Arts

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

A Youngest 'Daughter' Remembers Famines, Shame And Hope

AFP/Getty Images

Hong Ying's autobiography, Daughter of the River, is doubly astonishing. First, it's an account of the Cultural Revolution that's not written by an intellectual. There's a certain genre of Chinese memoir that looks at upheaval under Mao through an elite lens, and I have to admit, I've been growing tired of those books. But Hong Ying comes from a very different background indeed.

Read more
Theater
3:11 am
Sun November 10, 2013

Here's A Wild Idea For Shakespeare: Do It His Way

Mark Rylance as Olivia (right) and Samuel Barnett as Viola in Twelfth Night. The Broadway production, which first played at London's Globe Theatre, is done in the Elizabethan tradition, with an all-male cast.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 10:54 am

This season, New York audiences have seen wildly different interpretations of Shakespeare plays. They've seen the Romeo of Orlando Bloom make his first entrance on a motorcycle; they've seen a production of Julius Caesar set in a women's prison.

Now the London-based company from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has landed on Broadway with what seems like the most radical concept of them all: plays staged in a style Shakespeare would've recognized, with all-male casts, period costumes and live music.

Not A Museum

Read more
Author Interviews
5:14 am
Sat November 9, 2013

English Manners Are Downright Medieval ('Sorry!' Was That Rude?)

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 9:24 am

From that very first time we're first scolded for putting our elbows on the table at great-aunt Millie's house, we're inducted into the world of manners. After that, it's a lifetime of "pleases" and "thank yous," and chewing with our mouths closed.

But where did all of this civility come from? We can't give all the credit (or blame) to the English, but the average Brit says "sorry" eight times per day, so it's a pretty good place to start.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:14 am
Sat November 9, 2013

'A Rose Is A Rose Is A' 75-Year-Old Kid's Book By Gertrude Stein

Excerpted from The World Is Round.
Courtesy of Harper Design

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 3:01 pm

You might know Gertrude Stein from that college class where you studied her experimental fiction, or maybe you remember her as the host of salons for famous 20th-century artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.

Read more
Theater
5:14 am
Sat November 9, 2013

'We Will Rock You': A Bohemian Musical

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 9:24 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Whether or not you're a fan of rock and roll, you've surely heard at least one of the hits by Queen. The British band dominated the airwaves in the '70s and '80s and now their music is rocking the world again, this time in a jukebox musical called "We Will Rock You."

The show has been running in London for a dozen years but now an Americanized version is touring the United States and Canada. NPR's Allison Keyes was at the opening show in Baltimore.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat November 9, 2013

Amy Tan's Latest: Mothers, Daughters And The Oldest Profession

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 4:10 pm

Family secrets, life-changing betrayals and the paradox of wondering about the old country while belonging to the new are at the heart of Amy Tan's work. She enthralled readers of her phenomenally successful first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), with the interlocking stories of four Chinese-born mothers and their four California-born daughters. Tan followed up with equally enduring portraits of fierce immigrant mothers who withheld secrets of the past while pushing their daughters forward in The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), and The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001).

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:53 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Not My Job: We Quiz Nick Offerman On The Finer Points Of Manhood

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 2:45 pm

Nick Offerman was a serious theater actor when he was cast as meat-eating, scotch-drinking boss Ron Swanson in the hit sitcom Parks and Recreation — and now he's the nation's foremost symbol of purest manhood. Offerman has just published a book of of manly advice called Paddle Your Own Canoe, so we've invited him to play a game called "Time to take off the shirt and count the chest hairs." Three questions about extreme, masculine sports.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:18 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Jake Gyllenhaal, Going After What's Real

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the stoic Detective Loki in Prisoners, trying to track down two missing girls.
Wilson Webb Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:08 pm

In the movie Prisoners, now in theaters, a detective investigates the abduction of two young girls. Things get a little more complicated when the father of one of the girls takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping and torturing the man he thinks is responsible.

Read more
Books
3:18 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

In Art Lost And Found, The Echoes Of A Century's Upheaval

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:08 pm

Every week, a cluster of stories comes to define the landscape of news media. These can be stories of international scope or local intimacy, but for their own distinctive reasons, they all offer narratives defined almost in real time.

