Arts

The Two-Way
5:07 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Book News: Fight Over Philosopher Ends With Gunfire In Russia

An artist's rendering of German philosopher Immanuel Kant.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:47 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

In 'Reaped,' 5 Lives That Are Far More Than Just Statistics

iStockphoto.com

On July 18, 1863, the Union Army's famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — a black military unit — made a desperate assault on Confederate forces at Fort Wagner near Charleston, S.C. In the end, they were unsuccessful and lost almost half of their forces. Escaped slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman bore elegiac eyewitness to the terrible day: "We saw the lightning and that was the guns," she said later.

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The Salt
1:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Kitchen Time Machine: A Culinary Romp Through Soviet History

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:38 am

The French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the connection between food and memory when the narrator of his novel Remembrances of Things Past bit into a madeleine and was transported to thoughts of his childhood.

But what if that madeleine were poisoned, so to speak?

That is the question underlying Russian American writer Anya von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Though it contains recipes, this is not a cookbook but rather, a history of a family and of Soviet Russia.

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Code Switch
5:12 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

'It Could Have Been Me': The 1983 Death Of A NYC Graffiti Artist

A passenger boards a subway car painted with graffiti, in New York in 1984.
AP

"It could have been me. It could have been me."

These were the words uttered by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was deeply shaken after he heard the story of a black graffiti artist who was beaten to death by New York City police. Seeing his own life reflected in the death of a fellow artist, Basquiat went on to create Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), not only to commemorate the young man's death, but also to challenge the state-sanctioned brutality that men of color could face for pursuing their art in public spaces.

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Books News & Features
3:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

National Book Awards Look To Raise Profile ... And It's Not The First Time

Click here to see the full list." href="/post/national-book-awards-look-raise-profile-and-its-not-first-time" class="noexit lightbox">
The 2013 National Book Award long list for Young People's Literature was announced Monday. Click here to see the full list.
nationalbook.org

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:19 pm

You may be hearing a lot about the National Book Awards this week — at least that's what the National Book Foundation hopes. That's because they've made some changes to the awards that they hope will get more people talking about them. Over four days starting Monday, they will roll out their nominees in four different categories — beginning with Young People's Literature and ending Thursday with Fiction.

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Author Interviews
11:38 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Barnard President: Today's 'Wonder Women' Must Reframe Feminism

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:06 pm

There was a time when Debora Spar was used to being the only woman in the room. As a professor at Harvard Business School, she was surrounded by what she describes as "alpha men of the academic sort — men with big egos and big attitudes and an awful lot of testosterone."

Then, in 2008, she found herself in the opposite situation: She became the president of Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University, where "there was barely a male in sight."

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Book Reviews
11:38 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Introducing 'Miss Anne,' The White Women Of A Black Renaissance

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 10:16 am

Ten years ago, literary scholar Carla Kaplan released an acclaimed edition of the letters of Zora Neale Hurston. In the course of researching Hurston's life, Kaplan became curious about the white women who were in Harlem in the same period as Hurston, women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the artistic and political movements of the Harlem Renaissance. Now, Kaplan has published a cultural history of those women called Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.

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The Salt
11:36 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin

"Artist's" rendering.
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:41 pm

For the first two millennia of McDonald's Breakfast Menu, very little changed, but the past several months have brought startling reforms. The company introduced the Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 50 fewer calories and one fewer yellow spot than the regular McMuffin. They stopped slapping you in the face when you try to order the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. And now, they bring us the Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin.

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New In Paperback
9:37 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Sept. 16-22: Murder, Music And Lincoln's Trusted Rival

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 12:15 pm

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

The Two-Way
5:21 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Book News: Man Booker Prize To Be Opened To Americans

British authors such as Hilary Mantel will soon have some competition from across the pond, according to organizers of the Man Booker Prize.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 6:11 am

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

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Around the Nation
2:59 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Writing Noir Poetry, With LA As A Backdrop

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:31 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWSCAST)

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Coming up, a talk with the new host of this program, Arun Rath.

