Arts

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri September 6, 2013

After Tragedy, Lost Live On In 'Maid's Version' Of The Story

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

For readers new to Daniel Woodrell's work, The Maid's Version is a perfect introduction and an invitation to read more. It's a short book — almost a novella at a mere 164 pages — but there are lifetimes captured here. Woodrell sets the story in his beloved Missouri Ozarks, and he writes with clear-eyed observation, introducing the reader to characters whose lives are shaped as much by their rural landscape as by the moral ambiguities — the collective lies, constraints and collusions — that form the necessary glue holding their community together.

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Dentist, Heal Thy Sister (And Vice Versa)

Reach Out And ... What Was It Again? Josh Pais and Rosemarie DeWitt are a brother and sister with serious life changes to negotiate in Touchy Feely.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:40 pm

Read more
The Salt
4:41 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It'll Soon Be Hard To Know

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:52 am

Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.

Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.

Read more
Arts & Life
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What Elevated Kale From Vegetable To Cultural Identifier?

Of all the healthy foods you could eat, what inspires some people to wear kale T-shirts and sport kale stickers? Why do some people see kale as a part of their identities?

Arts & Life
4:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

'Smitten Kitchen' Author On Learning To Love Kale

Food blogger Deb Perelman was initially a kale skeptic — until this Kale Salad With Pecorino And Walnuts changed her mind.
Deb Perelman

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Kale has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Once relegated to the sidelines as a mere garnish, the green now appears on 400 percent more restaurant menus than it did four years ago.

But not everyone has bought into the gospel of the vitamin- and mineral-rich green. Even Deb Perelman, who writes the blog and cookbook Smitten Kitchen, was initially a kale skeptic.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:09 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Qwerty Can Be Flirty, If We're In '50s France

Ses Doigts, Sont Adroits: Deborah Francois proves adept with the titular typewriter in Populaire.
Jair Sfez The Weinstein Co.

Devotees of '50s Hollywood comedies could have a great time at Populaire, an intentionally lightweight ode to romance and, uh, typing. But the way to enjoy this French souffle is to concentrate on the scrupulously retro music, costumes and set design, not on the musty fairy-tale script.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Mommy Issues, Or: It's Always Sonny In Cougartown

It's a family film: Xavier Samuel and Robin Wright play one of two intergenerational couples at the center of Anne Fontaine's Adore, a film that dares to ask: "Does it count as a mommy issue if you're sleeping with her lifelong best friend?"
Exclusive Media

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:48 am

Overused and much misused, the word "provocative" has become a double-edged sword, especially when it's swung in the direction of independent cinema. At its best, the genuinely provocative film — off the top of my head, anything by Bunuel, Shaun of the Dead, Holy Motors -- shocks in order to expand our vision of the world it encompasses. At its most dispiriting, it's an exercise in cheap thrillage, designed to goose a presumptively stuffy bourgeois audience while positioning a director as some sort of iconoclast.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:46 am
Thu September 5, 2013

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:43 pm

Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us in our beds. But this relatively new arrangement is creating issues for cats and the people who live with them.

John Bradshaw has studied the history of domesticated cats and how the relationship between people and cats has changed. He's the author of the new book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, which is a follow-up to his book Dog Sense.

Read more
Movies
9:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Autism: Film Shows Education Challenges For Young Adults And Families

Best Kept Secret is a film that follows a group of young adults with autism during their last year of high school. Host Michel Martin speaks with filmmaker Samantha Buck and Janet Mino, a special education teacher.

The Salt
9:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Fad Diets Will Seem Even Crazier After You See This

The 7-Day Color Diet: An attempt to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, this diet requires followers to eat foods of just a single color each day. It ends with a day in which you "eat the rainbow," so to speak. Here's Gonot's cheeky take on orange day.
Stephanie Gonot Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:52 am

On one level, it's easy to understand the allure of a fad diet: Eat this, not that and you'll lose weight, guaranteed. Who doesn't want an easy way to shed unwanted pounds?

Read more
Theater
8:58 am
Thu September 5, 2013

In Small Spaces, Theater-Makers Are Telling Big Stories

Talk Of The Town: Mia Vallet and Joe Tippett star in Ashville, the newest of the five-show Hill Town Plays cycle from playwright Lucy Thurber. Currently being staged by a consortium of New York theater companies, it's just one of several large-scale stage projects on schedules this fall.
Sandra Coudert

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:44 pm

Monologist Mike Daisey has a new story to tell, and if you want to hear it, then you'd better settle in. It's going to take a month to get through it.

In one sense, All the Faces of the Moon, starting Sept. 5 at the Public Theater in New York, is a collection of 29 different monologues, which Daisey will perform consecutively and for one night only. Each piece has its own narrative, so even if they see just one installment, audiences can have a complete experience.

Pull back, though, and the project becomes a single massive opus — one that runs about 44 hours.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

I Am Not The Walrus

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On stage right now we have Raya Elias-Pushett and Jonathan Firestone.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Raya, you are visiting from Florida.

RAYA ELIAS-PUSHETT: Yes. That's correct.

EISENBERG: Where do you live in Florida?

ELIAS-PUSHETT: I live in Aventura, which is Miami-ish.

EISENBERG: Miami-ish. Got it. OK. And you are there for college?

ELIAS-PUSHETT: Well, I'm from Aventura but I go to the University of Florida. Go Gators.

EISENBERG: Oh, nice. OK. Go Gators. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Charming Old Moviehouse

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WYNC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up, we'll find out if Jonathan Coulton is the walrus or the egg man in a game where we desecrate yet another Beatles' tune. Plus, we'll find out how much NPR's quiz show master Peter Sagal knows about his coworkers. But joining us right now are JJ Orgera and Justin Sheen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Justin, if you could live in the fictional space of any television show, which one would you like to go into?

