Arts

New In Paperback
5:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Sept. 2-8: An 'Idiot' Heart, A Fringe History And 'The End Of Men'

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 11:59 am

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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

A Dying Man's Memory-Laden Search For Revenge In 'The Return'

Michael Gruber began his fiction career as a ghostwriter for a well-known American judge. A former federal civil servant, chef, environmentalist, and speechwriter, Gruber had a varied career before he took up writing his own novels, and it shows in his work, in the broad and capacious subject matter and cast of thousands.

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All Tech Considered
1:05 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Biographers, The Past Is An Open (Electronic) Book

Digital ephemera can capture things that don't appear in official accounts of events — but the material's in danger of disappearing if it's in obsolete formats.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:00 am

For centuries, biographers have relied on letters to bring historical figures to life, whether Gandhi or Catherine the Great. But as people switch from writing on paper to documenting their lives electronically, biographers are encountering new benefits — and new challenges.

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Making A Case For Corn Off The Cob

Laura Weiss for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 5:38 pm

OK, people, I do not love corn on the cob. Yes, I know this tags me as vaguely un-American. And yes I know the summertime staple is a beloved culinary icon. And I'm also aware that corn on the cob fans often rhapsodize over the pairing of fresh, sweet corn and melted butter.

But when I'm offered an ear, I politely decline. That's the point at which family and friends look at me as if I'm slightly daft. "What? You don't want any?" No, sorry. Just pass me the potato salad, please.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Book News: Seamus Heaney's Last Words Were 'Don't Be Afraid'

Irish poet Seamus Heaney is pictured in 2010.
Paul McErlane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 5:33 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 3, 2013

An Alternate Universe Delights In Complex, Perplexing 'Duplex'

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:04 pm

You're walking your dog in a suburb that may or may not exist in this dimension. The dog whines. You ignore him. Anyway, you're too busy looking out for that sexy, evil sorcerer. Suddenly, a gray rabbit appears, and you realize: the world is ending.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'At The Bottom' Of A Friendship, How Far Would You Go To Help?

Ben Dolnick's previous two books — Zoology (2007) and You Know Who You Are (2011) — have mostly dealt with young people coming of age. In his latest novel, At the Bottom of Everything, the writer's youthful coming-of-age tales start to themselves come of age. As teenagers, the waifish, ascetic Thomas Pell is the smartest kid at school, but socially awkward. Adam has just moved to Washington D.C. with his mother and new stepdad. The two boys quickly become fairly inseparable, getting up to fairly standard young person shenanigans.

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Books
1:01 am
Tue September 3, 2013

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald pose for a photo at the Sayre home in Montgomery, Ala., in 1919, the year before they married.
Bettmann Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:30 pm

Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.

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The Salt
2:50 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Tlacoyos: A Mexican Grilled Snack That Tempted The Conquistadors

Tlacoyos can be filled with beans, potatoes, mushrooms or cheese and are often topped with grilled cactus, onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Jasmine Garsd for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:10 pm

For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.

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Author Interviews
2:14 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

From Peace To Patriotism: The Shifting Identity Of 'God Bless America'

American composer Irving Berlin sings his song "God Bless America" in front of Boy Scouts troop members and spectators gathered at a tent in Monticello, New York in 1940. Instead of collecting royalties from "God Bless America," Berlin created a fund that collected and distributed them to the Boy and Girl Scouts.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:47 am

In the fall of 1938, radio was huge. That Halloween, Orson Welles scared listeners out of their wits with his War of the Worlds. And on November 10, 1938 — the eve of the holiday that was known then as Armistice Day — the popular singer Kate Smith made history on her radio show. She sang a song that had never been sung before, written by the composer Irving Berlin.

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Crime In The City
1:26 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Hardcore With A Heart: Joburg Thrillers Star A Spunky P.I.

Jassy Mackenzie was born in Rhodesia and moved to South Africa when she was eight years old. She edits and writes for the annual publication Best of South Africa.
Soho Crime

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 2:45 am

South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg, is a mixture of the old Wild West and a complex, modern African hub — at least, that's how crime novelist Jassy Mackenzie describes it. Mackenzie was born across the border, in Zimbabwe, but she moved to Johannesburg — Joburg for short — as a child, and she's a passionate champion of the city.

