Arts

Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun October 20, 2013

No Time To Be Bashful

NPR

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 10:16 am

This week we have a celebrity edition of the Puzzle. Comedian Paula Poundstone is taking on our challenge. Poundstone is also a regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Prohibition-Era Passion: Three '20s Books On Trailblazing Loves

On both sides of the Atlantic, the 1920s saw strict gender roles bend — and break — as new kinds of relationships were tested in life and literature. Here, British actor Leslie Henson and his wife Madge Saunders show off the spirit of subversion in November 1920.
Brooke Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 9:36 am

The 1920s were a time of literary liberation.

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Author Interviews
4:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Helen Fielding On Bridget Jones: Still Looking Good At 51

Helen Fielding says she wanted to explore a common predicament: getting older, finding yourself single again, and having to deal with a changed dating landscape.
Alisa Connan

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 6:58 am

Who could forget that slightly manic — but ever so endearing — single gal looking for love in London: Bridget Jones. From her first diary entries in 1996, to her portrayal on the big screen in 2001, to her most recent ramblings in this year's Mad About the Boy, we've gotten to go inside the mind of Bridget Jones and see the truth, the whole truth about what it's like to be a woman most definitely now not in her 30s.

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Author Interviews
4:12 am
Sun October 20, 2013

Drinking To 'Numb,' Women Gain On Men In Alcohol Abuse

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun October 20, 2013 10:07 am

Carrie Bradshaw and her rounds of cosmopolitans; Bridget Jones with her glasses of chardonnay; Chelsea Handler declaring her passion for vodka. In sitcoms, rom-coms and comedy shows, female boozers are the stuff of jokes. They suffer through hangovers, complain about their bar bills, promise to cut back and then cheerfully renege.

But many women find that their drinking doesn't lead to laughter. In the U.S. and Western Europe, growing numbers of women struggle with alcoholism; in some places, women's rates of alcohol abuse have achieved parity with men's.

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Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Sat October 19, 2013

'The Book of Jezebel': An Honest Look At 'Lady Things'

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 2:02 pm

The website Jezebel takes a unique approach to women's media — focusing on politics, entertainment and advocacy issues typically absent from so-called beauty magazines.

Now the site is making its first foray onto the bookshelves with The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things.

"I've been calling it an illustrated encyclopedia of the world," Jezebel founder Anna Holmes says. Holmes edited the new book, and warns NPR's Arun Rath that the volume isn't intended to be comprehensive.

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Author Interviews
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

The Birth Of Bird: Young Charlie Parker Found Focus, Faith In Music

Charlie Parker started playing as a boy, when his mother gave him a saxophone to cheer him up after his father left. He went on to spearhead a musical revolution.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 5:40 am

Charlie "Bird" Parker was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. In his brief life, Parker created a new sound on the alto saxophone and spearheaded a revolution in harmony and improvisation that pushed popular music from the swing era to bebop and modern jazz.

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Author Interviews
4:44 am
Sat October 19, 2013

What's Really Priceless? Art, Money And Fate In Tartt's 'Goldfinch'

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 5:40 am

Theo Decker is a 13-year-old boy who, in an instant, gains a masterpiece, but loses his mother — who is also a kind of masterpiece.

Theo and his mother are looking at a special show of old Dutch Masters at the Met, and the little boy doesn't much enjoy it — "Dutch people standing around in Dutch clothes," he calls it. They see a painting of a little yellow pet finch, chained at the ankle, by an artist named Fabritius.

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The Salt
1:58 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

A Fight Over Vineyards Pits Redwoods Against Red Wine

Environmental groups are fighting to stop the leveling of 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.
Courtesy Friends of the Gualala River

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 4:18 pm

In the California wine mecca of Sonoma County, climate change is pitting redwood lovers against red wine lovers.

This Friday morning, a coalition of environmental groups are in a Santa Rosa, Calif., courtroom fighting to stop a Spanish-owned winery from leveling 154 acres of coast redwoods and Douglas firs to make way for grapevines.

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Movie Reviews
10:40 am
Fri October 18, 2013

For A Free Spirit, A Grim '12 Years' In Chains

Chiwetel Ejiofor (left) plays Solomon Northup, a New York freeman kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and eventually resold to plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:39 am

Just a few years before the start of the Civil War, two anti-slavery books became best-sellers in the United States. One was Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Harriet Beecher Stowe opus that went on to become the best-selling novel of the 19th century.

The other was a memoir with a mouthful of a title: Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and rescued in 1853 from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana.

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The Salt
10:18 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Scratch 'N' Sniff Your Way To Wine Expertise ... Or At Least More Fun

Scratch 'n' sniff technology hasn't changed much in the last few decades. So the peach cartoon still smells artificial and not what you'll find in a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Text copyright 2013 by Richard Betts. Illustrations copyright (c) 2013 by Wendy MacNaughton. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 6:58 pm

Knock wine off its pedestal. That's the goal of wine expert Richard Betts. And he has come up with a brilliant way to do it: a scratch n' sniff guide to the aromas and flavors of the wine world.