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Peter Sagal: The Oddly Informative Quiz Show Host

Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg chats with Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal onstage at The Bell House in Brooklyn, N.Y., about how to host the perfect public radio game show.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 3:59 pm

  • Bonus 1: Peter Sagal reveals his inner (and outer) nerd
  • Bonus 2: Peter Sagal on rebellion, motorcycles and parenting

Read more
Krulwich Wonders...
6:33 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Wild Things Hanging From Spruce Trees

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:45 am

Stanley Kunitz, one of our great poets, planted a spruce tree next to his house in Provincetown, Mass., and over the years that tree attracted some tenants, a family of garden snakes. I didn't know garden snakes climb trees, especially needly ones like a spruce, but they do.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:03 am
Thu September 5, 2013

We're All Completely Alone: A Chat With Novelist Kevin Maher

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:15 pm

A father's illness, a girlfriend's mental breakdown and abuse by a priest, all set against a background of class conflict and nationalist tensions: Jim, the 14-year-old protagonist of The Fields, faces catastrophe after catastrophe. But Kevin Maher's debut novel is hardly dour. Instead, the jokes — simultaneously funny and brave — never stop coming.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:25 am
Thu September 5, 2013

'Winter's Bone' Author Revisits A Tragedy In His Ozarks Hometown

Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone -- a dark family saga set in the Ozarks — was adapted into a film in 2010. Woodrell returned to his hometown of West Plains, Mo., about 20 years ago and has been writing there ever since.
Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:42 pm

The Ozarks mountain town of West Plains, Mo., is the kind of town where a person can stand in his front yard and have a comfortable view of his past.

"My mom was actually born about 150 or 200 feet that way, and my grandfather's house is I guess 200 yards that way," says Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone, and most recently, The Maid's Version.

Read more
The Salt
3:05 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

A Farm-To-Table Delicacy From Spain: Roasted Baby Pig

Roel Basalm Alim, a cook at Restaurante Botín, displays a plate of cochinillo asado, or roast suckling pig.
Lauren Frayer/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 4:52 pm

On the windswept plateau where Madrid is perched, it's too dry to raise cattle and most crops. So pork has long been a mainstay, from jamón ibérico and charcuterie tapas to stews of pigs' ears and entrails.

But when locals want a really special treat, they go for an entire piglet roasted whole — head, hooves and all — on an oak wood fire.

Read more
Ask Me Another
2:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Mind In The Guttural

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:25 am

Get ready to give your mind and your mouth a workout. In this game led by host Ophira Eisenberg, all the answers have a guttural "ch" sound in them. For instance, the painter that had an eye for sunflowers but cut off his left earlobe is Vincent Van Gogh.

Plus, Jonathan Coulton concludes the game with a version of The Beatles' "Help!" that is also quite guttural.

Read more
Ask Me Another
2:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Mister-y Men

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:25 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Mind in the Gutteral Scott Bergeron; from All in the Cards, Melissa Kalwanaski; from Charming Old Moviehouse Justin Sheen; from I Am Not the Walrus, Jonathan Firestone; and from Down With O.P.P, Stacey Molski.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm going to ask our puzzle guru Art Chung to take us out.

Read more
Ask Me Another
2:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Down With 'O.P.P.'

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:25 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Up next are contestants Stacey Molski and Dan Welch.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well, hello, Dan, Stacey. Dan, are you a trivia player?

DAN WELCH: Occasionally. Yes.

EISENBERG: Do you have a specialty?

WELCH: A little bit of everything, I hope.

EISENBERG: A little bit of everything. OK. That's good. That's going to help you. Stacey?

STACEY MOLSKI: Same.

EISENBERG: Little bit of everything?

MOLSKI: Yeah, a little bit of everything.

Read more
Ask Me Another
2:49 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

All In The Cards

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:25 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We've got our next two contestants - Melissa Kawlanaski and Lisa Richter.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Melissa, what is your card game of choice?

MELISSA KALWANASKI: Poker, I guess.

EISENBERG: Poker is a good one. Yeah, I like that. You play a little poker?

KALWANASKI: I won a small tournament once.

EISENBERG: Really? How small?

KALWANASKI: Like 20 people.

EISENBERG: What did you win?

KALWANASKI: Two hundred dollars.

EISENBERG: That's real money.

KALWANASKI: Yeah.

Read more
Book Reviews
11:30 am
Wed September 4, 2013

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

The main character of Alice McDermott's Someone grew up in 1920s and '30s New York.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 1:27 pm

Endurance, going the distance, sucking up the solitude and the brine: I'm not talking about the glorious Diana Nyad and her instantly historic swim from Cuba to Key West, but of the ordinary heroine whose life is the subject of Alice McDermott's latest novel, Someone. "Ordinary" is a word that's used a lot to describe McDermott's characters, mostly Irish and working class, mostly un-heroic in any splashy way.

Read more
The Salt
10:37 am
Wed September 4, 2013

A Greener Way To Cool Your Foods On The Way To The Grocery Store

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 3:13 pm

Your produce and frozen foods could soon arrive at grocery stores in trucks that release fewer emissions. Researchers are developing a clean technology to keep your food cool while it travels.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:13 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Book News: Malala, Girl Shot By Taliban, Calls Books 'Weapons That Defeat Terrorism'

Malala Yousafzai, shown here in March 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for supporting education rights for girls.
T. Mughal EPA/Landov

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

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages