Foodie fiction has become a veritable genre, devoted to deliciousness, to making your mouth water, to making you feel suddenly, irrevocably starved — and to making everything, sprouts and bologna included, an aphrodisiac. But what happens when enough is enough? Or when, perhaps, you're on a diet, or a deserted island, or attempting celibacy, or learning to live without gluten? What happens when you're hungry for the kind of fiction that concerns food but isn't in love with food — and thereby won't make you hungry, or lustful, or both?
April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, Weekend Edition is talking with younger poets about why they chose to write poetry and why it's still important in our everyday lives. This week, we spoke to Bangladeshi-American poet Dilruba Ahmed.
Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 7:52 am
April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with new poetry releases? Here are four of this month's highlights — a new translation, a "best of" collection, a "collected works" worth revisiting and a camera-eye view of the world.
The Divine Comedy
The season premiere of Mad Men opened with John Ciardi's 1954 translation of Dante's Inferno:
Midway in our life's journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood.
O'Brien, pictured here with her parents, Lena and Michael, was born in Drewsboro, County Clare.
Credit / Edna O'Brien/Little, Brown and Co.
"Men are either lovers or brothers," says Edna O'Brien, pictured here with her husband, the writer Ernest Gebler, in London in 1959. The couple's marriage dissolved when O'Brien began to achieve literary success.
Credit Edna O'Brien/Little, Brown and Co.
O'Brien sits with her children, Carlo and Sasha Gebler, in 1959.
When Edna O'Brien wrote The Country Girls in 1960, the book was acclaimed by critics, banned by the Irish Censorship Board and burned in churches for suggesting that the two small-town girls at the center of the book had romantic lives. Oh, why be obscure? Sex lives.
April is National Poetry Month. And throughout the month, WEEKEND EDITION is speaking with younger poets about the importance of poetry in daily life. This morning, we hear from translator and poet Kazim Ali.
Tom Hanks is one to watch at Tuesday's Tony nominations; he's making his Broadway debut in Norah Ephron's final play, <em>Lucky Guy</em>.
Credit Joan Marcus
Fred (Cory Michael Smith) and Holly (Emilia Clarke) in a scene from the recent Broadway adaptation of Truman Capote's <em>Breakfast at Tiffany's</em>. The show, which received a slew of negative reviews, closed after only 38 performances.
Nominations for the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual honors, will be announced April 30. Among the shows eligible: loud London transplants like Matilda the Musical, a new play by David Mamet, a revival of David Mamet, two revivals of Clifford Odets and a revival of the '70s musical Pippin.
Lots of Hollywood stars have made the trek to Broadway this season, ranging from Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Tom Hanks in Norah Ephron's last play, Lucky Guy.
Chris Columbus (left) is a producer, director and screenwriter whose films include <em>The Goonies </em>and<em> Gremlins.</em> Ned Vizzini (right) is the author of books for young adults, including <em>It's Kind of a Funny Story.</em>
Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor Walker were suspicious from the first. They may be young — Cordelia is 15, Brendan is 12 and Eleanor is 8 — but they have enough worldly experience to know that when a real estate agent says a place is charming and rustic, she means that it's small and has wild bears in the backyard. So when the siblings first hear about the house at 28 Sea Cliff Avenue in San Francisco, they're skeptical. And their caution is quite warranted; the Kristoff House, as it's called, turns out to hold secrets, magic, skeleton pirates and a behemoth who looks like Mick Jagger.
After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.
Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Channel.
"Any show that's any good is much better a month later," Davie Hyde Pierce says of Broadway critics who only show up the first night. "And if it's been done right, it's way better a year later, but such is life."
Actor, singer and comedian David Hyde Pierce is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Niles Crane on the long-running TV series Frasier. He's also a Tony-winning actor for his role in Curtains. As a child, Pierce began in classical music as a pianist, but one summer, that all changed.
Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.
I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.
If a good voice is genetic, it's likely Barbra Streisand got hers from her mother. Streisand's mother was too shy to ever perform professionally, but she had a lyric soprano and would sing at bar mitzvahs in their Brooklyn neighborhood when Streisand was a girl.
And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your tweet poems. Today's first poem is from artist and writer Susan Crane of Longmont, Colorado. Here she is.
This has been a difficult year for The Office. There are only three episodes left after "Paper Airplanes," which aired Thursday night, and where 30 Rock rallied as it headed to the finish, The Office has seemed lost, particularly by devoting substantial time to world-building Dwight's beet farm, a remnant of a failed spin-off effort.
The Broadway musical <em>Matilda</em> put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Credit Joan Marcus
Anthony Warlow as Oliver Warbucks and Lilla Crawford as Annie in the recent Broadway revival of <em>Annie</em>. The show is almost a version of <em>Oliver!</em> in drag, Mondello said in his first-ever commentary for <em>All Things Considered.</em>
Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.
While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly29 years ago.
Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.
Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.
<em>Mad Men </em>creator Matthew Weiner was also a writer and producer on <em>The Sopranos </em>for a time.
Credit Michael Yarish / AMC
<em>Mad Men'</em>s sixth season, which premiered April 7, revolves around (from left) Henry Francis (Christopher Stanley), Bobby Draper (Mason Vale Cotton), Betty Francis (January Jones), Gene Draper (Evan and Ryder Londo), Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka), Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) and Don Draper (Jon Hamm).
The sixth season of AMC's Mad Men, which premiered April 7, jumps forward in time a few months from where the fifth season concluded. The first episode of the season comes to a close on New Year's Day 1968. That date was designed to set the tone for the entire season.
That year, says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is, "as far as I can tell, in the top two or three worst years in U.S. history."
And now the latest in our series Muses and Metaphor. We are celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poems that you've been sending us via Twitter. Today we hear from Sarah Jones of Seattle. She recently moved from Los Angeles with her husband and two sons and says her family made it just in time to see the cherry trees blossom. Here she is.
Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.
The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.
Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.
When Pippin opened in 1972, it was a sensation. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who was coming off his Academy Award-winning film version of Cabaret, it was a showbiz triumph of jazz hands, sexy dancing and theatrical magic.