Arts

Author Interviews
2:00 am
Thu April 2, 2015

In Bhutto's 'Crescent Moon,' Pakistan 'Demands A Sacrifice From Its People'

Fatima Bhutto is also the author of Whispers of the Desert, Songs of Blood and Sword and 8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005.
Paul Wetherell Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 8:22 am

Fatima Bhutto is a member of one of the most famous families in Pakistan — a family that produced two prime ministers, her aunt Benazir Bhutto and her grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. And yet her latest book explores the lives of people who feel alienated from her country.

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is about Pakistan's remote tribal regions. The country's national flag includes a white crescent moon against a green background.

Read more
Remembrances
3:12 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Margaret Howe Freydburg — seen here at 104 — was still writing and publishing well past her 100th birthday.
Mark Lovewell Vineyard Gazette

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:00 pm

Old age is in the news today — very old age. According to media reports, a 117-year-old Japanese woman has died; she was said to be the world's oldest person.

So we're going to take a moment to remember poet and author Margaret Howe Freydberg, who died last week at the age of 107. She was was young at heart — but also very honest about her thoughts on aging. "I think growing old, I think old age is disgusting," she told a historian in 2009.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:12 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Artist Goes Outside The Lines With Coloring Books For Grown-Ups

A spread from Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford.
Sam Brill Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:51 am

We've learned about a secret some of you have — a secret that involves crayons, markers and colored pencils. Last week, we asked our Facebook followers to tell us if they were an adult who likes to color, and we received hundreds of responses saying, "yes," and, "I thought I was alone."

Read more
Television
12:55 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

New Frank Sinatra Documentary Charts His Professional Ups And Downs

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Television
12:55 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

From 'Banana' To 'Cucumber,' New Series Spans The Spectrum Of Sex

The new show from England, Cucumber, stars Vincent Franklin (left) as Henry and Cyril Nri as Lance. It premieres on Logo TV on April 13.
Ben Blackall Courtesy of Logo TV

The creator of the 1999 BBC series Queer As Folk has made three new TV series about gay men and women — and two of them are coming to the U.S. later this month. They have the conspicuous names of Cucumber, Banana and Tofu. Russell T. Davies says the titles came from a study he read from a scientific institute in Switzerland that investigated men's sexuality.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 1, 2015

A Filmmaker's Surreal Vision On The Page In 'Where The Bird Sings Best'

cover photo

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 2:15 pm

"On this side I have old age, and on this side I have death." — Alejandro Jodorowsky

First, a hard-boiled fact: No one alive today, anywhere, has been able to demonstrate the sheer possibilities of artistic invention — and in so many disciplines — as powerfully as Alejandro Jodorowsky. An accomplished mime, filmmaker, playwright, novelist, composer, actor, comics writer and spiritual guru, Jodorowsky — best known for surrealist films like The Holy Mountain — is an ambitious misfit whose culturally disruptive work has much to offer the world.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Jon Ronson Has Nothing To Be Ashamed Of, But What About The Rest Of Us?

Jon Ronson's previous books include The Psychopath Test and The Men Who Stare At Goats.
Emli Bendixen

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 1:12 pm

Justine Sacco. Jonah Lehrer. Mike Daisey. The names sound vaguely familiar, like an old college friend or distant relative.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:52 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Scott Simon: 'We Don't Fully Grow Up' Until We Lose Our Parents

Courtesy of Flatiron Books

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:22 pm

In July 2013, some 1.2 million Twitter users followed a remarkable series of tweets from NPR's Scott Simon. He was sending updates from the hospital room where his mother was living the last days of her life.

Simon's mother died on July 29, 2013, just shy of her 85th birthday.

Read more
The Salt
12:52 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

"This lamb ham is sweet, buttery and smoky, with just a hint of lamb flavor," says Sam Edwards, one of the Virginians who is bringing back the colonial style of curing lamb.
Courtesy of Sammy Edwards

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 1:54 pm

Roast rack of lamb or a platter of smoked, glazed ham — which dish should be the centerpiece of the Easter table?