With beautiful illustrations from Wendy MacNaughton, the 10-page board book looks like it belongs with your kid's toys instead of next to The Joy of Cooking.

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Movie Reviews
9:50 am
Fri October 18, 2013

At Home At Sea: Robert Redford, At His Best Alone

Robert Redford stars in All Is Lost as a solitary man struggling to make his yacht seaworthy again after it collides with a rogue shipping container adrift in the Indian Ocean.
Richard Foreman Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:38 pm

As I watched Robert Redford acting all by himself in the superlative survival-at-sea movie All Is Lost, I suddenly realized why the setup feels so perfect: Redford is most in his element when he's alone.

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TED Radio Hour
7:38 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Haves And Have-Nots

"We really are living in a time of a disparity of fortune, which is greater than ever before." — Chrystia Freeland
Thinkstock

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 8:19 am

The solutions will come from more of a quest rather than a pre-packaged set of ideas. — Jacqueline Novogratz

Income inequality is at an all-time high between the haves and the have-nots. But does the poverty gap have to be so wide, and can it potentially be eliminated altogether? In this hour, TED speakers share some big ideas about inequality and new ways we might achieve prosperity for all.

Monkey See
7:31 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Pop Culture That Makes Us Cry And Somali Pirates

NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:44 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week, forced to make do without a vacationing Glen Weldon, we happily called upon our pal and periodic PCHH contributor Chris Klimek. We also happily called upon the reckless and ruthless display of emotion for a show about crying. You'll hear some of the songs, movie scenes, and more songs (seriously, it's pretty song-heavy) that get us every time, and perhaps you'll cry a little bit, too.

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Book News: 'Fast And Furious' Whistle-Blower Will Be Allowed To Publish Account

Special Agent John Dodson will publish a book about the ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious." Above, the seal of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Evan F. Sisley AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:02 pm

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri October 18, 2013

World War R: New Comic Pits Archie And Friends Against The Undead

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Movies
1:23 am
Fri October 18, 2013

'Carrie' Had The Power, But Mom Had The Scary Going On

In Stephen King's novel and the film adaptations, Carrie (played by Sissy Spacek, left, in the 1976 version) is the one with the supernatural powers, but for NPR's Elizabeth Blair, Carrie's mother Margaret (Piper Laurie) was the truly scary character.
United Artists/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:23 am

Just in time for Halloween comes a new movie version of Stephen King's horror novel Carrie. While the teenaged Carrie White is clearly at the center of the story, I think her mother is the more fascinating character.

Carrie — about a shy misfit whose coming of age collides with her mother's fearful religious fundamentalism and her schoolmates' pack-animal cruelty, with combustible results — scared the bejesus out of me when I was a teenager. Carrie turned out to be dangerous, sure. But it was her mother, Margaret White, who made my heart stop.

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Author Interviews
1:21 am
Fri October 18, 2013

'A Time To' Revisit Clanton, Miss., In John Grisham's Latest

John Grisham has more than 275 million books in print.
Bob Krasner

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:56 pm

In his new novel, Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to a character close to his heart: Jake Brigance. Grisham introduced Jake to readers in his first novel, A Time to Kill — an adaptation of which is opening soon on Broadway.

Grisham insists that he didn't plan for his first new Jake Brigance book to come out at the same time as the play. "You know it makes us look real smart," he says. "There is no way, if we had planned, that it would ever happen. It is completely coincidental."

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Author Interviews
1:18 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Greenspan: 'I Probably Could Have Caught' Economic Crises

Alan Greenspan served as chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, the second-longest tenure as chairman in the Fed's history.
Courtesy of Alan Greenspan

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:23 am

Alan Greenspan was celebrated as a master of monetary policy during his long chairmanship of the Federal Reserve, from 1987 to 2006. But policies put in place during Greenspan's tenure have been blamed by some for the financial crisis that began shortly after he left, and the so-called Great Recession.

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The Salt
3:54 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Moms Petition Mars To Remove Artificial Dyes From M&M's

briser50 Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:25 am

If you tear open a packet of M&M's, what's the first thing you notice?

The colors: bright blue, vibrant orange, bold yellow. Kids love this visual stimulation.

But the sponsors of a new petition on Change.org — which is urging M&M-maker Mars to replace the artificial colorings used to create these distinctive hues — say these dyes can make some kids hyperactive.

