Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:11 am
Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena.
Ditie, the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's transcendent novel, I Served the King of England, is described in the jacket copy as "a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel." I first crossed paths with him when I, myself, was working as a night porter in a deluxe Edinburgh hotel.
Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:41 am
As the ailing Nelson Mandela turned 95 this month, the international community celebrated his legacy and rooted for his recovery.
Just to the north in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, 89, is running for re-election this week. He's looking to extend his 33 years in power, which have been marked by authoritarian rule, economic collapse and international isolation.
The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.
Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.
Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.
On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."
In Egypt, protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi turned deadly Saturday, after Egyptian security forces launched the most violent crackdown yet on those demonstrators.
The Egyptian Health Ministry says around 80 people were killed — most of them in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which the deposed president hails, put the death toll at nearly twice that number. Hundreds more were injured.
During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.
Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.
It's been too long since we simply sat up and pointed out a few of the many new releases worth a set of ears. Luckily, the staff on weekends at All Things Considered thought the same. They invited me to sit down with host Jacki Lyden and play a few cuts for them.
Here's music from an elder statesman of piano, a trumpeter who understands creole music personally, a drummer who writes tunes with a payoff, and a singer in her early 20s with maturity and kick.
And as we mentioned earlier in the show, singer-songwriter J.J. Cale has died. If you're not familiar with his name, you've probably heard some of his music. He penned hits from the 1970s and '80s that were recorded by Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many others. The success of those songs gave him the freedom to release his own albums for more than four decades. NPR's Dan Bobkoff has this remembrance.
The film The Act of Killing is the most talked about movie of the year. It's a film that is both fiction and nonfiction. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talked to the old men in charge of the death squads in Indonesia in the 1960s that killed somewhere between 500,000 to 2 million civilians in the name of thwarting communism.
Why are these antiquated diseases on the rise again, and how strong is the threat of drug-resistant bacteria? Host Jacki Lyden talks to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga., about this trend in infectious diseases.
More than 1,000 inmates, many convicted of serious crimes, have escaped from a prison in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, the country's prime minister confirmed.
According to The Associated Press, it wasn't immediately clear if the jailbreak at Koyfiya prison was part of a larger series of protests taking place across the country on Saturday in response to the assassination on Friday of prominent political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was an outspoken opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 8:04 am
It always rains at least one day at the Newport Folk Festival, and because Newport started a whole day earlier this year, we got the downpour out of the way first. But that didn't stop folks from dancing and singing along to The Mountain Goats, JD McPherson, Blake Mills and many more.
Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:05 pm
Chef Albert Buitenhuis has been declared too fat to live in New Zealand, a country with one of the highest obesity rates in the developed world.
Immigration officials recently informed South African Buitenhuis that his work visa would not be renewed because, at 286 pounds, he falls short of what Wellington deems "an acceptable standard of health."
Lindy Boggs died Saturday morning. She was 97 years old, had served in Congress for close to 20 years and also as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, appointed by President Bill Clinton.
But those achievements, great as they are, do not begin to sum up the life and accomplishments of Lindy Boggs. As many of you know, she is part of our family at NPR: Her daughter is Cokie Roberts. And she has many friends here, as she does everywhere.
Sixty years after the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War, North Korea was celebrating 'Victory Day' with a show of military force that included goose-stepping soldiers, mobile missile launchers and armored columns.
Spain's Interior Minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, announced Saturday that the driver of a high-speed train that derailed this week, killing at about 80 people near the town Santiago de Compostela, has been detained on suspicion of negligent homicide.
Diaz said Francisco Jose Garzon Amo has been discharged from the hospital and taken to a police station, The Associated Press reports.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
A Florida gunman seized hostages and killed six people in an eight-hour standoff at an apartment complex that ended early Saturday when a SWAT team stormed the building and fatally shot the assailant.
The deadly incident occurred in Hialeah, a town just a few miles north of Miami. Police were quoted by The Associated Press as saying the bodies of three women and two men were found at the scene and that another man had been killed nearby. Two hostages were unharmed.
The top of this post was last updated at 9:45 p.m. ET:
About 80 people have been killed and hundreds injured in bloody clashes overnight in and around Cairo after protests escalated into violence, with supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi saying police shot at demonstrators.
NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports that Egypt's Ministry of Health has updated the number of dead to 80, with 792 injured.
It's summertime, and on weekend nights all across the country, that means demolition derby time - cars bashing cars for the pure thrill of it. Charles Lane from member station WSHU recently went to a demo on New York's Long Island, the legendary home of the demolition derby. He brought back this audio postcard.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Fire it up (unintelligible).
CHARLES LANE, BYLINE: A white four-door Chevy Impala. It's got graffiti writing down the side that says Misery Machine, and it's number 86.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Scott Simon is away. I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Cairo overnight, Egyptian police fired on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds more.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (chanting in foreign language)
Here's a great piece of travel writing, storytelling, mythmaking and hero worship — all rolled into one book with a near record-breakingly long title. It's by magazine writer Michael Paterniti of GQ, and it's called The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese.