Arts

The Two-Way
5:35 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Book News: Novel Mocking Literary Prizes Wins Literary Prize

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

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NPR Ed
4:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever

Conan O'Brien's 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College was one of those speeches that was so good it drew news coverage.
Jason R. Henske AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:32 am

Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs' 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times.

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Author Interviews
1:22 am
Mon May 19, 2014

If You Want To Teach Kids History, Try Grossing Them Out First

In her new book Bugged, Sarah Albee explores history through the lens of insects β€” including how they spread disease, how they influence conflicts, and how they can be a tasty snack.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

How would a man in a suit of armor go to the bathroom? That inquiry into medieval sanitation is just one of many unlikely topics that have come up around Sarah Albee's dinner table. Albee, a children's book author, has been trying to get middle schoolers interested in history. Her strategy is to look at it through the lens of something that gets kids' attention, namely: things that are gross.

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My Big Break
3:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

A Big Break Realized Amid Fluorescent Lights and Slurpee Machines

Before his big break, Terry Boring worked as an assistant manager at a convenience store in Pittsburgh.
Jessica Ferringer Courtesy of Terry Boring

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:44 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

It all started with a dead-end job at a convenience store in Pittsburgh. Terry Boring says he had the worst job there: the assistant manager.

"You get none of the respect of the store manager and you get all of the terrible hours that they can't get anyone else to work," he says.

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Author Interviews
2:41 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Revolution, Fatherhood And 5 Years In The Middle East

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 am

In 2008, Nathan Deuel and his wife packed up their things and moved to Saudi Arabia. That country, famous for being largely closed to Westerners, was newly open to a handful of journalists. The couple moved to Riyadh. A year later, in 2009, their daughter was born.

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Movie Interviews
2:37 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

What's In A Roar? Crafting Godzilla's Iconic Sound

Godzilla's original 1954 roar was created by composer Akira Ifukube, who dragged a resin-coated leather glove along the loosened strings of a double bass.
Toho

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:47 am

Godzilla roared to No. 1 at the box office on opening weekend. The latest reboot of the sci-fi blockbuster brings a new take on the monster's iconic roar to the silver screen.

Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl designed the sound for the new movie.

"I think that the Godzilla roar probably tops the King Kong roar in terms of iconic-ness," Van der Ryn says.

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Novel Humanizes The 'Hyena Of The Gestapo'

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:47 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Francine Prose's new novel "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" was inspired by a picture taken by the famous Hungarian photographer Brassai. It shows a lesbian couple at a club in Paris before World War II. One of the women in the photo is dressed in a tuxedo. Her hair is short and slicked back like a man. She was Violette Morris, an athlete and racecar driver whose career was cut short because she was a cross-dresser.

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Putting A Face Behind The 'Sting Of The Drone'

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Few people know the ins and outs of power politics in the nation's capital better than Richard A. Clarke. He served three presidents and as national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, he was instrumental in developing the nation's armed drone program.

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Business
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

New Initiative Aims To Encourage Diversity In Kids' Publishing

First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer says her data shows children read more enthusiastically when they see themselves reflected in their books.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

The lack of diversity in children's literature is nothing new – it's an issue that's been roiling the book world for years. Just in the past few weeks, it's come to a head with the We Need Diverse Books campaign on Twitter and Tumblr. Everyone agrees: all kinds of kids need to be able to see themselves reflected in the books they read.

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You Must Read This
3:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Cat Bite Takes A Dramatic Chunk Out Of These 'Desperate Characters'

Every so often, I read a novel and I experience all the clichΓ©s: my heart leaps into my throat, my pulse races, I'm stunned speechless. All this tawdry emotion occurs when I read sentences like this:

"He wasn't a seducer. He was remote. He was like a man preceded into a room by acrobats."

Or this:

"Now it was like the labored conversation among guests at a late hour after there is nothing more to say, nothing but ashes in the fireplace, dishes in the sink, a chill in the room, a return to ordinary estrangement."

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Arts & Life
3:09 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Shifting Images: Cleaning Up Amsterdam And Controversial Art

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

It is time for The New and The Next.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

VIGELAND: Eugene Robinson is the deputy editor of the online magazine Ozy. And he's filling in for Carlos Watson this week as we talk about what's new and what's next. Welcome back, Eugene.

EUGENE WATSON: Hey, thanks for having me, Tess.

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Your Money
3:07 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

In 'Clash Of The Financial Pundits,' Clarity For The Investor?

It's one thing to listen to financial pundits for insight. It's another to act on their advice.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:51 pm

Millions of Americans get financial advice from pundits on talk radio and cable television.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, many of those pundits have gotten a bad name for failing to warn investors about the crash. Yet public frustration has done little to hurt the financial media industry as a whole.

In their new book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, Joshua Brown and Jeff Macke argue that financial punditry is not going anywhere; it's been around as long as there have been economies.

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Author Interviews
2:17 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'

Terry Crews is a former NFL linebacker and now an actor. Manhood: How to Be a Better Man β€” or Just Live with One is his first book.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:45 am

When Hollywood needs a big dude β€” a really big dude β€” they can call on all sorts of former athletes. Few come with the heart and humor of Terry Crews.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Rams, Crews gave up his NFL dream in 1997 to pursue a different dream in Hollywood. He thought he'd turn his love of art into a job behind the scenes in special effects. Instead, he has stolen scenes on camera β€” from action movies like The Expendables to TV comedies like the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Arts & Life
7:11 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Barbara Walters: The Original Peggy Olson

NBC News' Barbara Walters in 1965.
NBC NewsWire/Getty

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 8:20 pm

By the time a bright-eyed secretary named Peggy Olson walked through the fictional doors of the Madison Avenue advertising agency Sterling Cooper in 1960, one very real female pioneer was already hard at work down the street.

Like her Mad Men counterpart, the 84-year-old broadcasting legend Barbara Walters, who retired from television this week, got her start as a secretary for a Manhattan advertising agency. And though Walters' rise from the secretarial pool began much earlier and took much longer than Peggy's, it was no less dramatic.

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Author Interviews
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

'Wynne's War,' A Modern Take On The Classic 'Mideastern'

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Aaron Gwyn has written a novel about modern man at war on horses. He calls it a mideastern. "Wynne's War" is the story of a U.S. Army Ranger from Okla., Elijah Russell, whose stellar horsemanship gets him assigned to train Green Berets for a special mission in Afghanistan, a horseback raid on the Taliban in treacherous mountain territory.

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Book News & Features
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

A Burrito With A Side Of Prose At Chipotle

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Beginning this weekend, you can get a little literature with your burrito. Chipotle is putting short essays on its bags and cups - musing written by writers and thinkers that include Michael Lewis, Toni Morrison, George Saunders and Malcolm Gladwell. The series is headed by Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of the book "Eating Animals." He told Vanity Fair he'd like to create a small pocket of thoughtfulness right in the middle of the busy day.

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Movie Interviews
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Director Bendjelloul Searched For Mysterious 'Sugar Man'

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, Malik Bendejelloul, who won the 2013 Oscar for his film "Searching for Sugar Man," was found dead in Stockholm. The cause of death is unknown, though his brother told the Guardian newspaper that Malik Bendejelloul took his own life after a struggle with depression.

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Author Interviews
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Mark Twain's Famous Outcasts Float Through Three Centuries

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Book Reviews
3:38 am
Sat May 17, 2014

The 'Wayward And Defiant' Life Of Journalist Rebecca West

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:38 am

"There is no such thing as conversation," wrote Rebecca West in her story "The Harsh Voice." "It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all." The same could be said for books, as well β€” even the best histories and biographies are necessarily filtered through the sensibilities of the author and reader, and some of the best literature is the result of those monologues, those stories, intersecting.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:19 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Not My Job: Political Adviser John Podesta Gets Quizzed On A Swedish King

Eric Jamison AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 7:37 am

John Podesta has very possibly spent more time in the West Wing than that bust of Winston Churchill. He was chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton during the impeachment saga and is now counselor to President Obama.

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This Week's Must Read
3:41 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

A 'New York Times' Shake-Up, But Not The One You're Thinking Of

Taxis speed past the headquarters of the New York Times.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:51 am

It's not all that often that the New York Times goes from printing the biggest stories of the day to actually being the biggest story of the day. But that's exactly what happened this week when the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. replaced Jill Abramson as the executive editor.

The Times has dealt with big problems before. I'm thinking of course about about Jayson Blair. Seth Mnookin's book, Hard News, is the definitive account of that saga. It's the story of an old line institution that allowed a snake to slip through unnoticed.

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Fine Art
2:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Artist Kara Walker Draws Us Into Bitter History With Something Sweet

Viewers of Kara Walker's A Subtlety described the sculpture as "beautiful" and "the American sphinx." Another said, "She is so exposed and she's so vulnerable, but at the same time she has some grace and majesticness that is completely unapproachable."
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Kara Walker was barely out of art school when she won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, in 1997. Back then, her early work shocked audiences in part because her murals looked so charming from a distance. Black paper shadow portraits of colonial figures seemed to dance on white gallery walls; but lean in and you'd find your nose pressed up against images of slavery's horrors β€” mammies, masters, lynchings and sexual violence.

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The Salt
12:01 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Introducing Roma Cuisine, The Little-Known 'Soul Food' Of Europe

The decor at Romani Kafenava offers some local culture.
Courtesy of Epeka

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:11 pm

It's no secret that tensions surrounding the Roma people in Europe are running high these days.

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Monkey See
11:13 am
Fri May 16, 2014

This Fall, TV Looks Much More Diverse: Now Don't Screw It Up

ABC's How To Get Away With Murder stars Oscar nominee Viola Davis.
Craig Sjodin ABC

For those of us who have spent time arguing for increased ethnic and cultural diversity on television, the last seven days have felt like a fantasy fever dream.

This week, the big broadcast networks announced their schedules for the 2014-15 TV season during the industry's "upfront" presentations to advertisers. And there are 10 new series featuring non-white characters and/or show creators – numbers we haven't seen since the days when everybody was trying to clone The Cosby Show.

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Africa
10:11 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Wole Soyinka: I Just Want Those Monsters Exterminated

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:05 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. My thanks to Celeste Headlee for sitting in for me while I was away. And at the end of the program today, actually, I will have a word about her exciting new venture.

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Barbershop
10:11 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Is It Donald Sterling's Right To Fight For His Team?

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:05 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
10:04 am
Fri May 16, 2014

'Godzilla': A Fire-Breathing Behemoth Returns To The Big Screen

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 1:41 pm

Transcript

DAVIE DAVIES, HOST:

Since 1954, the fire-breathing behemoth Godzilla has had many incarnations. In the Japanese original he was a thinly disguised symbol of the atom bomb but in later films he would fight other giant monsters and even space aliens. In 1998 there was a poorly received American remake by Roland Emmerich. Now comes another American version at a time when the restored original is also in theaters and available on DVD.

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Monkey See
9:23 am
Fri May 16, 2014

First Novels: The Weird, Thrilling Trip Through A Very Narrow Door

iStockphoto.com

To gauge the practicality of investing the long years of speculative writing that it takes to produce a first novel, I asked my agent, Kate Garrick of DeFiore & Company, to estimate the percentage of the first novels submitted to her she considers saleable. Her answer (like all these answers, via e-mail):

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Monkey See
7:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fairy Tales And A Fall TV Quiz

A drawing of a snoozing Sleeping Beauty.
iStockphoto.com
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We could not be happier to bring back our friend Barrie Hardymon, who's out in California but still made time to come and chat with us. In recognition that we are soon to see the live-action Maleficent coming from Disney, we chat about fairy tales. "These are stories we tell our kids to get them to abandon us," Glen says. "We're giving them the psychic armor, the psychic tools, to say goodbye." We talk about old fairy tales, Disney-fied versions, and Glen's recognition that Germany hasn't had an easy time of it with their own versions.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Book News: If Jesus Dictates A Book To You, Who Holds The Copyright?

A seagull flies over a statue of Jesus on the top of St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

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

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