Lamb is rich in religious symbolism: A sacrificial lamb was first served by Jewish people on Passover, and Christians often refer to Jesus as the lamb of God. But ham feeds more guests and makes tastier leftovers.

Read more
Monkey See
11:08 am
Tue March 31, 2015

The Ups And Downs Of 'Younger' Life

Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster in Younger.
TV Land

It remains a sore point in my TV-watching heart that ABC Family's fabulous comedy-drama Bunheads lasted only one season, so I was particularly pleased to see that its star, Tony winner Sutton Foster, was coming back to television. Specifically, she's in a comedy called Younger on TV Land, which premieres Tuesday night but the pilot of which is already available to preview online.

Read more
Book Reviews
8:41 am
Tue March 31, 2015

A Ghostly Chorus Narrates 'The World Before Us'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 4:26 pm

A gaggle of querulous ghosts narrates the events in Aislinn Hunter's new novel The World Before Us. Hunter, a Canadian author of both fiction and poetry, brings a moody grace to these phantoms and to her telling of this rather quirky tale. The novel spans three time periods: The present, a generation earlier, and the late 19th century. The spirits present themselves as witnesses to each period, and they become characters as rich and personal as any blood-and-bones characters in the novel.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue March 31, 2015

From 'Dragon Tattoo' To The 'Spider's Web': Stieg Larsson's Heroine Returns

Noomi Rapace stars as heroine Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Nordisk Film The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:12 am

Just about a full decade since the girl with a dragon tattoo was introduced to readers, she'll be making her grand return to fiction — albeit with another author's name on the cover. Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy of crime novels is set to become something more on Sept. 1, when the series' new addition hits store shelves as The Girl in the Spider's Web. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf released the book's title and cover art Tuesday.

Read more
Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue March 31, 2015

'Little Washer Of Sorrows' Morphs The Mundane Into The Fantastic

The Little Washer of Sorrows is not what it seems. At first glance, the debut collection of short stories by Canadian author Katherine Fawcett offers funny, sympathetic sketches of characters who might live next door to you: The homemaker who underutilizes her college degree; the aspiring heavy metal musician with delusions of stardom; the aging couple who can barely muster the passion to even bicker anymore.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:02 am
Tue March 31, 2015

'Publicly Shamed:' Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter?

cover crop

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 10:47 am

Writer Jon Ronson has spent a lot of time tracking people who have been shamed, raked over the coals on social media for mostly minor — but sometimes major — transgressions. He writes about some of them in his new book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

Read more
Book News & Features
3:01 am
Tue March 31, 2015

'Wolf Hall' On Stage And TV Means More Makeovers For Henry VIII's 'Pit Bull'

Actor Mark Rylance, seen here as Thomas Cromwell in Masterpiece's Wolf Hall, views Cromwell as a survivor who knows how to manipulate power to his advantage. "He has the mind of a chess player," Rylance says.
Giles Keyte Playground & Company Pictures for Masterpiece/BBC

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 5:58 am

Before Hilary Mantel decided to write about him, Thomas Cromwell, the man at the center of her popular award-winning novels, wasn't a heroic figure. History and popular culture mostly depicted him as a bad guy, able and willing to do the king's bidding, whether right or wrong.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:46 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

In The Shame In Venice 2, Kenyan artist Michael Soi protests the makeup of his country's pavilion at the Biennale.
Courtesy of Michael Soi

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:57 pm

There's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale — the international art exhibition sometimes dubbed the Olympics of the contemporary art world.

When you come to the Kenyan pavilion, almost all of the artists will be ... Chinese.

The Biennale, one of the oldest and most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, takes place in Venice every two years. Thirty countries, including the U.S., have a permanent slot.

Read more
The Salt
1:41 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

Read more
Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him

Clive James — an author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist — was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago.
Courtesy of Liveright

Clive James' most anthologized poem is commonly known by its first two lines: "The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered/And I Am Pleased." Those lines tell the uninitiated almost all they need to know about the pleasures to be found in reading James: chief among them, his wit and his appreciation of the underlying absurdity of so much literary effort — including his own.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:27 pm

The words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the phrase "In God we trust" on the back of a dollar bill haven't been there as long as most Americans might think. Those references were inserted in the 1950s during the Eisenhower administration, the same decade that the National Prayer Breakfast was launched, according to writer Kevin Kruse. His new book is One Nation Under God.