"I love the energy of Johannesburg," Mackenzie says. "People are open. People communicate. People are friendly in a brash, big-city way, which I love. ... [it's] the New York of South Africa!"

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Remembrances
3:04 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

Poems As 'Stepping Stones': Remembering Seamus Heaney

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 4:18 pm

The poet Seamus Heaney died Friday. Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995 and has been described as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats." Heaney was 74 years old. Host Jacki Lyden spoke to Heaney in 2008, and has this remembrance.

Author Interviews
6:17 am
Sun September 1, 2013

The Private War Of J.D. Salinger

Salinger, seen here at right with his friend Donald Hartog in 1989, was sorry he ever wrote Catcher, says Salinger co-author Shane Salerno.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

"J.D. Salinger spent 10 years writing The Catcher in the Rye and the rest of his life regretting it," according to a new book about one of America's best-known and most revered writers.

Salinger died three years ago at the age of 91, after publishing four slim books. But Catcher in the Rye has sold more than 65 million copies and has become a touchstone for young people coming of age around the world. It still sells hundreds of thousands of copies every year.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun September 1, 2013

A Return To Trollope: Did The Book Change — Or Did I?

Ann Kirschner is the university dean of Macaulay Honors College and the author of Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp.

I returned to reading Anthony Trollope's "Palliser" novels after more than 20 years. I was longing for a deep, luxurious Victorian bath, and immersion in these six long novels seemed a perfect prescription.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:56 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Shh! Listen Carefully

NPR

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 12:42 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with the consecutive letters of S-H-H. Specifically, the first word in the answer will end in SH, and the second will start with H.

Last week's challenge: Think of a business that's found in most towns. Its name consists of two words, each starting with a consonant. Interchange the consonants and you'll get two new words — neither of which rhymes with the original words. What business is it?

Answer: Car wash

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Author Interviews
3:47 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Restaurant Critic Finds Meaning At The Olive Garden In 'Grand Forks'

Marilyn Hagerty gained viral fame with her positive review of the Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
John Stennes

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:54 pm

"Can a cholesterol-conscious matron from the west side find happiness at the East Side Dairy Queen?" So begins Marilyn Hagerty's review of the national creamery franchise for her local paper, The Grand Forks Herald, in Grand Forks, N.D.

The 87-year-old Hagerty has reported on food, events, and local profiles at the Herald for more than 25 years, but she earned 15 minutes of national fame last year with a positive review of her local Olive Garden restaurant.

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Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries
3:41 am
Sun September 1, 2013

With Modern Makeovers, America's Libraries Are Branching Out

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., has opened a Digital Commons that features rows of desktop computers, portable electronic devices and even a 3D printer.
DC Public Library/The Freelon Group

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:58 pm

It's not exactly a building boom, but several public libraries around the country are getting makeovers. The Central Library in Austin, Texas just broke ground on a new building that promises such new features as outdoor reading porches and a cafe. In Madison, Wis., they're about to open a newly remodeled library that has, among other improvements, more natural light and a new auditorium. Historic libraries in Boston and New York City are looking at significant renovations.

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The Salt
2:58 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Discovering The Small Miracle Of The Soup Dumpling

A xiao long bao, or soup dumpling, in a large spoon.
Alyson Hurt NPR

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 3:48 am

The first I ever heard of soup dumplings was 15 years ago in this New York Times story, which described xiao long bao as "the star of the show" at Joe's Shanghai in New York's Chinatown. It was a different era of New York food, when Szechuan peppercorns were still contraband, and the selection of Chinese restaurants was less diverse.

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Author Interviews
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Shacochis Spans Generations In 'The Woman Who Lost Her Soul'

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

As a journalist and essayist, Bob Shacochis has covered conflict in the Balkans and Haiti, the abuse of American power overseas, spycraft, and the sexual politics that divide men and women. He is also a novelist and the winner of a National Book Award. His new novel, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, was a long time coming, but critics are saying it was well worth the wait.

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is a 700-page work that spans continents and generations. It's been compared to the work of Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and Norman Mailer.

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Strange News
3:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

Welcome To 'Night Vale' — Watch Out For The Tarantulas

Welcome to Night Vale is the number one most downloaded podcast on iTunes.
Jeffrey Cranor & Joseph Fink

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:06 am

Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink have the news of the weird covered: they're the creative masterminds behind the popular sci-fi podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Though only a year old, the spooky Night Vale — which channels David Lynch, Orson Welles and H.P. Lovecraft in its descriptions of a small, weird desert town — has rocketed up the iTunes ratings list to claim the number one most downloaded spot.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Sat August 31, 2013

The Rise And Fall Of Slackers

iStock

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:15 am

As we pause this Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Great American Worker, we can't help but wonder: Whatever happened to the Great American Slacker?

It wasn't that long ago that slackers ruled the earth. OK, maybe ruled is a bit over the top because slackers, by definition, didn't really rule — or try very hard or take full responsibility. Whatever. But they sure were omnipresent there for a while.

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Recipes
5:57 am
Sat August 31, 2013

This Pork Loin Sandwich Starts With Happy Pigs

Matt Jennings' pork loin sandwich.
Catherine Welch NPR

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

It's the time of year when people are flocking to their farmer's market seeking out fresh fruits and vegetables for the summer picnic basket. But what about meat for the sandwich? One Rhode Island chef collects all of his ingredients at the farmer's market, including the meat, to make the perfect pork loin sandwich.

Providence chef Matt Jennings' sandwich gets its start down a gravel road, around an old, red barn where a couple of light pink pigs roll in the mud to keep themselves cool in the midday heat.

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Author Interviews
5:03 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Questions For Hugh Howey, Author Of 'WOOL'

Hugh Howey self-published the original WOOL novella in 2011. It has since grown to become a best-selling phenomenon.
Amber Lyda

After a varied career as a computer repairman and yacht captain, Hugh Howey turned his hand to writing. He'd self-published several novels and stories when the sci-fi dystopia WOOL, originally just a novella, found sudden runaway success in 2011. Howey found himself writing sequel after sequel to keep up with reader demand — the latest volume, Dust, was released in August.

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The Salt
3:06 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Don't Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Without meaning to, I seem to have sparked a "small #chickensh*tstorm," as food writer Michael Ruhlman put it, with my recent post about why you shouldn't wash your raw poultry. The strong, even vituperative responses to the post surprised me. I didn't anticipate that Americans would be quite so passionate about poultry hygiene.

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All Tech Considered
2:56 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Call Me, Haiti? One Man's Quest To Skype Around The World

YouTube

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:59 am

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:08 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Not My Job: Pianist Emanuel Ax Takes A Quiz On Axe Body Spray

Lisa Marie Mazzucco Emanuel Ax

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 9:56 am

This week we're recording at Tanglewood — the outdoor music venue in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts — and we thought it would be a good time to talk with classical pianist Emanuel Ax, who has won seven Grammy awards and recorded with the world's greatest orchestras.

We've invited Ax to play a game called "You make men irresistible to women!" Three questions about Axe body spray.

Art & Design
2:44 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

British Designer Ozwald Boateng's Dream To Dress Africa

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am

Designer Ozwald Boateng became the first black designer on London's prestigious Savile Row. Since then, he's made quite the name for himself; his tailored suits cost as much as 40 grand. Host Michel Martin speaks with the so-called 'Statesman of Cool' about his career, style and Ghanaian heritage. This segment initially aired June 12, 2013 on Tell Me More.

World
2:44 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Examining Jamaica's Homophobia

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 10:03 am

Jamaica is known for beaches and warm weather, but for many gay and lesbian people living on the island, it's a place of hatred. A documentary, The Abominable Crime shines a light on homophobia and anti-gay violence in Jamaica. Host Michel Martin finds out more from filmmaker Micah Fink and human rights activist Maurice Tomlinson. This segment initially aired July 22, 2013 on Tell Me More.

The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Heaney's Poems — Great, Dangerous, Healing — Live On

Poet Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1995, is seen here in a file photo from 1991, when he was a professor at Harvard. Heaney has died at age 74.
Joe Wrinn AP

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:57 pm

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Barbershop
10:22 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Does The NFL's Proposed Settlement Change The Game?

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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