To get a better grasp on the hectic pace of current events, it's often vital to turn to another kind of narrative — our favorite kind: books. That's why each week we'll invite authors to suggest a book that somehow deepens, contextualizes or offers an entirely new angle on one of the week's major headlines.

Read more
Monkey See
11:10 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Sisters And Brothers And A Holiday TV Quiz

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show, featuring a visit from our pal Kat Chow, kicks off with a Thor-inspired discussion of the sometimes fraught world of sibling relationships. We talk about where we come from in our own sibling worlds, and then check in with fictional siblings and real-world siblings. (Stephen has concerns regarding the Jonas Brothers.)

Read more
The Two-Way
10:26 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Poet Pablo Neruda Was Not Poisoned, Officials In Chile Say

Chilean writer and diplomat Pablo Neruda died from prostate cancer, not poison, officials say. He was serving as Chile's ambassador to France in 1971 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:57 pm

It was prostate cancer, not an assassin's poison, that killed poet Pablo Neruda, officials in Chile announced Friday. The Nobel laureate's body was exhumed for testing this spring, due to claims from an employee and Neruda's family that the Chilean poet had been murdered at age 69.

From The Santiago Times:

Read more
Barbershop
10:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Should Jonathan Martin 'Man Up' Or 'Leave It On The Field?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Arts & Life
10:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

St. Louis Master: 'Diversity Is Big In Chess'

St. Louis might be known for legendary entertainers like Josephine Baker, or star athletes like Yogi Berra, but now there's something else putting the city on the map. It's known as the 'Chess Capital of the World.' Host Michel Martin learns more from St. Louis native and chess National Master, Charles Lawton.

Movie Reviews
9:51 am
Fri November 8, 2013

John Sayles' 'Go For Sisters,' Taking A Curious Direction

In Go for Sisters, former cop Freddy Suarez (Edward James Olmos) agrees to help a parole officer track down her wayward son along the U.S./Mexico border.
John Castillo Variance Films

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:21 pm

The first few minutes of John Sayles' Go for Sisters give a taste of what the director, one of the U.S.'s preeminent independent filmmakers, does best.

Read more
Monkey See
9:31 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A Complete Curmudgeon's Guide To 'The Sound Of Music'

Evening Standard Getty Images

NBC has released the first trailer for its live version of The Sound Of Music, airing December 5.

Now, some have chosen to focus on the negative; on the nostalgic sense that to remake this show — or, more precisely, to remake the movie version, as they may well do, at least in part, owing to its ubiquity — is a mistake. No matter the talent involved, like Audra McDonald (as Mother Abbess) and Laura Benanti (as the Baroness), it will be an NBC remake.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:10 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Book News: Claire Vaye Watkins Wins The Dylan Thomas Prize

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the short story collection Battleborn.
Riverhead Books

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

Read more
Fine Art
1:04 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Saudi Soldier Questions Authority With Art (And Plastic Wrap)

Gharem's solo exhibition at Edge of Arabia's gallery space in London ran from Oct. 8 - Nov. 8.
Alex Maguire Edge of Arabia

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:17 am

Abdulnasser Gharem is a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, a man who's served in his country's military for more than two decades. But Gharem's true passion lies in a decidedly less rigid field — contemporary art.

Read more
Code Switch
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Striking Harmonies With The Jubilee Singers' Past And Present

Soprano Nigia Hunt is a junior at Durham School of the Arts. She and others are singing for Paul Kwami, auditioning for a solo in the Duke Performances concert.
Leoneda Inge/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Inspired By History, A Novelist Writes Of Jewish South Africa

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

Roughly three-quarters of South Africa's Jewish population are descendants of Lithuanian immigrants. Of these peasants, townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers and intellectuals who fled centuries of persecution and embarked on a passage to Africa, many dreamed of a new land and the promise of new beginnings. Kenneth Bonert's ancestors were part of this diaspora. In his debut novel, written in language as dense and varied as the South African landscape he describes, Bonert delivers a taut, visceral account of a young Jewish boy's African life.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The End Of The World, As She Knows It

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is just a typical teen struggling with boys, family and growing up — and also what might be the apocalypse.
Nicola Dove Magnolia Pictures

Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.