In the original Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy made no mention of God, Kruse says. Bellamy was Christian socialist, a Baptist who believed in the separation of church and state.

Read more
The Salt
9:24 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Passover Sandwich

Ann contemplates the little known Fifth Question: What exactly is this?
NPR

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in April 2014.

Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.

Read more
Monkey See
8:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

5 Thoughts On Trevor Noah Taking Over 'The Daily Show'

Seen here in 2012, Trevor Noah was announced Monday as the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:03 am

Read more
The Two-Way
7:29 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Trevor Noah Will Replace Jon Stewart As Host Of 'The Daily Show'

Trevor Noah, 31, will become the new host of The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 6:26 pm

South African comedian Trevor Noah will become the new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, stepping into the role Jon Stewart has filled for 16 years.

Confirming reports of his new job Monday morning, Noah tweeted, "No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!"

Read more
Books
4:44 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Understanding The Dark Side Of Enlightenment On 'Diamond Mountain'

cover image

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 11:37 am

In 2012, Ian Thorson was found dead in a cave in Arizona. He and his wife had been kicked out of a silent Buddhist retreat that was supposed to last three years, but they decided to finish out the time alone in the desert — and that extreme quest for spiritual enlightenment eventually killed him.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:57 pm

Writer Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather Liu Feng Shu was a scholar in China's Qing dynasty during the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a patron of the arts, he built up an immense porcelain collection.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese landed near his village on the Yangtze River. As the army approached, Liu and one of his workmen dug a giant hole in their garden, to keep the collection safe.

Read more
My Big Break
3:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

For 'Dexter' Star David Zayas, Acting Was A Long Shot Away

Zayas is best known for his role as Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter. "The one through line of all 8 years of that character was his integrity and honesty," Zayas says.
Randy Tepper Showtime

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.

David Zayas used to dream of being an actor. And he made it: he played Enrique Morales, the infamous inmate on HBO's Oz, as well as his most notable role, Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter.

Read more
U.S.
3:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Palm Springs Celebrates Its Past, And Tourists Arrive In Droves

Now a stop on Palm Springs tours, this iconic desert house — shown here in a 1970 photo — was designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra for department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann in 1946.
Slim Aarons Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 7:43 pm

About 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs, with its cloudless skies, bright sunshine and warm temperatures, was the desert playground of golden-era Hollywood. It attracted stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball.

As the years passed and the city's glamour waned, Palm Springs became better known for tanned retirees and sprawling golf courses. But these days, the city's past is making it a hip destination again.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
6:43 am
Sun March 29, 2015

For This Puzzle, Watch Your Words

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

On-air challenge: The challenge is a game of Categories based on the word "watch." For each category provided, name something in the category starting with each of the letters W-A-T-C-H. For example, parts of the human body would be "waist," "arm," "thigh," "chest" and "head."

Last week's challenge: Take the word "die." Think of two synonyms for this word that are themselves exact opposites of each other. What two words are these? A hint: they have the same number of letters.

Answer: Pass, fail

Read more
Television
5:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cate Blanchett Swears On Australian TV; Flap Ensues

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All was not prim and proper when actress Cate Blanchett sat down for an interview for the Australian show called "The Project." The interviewer took a decidedly casual tone.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE PROJECT")

Read more
Fine Art
5:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

New Postage Stamps Recognize The Genius Of Martin Ramirez

The U.S. Postal Service, in conjunction with the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York, unveiled five new stamps Thursday depicting the paintings of Mexican artist Martin Ramirez.
Ricco-Maresca Gallery

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:52 pm

The U.S. Postal Service has just unveiled five new stamps depicting the paintings and drawings of Martin Ramirez.

An immigrant from Mexico, Ramirez was a self-taught artist who spent almost half of his life in California mental hospitals after being diagnosed as schizophrenic.

Read more
The Salt
5:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

A Cheez Whiz ad from 1952.
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:33 am

Will Cheez Whiz survive the merger?

Read more

Pages