he was also convinced he would be the country's "first literary redundancy."

"My life had been defined by the apartheid years," he tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. "Now we were going into an era of democracy ... and I believed that I didn't really have a function as a useful artist in that anymore."

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Author Interviews
12:11 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Not A Feminist? Caitlin Moran Asks, Why Not?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:03 pm

Writer Caitlin Moran believes most women who don't want to be called feminists don't really understand what feminism is. In her book How to Be a Woman, Moran poses these questions to women who are hesitant to identify as feminists:

What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?

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Book Reviews
11:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

A Moody Tale Of Murder In A 'Broken' Dublin Suburb

Broken window.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:18 pm

Mid-20th-century mystery master Ross MacDonald is credited with moving hard-boiled crime off the mean streets of American cities and smack into the suburbs. In MacDonald's mythical California town of Santa Teresa, modeled on Santa Barbara, evil noses its way into gated communities, schools and shopping centers that have been built expressly to escape the dirt and danger of the city.

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Book Reviews
10:07 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Jaime Hernandez Bridges The Indie-Vs.-Cape Divide

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:56 am

If only Nixon could go to China, only indie-comics master Jaime Hernandez could produce God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, the brightest, purest, most quintessentially superheroic superhero yarn in years.

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Pop Culture
5:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

R Grammar Gaffes Ruining The Language? Maybe Not

Sharon Dominick iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 10:32 am

Good grammar may have came and went.

Maybe you've winced at the decline of the past participle. Or folks writing and saying "he had sank" and "she would have went." Perhaps it was the singer Gotye going on about "Somebody That I Used to Know" instead of "Somebody Whom I Used to Know." Or any of a number of other tramplings of traditional grammar — rules that have been force-fed to American schoolchildren for decades — in popular parlance and prose.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu August 2, 2012

New In Paperback July 30-Aug. 5

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:32 am

Nonfiction releases from Scott Wallace, Joshua S. Goldstein, Catherine Salmon, Katrin Schumann and Julie Salamon.

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

Destination Art
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Marfa, Texas: An Unlikely Art Oasis In A Desert Town

In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Art (c) Judd Foundation Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:36 pm

This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.

"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.

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Food
3:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Name That (New) Grape

Researchers at Cornell University will be releasing two new wine grape varieties next year from the university's agricultural breeding program. And they're asking the public to create names for them.

Poetry Games
3:18 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:15 am

A Muslim-American poet and novelist of Indian descent, Kazim Ali's work has been featured in Best American Poetry and the American Poetry Review. He teaches at Oberlin College.

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'Sweet Child O' Mine,' Julia Child Mash-Up Honors America's First Top Chef

Julia Child prepares a French delicacy in her cooking studio on Nov. 24, 1970.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:31 am

Julia Child, the woman credited with singlehandedly teaching America how to cook, would have turned 100 years old on August 15 this year.

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Destination Art
12:59 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

What's Your Favorite Arts Town?

Brian Santa Maria iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 1:29 pm

NPR reserves the right to read on the air and/or publish on its Web site or in any medium now known or unknown the e-mails and letters that we receive. We may edit them for clarity or brevity and identify authors by name and location. By sending us a letter or e-mail, you agree to these terms. For additional information, please consult our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

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Kitchen Window
6:10 am
Wed August 1, 2012

How To Make Your Tofu And Eat It, Too

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 9:56 am

As I recently dipped a carrot slice into a fluffy, edamame-infused dip I'd made from a batch of homemade tofu, I wondered: Why haven't I done this before? The carrot was crisp, the herbs were fresh, but it was the tofu that was the real deal. It was like no store-bought tofu I'd ever encountered – light, delicate, creamy and not a bit rubbery.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Powell's Drunken Pair Prioritize Language

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 1:14 pm

With his 2009 The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, Padgett Powell produced one of the most readable literary oddities of the past decade. In that book, a narrator — perhaps the author himself — fired off questions (and only questions) that come to read less like a novel than a personality test gone haywire: "Should a tree be pruned? Are you perplexed by what to do with underwear whose elastic is spent but which is otherwise in good shape? Do you dance?" And so on, for more than 150 pages.

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Remembrances
2:52 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal, American Writer And Cultural Critic, Dies

Author Gore Vidal in 1986. Vidal, whose prolific writing career spanned six decades, died Tuesday at age 86.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 5:31 am

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

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Poetry Games
10:43 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

'Once More,' Passing The Torch To One And All

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:14 am

Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."

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The Torch
3:25 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Phelps Sets New Olympic Record With 19 Medals; America's Schmitt Wins Gold

U.S. swimmers Conor Dwyer (left), Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens poses on the podium with their gold medals after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 4:35 pm

The U.S. men's swimming team has won the 4x200m freestyle relay, in a race that also gave Michael Phelps a record 19 medals in the Olympics. He netted his 18th, a silver, earlier in the day.

Update at 4:05 p.m. EDT: For the relay final, the American team swam in the fourth lane, next to their greatest rivals, the French, who posted the fasted qualifying time. The French are led by Yannick Agnel, who soundly defeated Ryan Lochte and others in the men's 200m freestyle Monday.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
2:51 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Grotesque Horror Through A Kid-Sized Window

cover detail

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:15 pm

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.

There are still days when rain flooding the gutters conjures a picture in my mind of a paper boat being chased by a little boy in a yellow raincoat. The boy's name is Georgie and he is about to meet a rather gruesome fate, smiling up at him from a storm drain.