For that, credit goes partly to director Kevin Macdonald, but mostly to his star, Saoirse Ronan. Playing a neurotic urbanite who learns to survive in a war-ravaged landscape, the actress is, appropriately enough, a force of nature.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

One Big Lie, And All Of Lance Armstrong's Others

Alex Gibney's documentary started as a flattering profile of competitive cyclist Lance Armstrong, but all that changed after Armstrong admitted to years of doping — and lying to everyone about it.
Frank Marshall Sony Pictures Classics

"I didn't live a lot of lies. But I did live one big one. It's different, I guess. Maybe not."

So said disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to filmmaker Alex Gibney early this year, just hours after he confessed to Oprah that he'd doped during his seven wins of the Tour de France.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Turns Out One Does Simply Walk Into More 'Thor'

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his hammer are back for a supernatural sequel, battling the forces of evil again — this time without his fellow Avengers.
Jay Maidment Marvel

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:22 pm

Audiences for Thor: The Dark World may initially be confused as to whether they accidentally wandered into a preview screening of the next installment in the Hobbit series.

The opening prologue — a solemn Anthony Hopkins narrates an epic tale of ancient wars between the forces of good and a race of evil elves — feels like pure Tolkien, and with good reason: the Norse mythologies that inspired the Lord of the Rings author also informed Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Larry Lieber as they went about developing their godlike superhero.

Read more
Photography
2:32 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Photographer Editta Sherman, 'Duchess Of Carnegie Hall,' Dies At 101

Sherman poses for a photo in New York in July 2012.
Verena Dobnik AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 6:16 pm

For six decades, in her light-filled studio on top of New York's Carnegie Hall, portrait photographer Editta Sherman photographed celebrities from Leonard Bernstein to Yul Brynner to Joe DiMaggio. She was a legend — and she'd tell you that herself. Sherman died Friday at 101.

A note on her website reads: "Editta Sherman's vibrant sparkling life faded from this earth on November 1st, All Saints Day. She is at peace now and she is clothed in her ballerina dress with her diamond shoes dancing her way home to our hearts."

Read more
Book Reviews
1:57 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Biography Of Director Bob Fosse Razzles, Dazzles And Delights

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:51 pm

Read more
Book Reviews
1:04 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

'Self-Help Messiah' Dale Carnegie Gets A Second Life In Print

Courtesy of Other Press

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:50 pm

"Make the other person feel important." "Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his." "Make people like you." Those are some of the peppy commands that have sent generations of Americans out into the world, determined to win friends and influence people — oh, and make big bucks.

Read more
Arts & Life
9:37 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Typing Love Letters To St. Louis

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is actually on her way to St. Louis Public Radio. Coming up, we'll take a look at the Arab Spring through street art, paintings and photographs. We'll hear from the curator and a featured artist from a new exhibit at the Arab American National Museum. But first, as I just mentioned, TELL ME MORE is taking the show to St. Louis tomorrow.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:47 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Book News: Indie Bookstores Don't Take Kindly To Amazon's Kindle Offer

One bookseller says of the new Amazon Source program to sell Kindle e-readers: "That's not cooperation. That's being complicit in your execution."
David McNew Getty Images

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

Read more
Monkey See
12:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Shonda Rhimes Knows Where This 'Scandal' Will End

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' political drama Scandal, one of TV's most talked-about broadcast shows.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:37 am

Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.

"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

Read more
The Fresh Air Interview
2:06 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:42 pm

If you love jazz and pop from the 1920s and '30s, you might already love the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City during Prohibition. The music played throughout the show is performed by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and a second album of music from the series was recently released.

Read more
Race
10:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Comediennes Of Color: 'I Am Funny'

Kerry Washington hosted Saturday Night Live this past weekend following controversy about the show's lack of a diverse cast.
Dana Edelson Courtesy of NBC

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:20 pm

This past weekend's Saturday Night Live was the most-watched episode of the season, but viewers may have been looking for something other than laughs. Saturday's show followed weeks of criticism over SNL's painfully obvious lack of diversity.

Read more

Pages