"In this petition, I'm asking Mars to change to natural colorings," mom Renee Shutters told me by phone. "It's very doable."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

In 'All Is Lost,' Plenty To Be Found

Robert Redford plays the sole character in All Is Lost; a man who is stranded at sea, on a badly damaged boat — and completely on his own.
Daniel Daza Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:40 pm

Other than a single shouted expletive toward the end of All Is Lost, the only words we hear from its central character — a sailor adrift alone on the Indian Ocean — come right at the beginning, in a note of apology to unknown recipients for unspecified sins.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

WikiLeaks Gets A Hollywood Gloss In 'Fifth Estate'

Benedict Cumberbatch (left), sporting the white-blond mop of the real Julian Assange, and Daniel Bruhl, who plays Daniel Domscheit-Berg, take on the story of WikiLeaks in The Fifth Estate.
Frank Connor DreamWorks II

The saga of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is too large a data dump for a two-hour drama. Yet director Bill Condon seeks to complicate as well as simplify in The Fifth Estate, an entertaining if inevitably unreliable current events romp.

The opening credits present a pocket history of textual communication, from cuneiform to the Internet. Condon, who took a similarly breathless approach with Kinsey, is announcing that his subject is nothing less than how the Web transformed communication.

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Code Switch
10:21 am
Thu October 17, 2013

A Photographer Turns Her Lens On Men Who Catcall

"Untitled."
Courtesy of Hannah Price

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:20 pm

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The Salt
10:21 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

Hold Your Horses: The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a "funky" taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 8:57 am

Move over, bitter IPAs and chocolaty stouts. There's a new kid on the craft brewing block, and it's going to knock your salivary glands into action.

It's called "sour beer." When you take a sip, it's like biting into a Granny Smith apple that's soaked in a French red wine: crisp, refreshing and a bit odd.

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Monkey See
9:53 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Katy Perry And The New Rules Of Pop

Katy Perry performs on Saturday Night Live.
Dana Edelson NBC

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 5:56 am

Stagecraft does not come naturally to Katy Perry. She does very well by candy-colored fever-dream videos; shooting whipped cream from her cupcake boobs, throwing cartoonishly out-of-control neon-'80s ragers and becoming a B-movie jungle queen all fall quite comfortably within her skill set.

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Monkey See
7:19 am
Thu October 17, 2013

'Project Runway': A Season Of Tim Gunn Faces

"Did you want to rethink anything? Hair? Shade of yellow? Glasses? Path in life? No? Nothing?"
Barbara Nitke Lifetime

Tim Gunn is the best reason to watch Project Runway, always. Gentle and supportive, dismayed and concerned, he's the uncle, stylist, and influential teacher you never had.

And so, with nothing but love, as the season comes to an end Thursday night, we present a parade of our favorite Tim Gunn faces, together with our magic mind-reading technology that has discerned exactly what he was thinking. It's foolproof, you see.

Movie Interviews
1:25 am
Thu October 17, 2013

'12 Years A Slave': 160 Years Later, A Memoir Becomes A Movie

Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in 12 Years a Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 10:09 am

Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.

In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.

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Books News & Features
4:21 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Get To Know The Works Shortlisted For The National Book Awards

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 1:36 pm

On Tuesday night, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night.

Get to know the books on the shortlist — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — using NPR's reviews and author interviews. Click the "Listen" links in the write-ups below to hear the authors read from their works.

Movie Reviews
3:59 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Beat Manifesto: 'Kill Your Darlings,' Figuratively And ...

In Kill Your Darlings, Dane DeHaan (left) plays Lucien Carr, a man whose charm and wit quickly command the attention of the young Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) in their time at Columbia University. John Krokidas' film chronicles the "Libertine Circle" they inhabited — Ginsberg's nickname — and the events that would shatter it.
Clay Enos Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:39 pm

Hollywood's been trying to get a handle on the Beat Poets for years. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac led wild — and influential — lives. But films about them, like Naked Lunch and On the Road, have never really clicked with audiences. Kill Your Darlings may fare better, partly because it stars Daniel Radcliffe, and partly because the story centers as much on murder as on poetry.

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Books News & Features
3:03 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

From New Zealand To New Testament With Man Booker Prize Finalists

Eleanor Catton's debut novel, The Rehearsal, was shortlisted for the 2009 Guardian First Book award.
AP

On Tuesday night, Eleanor Catton became the youngest person to be awarded the Man Booker Prize in its 45-year history. Catton's book The Luminaries and those of her fellow finalists make up what has been hailed as perhaps the best shortlist in a decade, and they have been my companions for the past few weeks. It's a list spanning continents and styles, with a debut novel at one end and, at the other, one by a veteran who speculated that his latest book could well be his last.

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Arts & Life
2:27 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Banksy Project Sends Fans Online To Find Art In The Streets

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 4:39 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In New York there is no shortage of artists. But recently, one artist caused a flurry of excitement around the city. Banksy, elusive, British and best known for his graffiti art, and for the month of October he staged what he calls a residency on the streets of New York. Everyday, he unveils a new work on his website and identifies the neighborhood it's in, but not the exact address.

Stephen Nessen, with member station WNYC, caught up with one of several Banksy fans who are racing to be the first to locate the daily street art.

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