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Movies
2:59 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Picking And Choosing At The Toronto Film Festival

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 5:08 pm

More than 300 films screened this past week at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Audience Choice Award went to 12 Years A Slave, directed by Steve McQueen. Host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's Linda Holmes and Bob Mondello about what was hot and what was not.

Arts & Life
5:51 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Traveling By Cargo, With Lots Of Reading Time

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:50 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

WEEKEND EDITION's travel segment Winging It aims to bring you advice and ideas about different ways to spend your free time and profiles of people embarking of adventures of all kinds. A few months, ago we introduced you to Rebecca Hall. When we spoke with her, Hall was getting ready to set out on an unusual journey - traveling from Greece to Hong Kong on a cargo ship.

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Author Interviews
5:51 am
Sun September 15, 2013

New Memoir Recounts Black Lives 'Reaped' Too Young

Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award in 2011 for her novel, Salvage the Bones.
Tony Cook Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:50 am

The writer Jesmyn Ward lost her brother in a car accident, and she was never the same — but her grief would broaden and her losses compound. First one friend died, then another and another — all young black men, and all of them dead before the age of 30.

In her wrenching new memoir, Men We Reaped, Ward takes us to her hometown of DeLisle, on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. It's a place ravaged by poverty, drugs and routine violence. But even so, the place — and the memory of those she has lost — keeps pulling Ward back.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Love Story Electrifies Beneath The Silhouette 'Of Venus'

Mark Baker AP

Roxana Robinson's latest book is Sparta.

I fell in love with Shirley Hazzard in 1980, when her great book Transit of Venus came out. I was completely dazzled by the beauty and authority of her writing, and by the effortless way she created this world.

The novel opens with a description of a storm. The air is charged with unthinkable violence, a sense of atmospheric threat which will recur throughout the book:

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Author Interviews
3:27 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Read The Rainbow: 'Roy G. Biv' Puts New Spin On Color Wheel

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:50 am

There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.

In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.

And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.

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Television
3:15 am
Sun September 15, 2013

The Voice Of Rocky And Natasha Earns An Emmy

Voice actress June Foray will receive the Governor's Award at the Creative Arts Emmys.
Amanda Edwards UCLA/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 6:50 am

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show featured a fearless flying squirrel and his slow-witted moose sidekick. They did battle with two scheming but incompetent Soviet spies named Boris and Natasha.

The cartoon is an American classic, beloved for a wry sense of humor that appeals to kids and their parents. It originally aired from 1959 until 1964, but has been in syndication ever since, most recently on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

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Author Interviews
3:47 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

'The Witness Wore Red': A Polygamist's Wife Finds A New Life

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 4:15 pm

In 2007, a breakaway extremist offshoot of the Mormon Church called the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints made national news. Police raided an FLDS compound in Texas where they found hundreds of women and girls. The church's leader, Warren Jeffs, was sentenced to life plus 20 years behind bars for sexually assaulting children.

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Code Switch
12:13 pm
Sat September 14, 2013

At Fashion Week, Color Pops And Models Call For Diversity

Marc Jacobs is among the designers who were named by the Diversity Coalition for not having enough models of color on the runway.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 3:40 pm

Color continued to be a big deal on the New York runways during Fashion Week this week, but almost all the color was represented by the clothes being showcased in the new collections and not the models wearing them.

That lack of diversity has been a perennial problem in the fashion industry — at home and abroad — for at least the past 15 years. And while there may be an Asian or Hispanic girl from time to time (in this industry, everyone is a "girl"), discernibly black girls get token representation if they get it at all.

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Author Interviews
5:47 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Cows Have Accents ... And 1,226 Other 'Quite Interesting Facts'

Iakov Kalinin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Did you know that cows moo in regional accents? Or that 1 in 10 European babies was conceived in an IKEA bed? Or that two-thirds of the people on Earth have never seen snow?

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Author Interviews
4:55 am
Sat September 14, 2013

Art Spiegelman Reflects On 60 Years Of Pen And Ink

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

It's axiomatic now that comics have gone from being kids' stuff to, in some cases, adults only. These days, comics are recognized as a real artistic form, one that can be complex, subtle, pointed, probing and profane.

One of the artists most responsible for this is Art Spiegelman, who drew for Topps Bubble Gum comics, invented the Garbage Pail Kids, created a character who was all head, no body, for Playboy and won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, his Holocaust comic — a phrase that was once unfathomable.

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Author Interviews
2:58 am
Sat September 14, 2013

McMillan 'Asks' Readers To Empathize With A Family's Problems

Terry McMillan is the best-selling author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Matthew Jordan Smith Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 9:28 am

Terry McMillan weaves together different voices, generations, races and surprises in her latest novel, Who Asked You?. It's a family story that revolves around Betty Jean — known as BJ — a woman who worked as a Los Angeles maid and raised three kids. Her husband is now retired and suffers from Alzheimer's and her children have grown up in radically different ways. One son, Dexter, is in prison. Another son, Quentin, is a successful chiropractor who has had multiple marriages, pointedly lives out of town and wants little contact with his family.

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Architecture
2:57 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Los Angeles, Showcasing A City That Might Have Been

Pereira and Luckman, Los Angeles International Airport Original Plan, 1952
LAWA Flight Path Learning Center

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 8:52 pm

A museum exhibit about buildings that don't exist might not sound all that exciting. But the Architecture & Design Museum in Los Angeles has had its crowds grow to 10 times their normal level for a show called Never Built: Los Angeles. It's on through Oct. 13 – and it's all about projects that were imagined for the city but never constructed.

Let's start with one of the most high-profile: a 1968 proposal that would've dramatically altered the profile of Mount Hollywood.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Not My Job: Writer Mark Leibovich Gets Quizzed On Louis XIV

Ralph Alswang Courtesy Blue Rider Press

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 10:32 am

Washington, D.C., has long been thought of as a city filled with corrupt, cynical careerists who care only about themselves. Well, New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich has written a book called This Town that basically proves it.

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Faith Matters
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Tweeting For Atonement: Sharing Sins On Social Media

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Recipe For A Great Burger? Fifteen Bucks An Hour

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Friday and back in the day this was payday for most people, so we thought this was as good a day as any to talk about wealth, wages and poverty. In a few minutes we will hear about how poverty seems to be affecting the health of white women in a dramatic way.

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Barbershop
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Oklahoma State Slammed By Sports Illustrated

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shape-up this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Here in our Washington, D.C. studios, sports writer and journalism professor Kevin Blackistone, Corey Dade, contributing editor for The Root, and NPR editor Ammad Omar decided to stick around. What do you know?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, why not?

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BackTalk
10:04 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Is The NFL Weakening Defense Of Redskins' Name?

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for Backtalk, that's where we hear from you. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us once again. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Arts & Life
8:39 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Wadjda' Is First Feature Film Shot In Saudi Arabia

Wadjda tells the story of a 10-year-old Saudi girl determined to have a bicycle in a culture that frowns on female riding. Writer-director Haifaa al-Mansour says she wanted to put a human face on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia, where driving is not permitted.

Movie Reviews
8:09 am
Fri September 13, 2013

From Nowhere And Everywhere, Death On The Beltway

Tequan Richmond plays Lee Boyd Malvo, the younger of a pair of killers, as he is indoctrinated by his father figure (Isaiah Washington) in Blue Caprice.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:55 pm

Think "Beltway sniper," and what vehicle comes to mind?

Probably not the blue Chevy Caprice actually used by John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in the random killings that terrorized the nation's capital and its environs in the fall of 2002 — because for most of the investigation, the media's mantra was to be on the lookout for a white van or box truck.

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