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Fresh Air Interviews
11:14 am
Tue July 31, 2012

Facing The Fiscal Cliff: Congress' Next Showdown

Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 10:35 pm

In December, Congress is poised for another showdown on the deficit and taxes. If Congress doesn't act, 2013 will mark the end to Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for a dozen years, and the beginning of automatic cuts to domestic and defense programs that would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says the combination of higher taxes and deep spending cuts could create a 4 percent reduction in economic output, a number big enough to throw the country into another recession.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
6:15 am
Tue July 31, 2012

A World On The Page: Five Great Travel Memoirs

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 11:56 am

Sartre was wrong. Hell isn't other people. Hell is tourists — specifically, other tourists. When traveling, there's nothing more dispiriting — not exchange rates or dengue season — than coming across a compatriot. Is it because we travel not so much to see how other people live, but to imagine the other lives we might have led? (Me, I'm small and rather rumpled.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 31, 2012

'The Chocolate Thief': A Delectable Summer Bonbon

Laura Florand's new novel concerns a romance between a French chocolatier and an American candy-bar magnate.
Nikki deGroot iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 3:03 pm

Some despair at the idea the world will end in fire or ice. To my mind, given that the earth is our only source of chocolate, it hardly matters how the supply is cut off. I think woe and joy are best addressed with chocolate, whether it is shaped into a kiss or comes from an Ecuadorian plantation.

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Poetry Games
4:25 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

'Olimpicamente': In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:14 am

A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
3:04 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Crunchwrap Supreme

A UFO (unidentified fattening object).
NPR

The Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme is, in the words of Taco Bell, engineered "for maximum portability." In truth, their short-lived "Back Pocket Chalupa" was more portable, but also more tragic.

MacKenzie: It looks like a frisbee. Maybe that's what the portability is about.

Robert: They need to make one in boomerang form, for people who don't want to share.

Ian: It has a tostada inside, for structural integrity.

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Monkey See
11:38 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Press Tour 2012: The View So Far, Part II

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere speak onstage at the "Nashville" panel.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

We're in the final stretch — kind of — at the Television Critics Association press tour. We've now heard from all the major broadcast networks, and we've got a day of set visits and three days of cable to close things out after today's CW and Showtime presentations.

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Movie Interviews
11:31 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Getting Old Is Hard, Even (And Especially) For Models

In About Face, former supermodels (including Carmen Dell'Orefice shown above) talk about what it's like to grow old in an industry that is obsessed with youth.
Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders Studio Courtesy HBO

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 3:02 pm

You'll probably recognize many of the women featured in the new HBO documentary About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now. They are some of the most famous and photographed models from the 1950s through the 1980s. Carol Alt and Beverly Johnson are two of the supermodels featured in the film. They are joined by director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to talk with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about growing up — and growing older — in an industry obsessed with youth.

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Remembrances
11:31 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Actress Lupe Ontiveros

Actress Lupe Ontiveros was known for her roles in the film Selena and the television series Desperate Housewives.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Actress Lupe Ontiveros died Thursday of cancer at the age of 69. She was most famous for her role in the 1997 film Selena, but Ontiveros also acted with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, played a strict mother in the independent film Real Women Have Curves and had a recurring role in the television series Desperate Housewives.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon July 30, 2012

An Existential Guide For When You're Really 'Lost'

cover detail

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 11:16 am

Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at University of Rochester and host of the 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog on NPR.org.

I don't read self-help books. On any given day my self seems to need so much help that 200 pages of cheerful advice and end-of-chapter exercises miss the core of my dilemma. The real question keeping me up at night is this: What the hell is a self anyway? How did I get one and why is it so damn desperate for help?

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Book Reviews
2:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

A Portrait Of A Country Awash In 'Red Ink'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:15 pm

As the federal debt balloons, reducing it would seem more and more pressing. Yet policymakers remain far apart. Debt, deficit and budget rhetoric is often accompanied by numbers cherry-picked to support a particular political view.

But a new book by Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel lays out the numbers that both political parties face.

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Crime In The City
2:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Writer Has A Down-Home Feel For Atlanta's Dark Side

Writer Karin Slaughter has seen the fallout of some of Atlanta's most gruesome crimes and most dramatic transitions.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 6:24 am

Best-selling crime novelist Karin Slaughter (yes, that's her real name) grew up just south of Atlanta in the 1970s and '80s, when the city saw some of its most gruesome crimes: A rash of child murders in which dozens of African-American children disappeared, their bodies turning up in nearby woods and rivers. The realization that horrid crimes can happen even to children changed Slaughter's life.

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Poetry Games
8:33 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

'Lifting,' And Lifted By, Words

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 8:13 am

Poet Ouyang Yu comes to NPR's Poetry Games representing two continents: Asia, where he was born (in China); and Australia, where he moved in 1991. He is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese.

Of his poem "Lifting," he writes: "Much as I admire weightlifting heroes or heroines, I can't help reminding myself that, however powerful a weightlifter is, he or she can't lift himself or herself up. The magic of the word is that, when well lifted, it has the power to transform."

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Movie Interviews
2:42 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

Matthew McConaughey's Year Of Acting Dangerously

Killer Joe (2012) is the latest film from William Friedkin, the director of The French Connection and The Exorcist. The movie, which stars Matthew McConaughey, earned an NC-17 rating for its violent content.
LD Entertainment

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 4:12 pm

This may be the year of actor Matthew McConaughey.

At the very least, fans will remember 2012 as the year that McConaughey revolutionized his career. He's starred in five different independent films, taking on smaller, character-actor parts in place of his usual roles as the sly-grinning heartthrob in romantic comedies.

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