Lynn Neary

Lynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent and a frequent guest host often heard on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In her role on the Arts desk, Neary reports on an industry in transition as publishing moves into the digital age. As she covers books and publishing, she relishes the opportunity to interview many of her favorite authors from Barbara Kingsolver to Ian McEwan.

Arriving at NPR in 1982, Neary spent two years working as a newscaster during Morning Edition. Then, for the next eight years, Neary was the host of Weekend All Things Considered. In 1992, she joined the cultural desk to develop NPR's first religion beat. As religion correspondent, Neary covered the country's diverse religious landscape and the politics of the religious right.

Over the years Neary has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award, an Ohio State Award, an Association of Women in Radio and Television Award and the Gabriel award. For her reporting on the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform, Neary shared in NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

A Fordham University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Neary thinks she has the ideal job and suspects she is the envy of English majors everywhere.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

Tourtiere is a savory, spiced meat pie, which both French- and English-speaking Canadians love to serve around the holidays.
martiapunts iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:21 pm

A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 23, 2011.

If you happen to spend Christmas Eve in Canada β€” especially Quebec β€” you might be lucky enough to be invited to a festive dinner after midnight Mass. The feast is an old tradition from France called reveillon, and it's something to look forward to after a long day of fasting.

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Book News & Features
3:46 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Long-Lost Letter That Inspired 'On The Road' Style Has Been Found

A stream of consciousness letter Neal Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac helped inspire the style of On The Road. The original manuscript of the first draft of Jack Kerouac's best-seller is shown above.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 8:15 am

When Jack Kerouac's On the Road was first published in 1957 no one had ever seen anything quite like it. As it turns out, that stream of consciousness style that Kerouac made famous owes a huge debt to a letter written by his friend Neal Cassady. Among Kerouac scholars and fans it became known as the "Joan Anderson letter." It was missing for 65 years, but it has been found and will be auctioned next month.

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Book News & Features
2:30 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Amazon, Hachette Reach Agreement Over E-Book Prices

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:31 am

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

Transcript

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Remembrances
12:47 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Tom Magliozzi, Popular Co-Host Of NPR's 'Car Talk,' Dies At 77

Tom Magliozzi's laugh boomed in NPR listeners' ears every week as he and his brother, Ray, bantered on Car Talk.
Courtesy of Car Talk

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 4:23 pm

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

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Book News & Features
2:27 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:01 am

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

Transcript

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Books
7:13 am
Thu October 9, 2014

French Novelist Patrick Modiano Wins Literature Nobel

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We heard an announcement a short time ago from Peter Englund of the Swedish Academy, which chooses the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Author Interviews
1:15 am
Wed October 8, 2014

In 'Lila,' A Nomad Finds Solace And Love In The Arms Of A Preacher

Marilynne Robinson won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her novel Gilead.
Kelly Ruth Winter Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 10:22 am

When Marilynne Robinson finished writing her first novel, Housekeeping, she felt like she still had more to say about the characters. She says, "I just decided that I would outlive the impulse, you know. But then, after I finished [her second novel] Gilead, I had the same feeling that the characters were still with me and that there was much more that I knew about them than I had ever articulated to myself. And so I thought, 'Well, let's see what's here.' And two more books have come from that."

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Book News & Features
5:57 am
Sun October 5, 2014

For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Jane Smiley's previous books includeΓ‚ The Man Who Invented the Computer,Γ‚ Ten Days in the HillsΓ‚ andΓ‚ Private Life.
Michael Lionstar Couresty of Knopf

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 11:51 am

Author Jane Smiley has a fondness for dogs. She has a couple at her home in Carmel Valley, Calif., where she lives with her husband. One of those dogs, Fallon, has a special talent: He likes to sing. And Smiley likes to accompany him on a banjo she bought back in 1972 when she was living in Iowa.

Smiley spent 24 years in Iowa. She's been gone for a long time now, but something about the place still seems to pull on her imagination.

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Books
2:01 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Too Graphic? 2014 Banned Books Week Celebrates Challenged Comics

Repeat Offender: Dav Pilkey created artwork for Banned Books Week featuring his frequently complained-about hero, Captain Underpants.
Dav Pilkey

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:31 am

Comics and graphic books are flourishing these days β€” writers and illustrators are taking on increasingly sophisticated topics and children's authors are finding just the right balance between naughty and nice. But a number of the books have come under fire from critics who would like to see them banned from schools and libraries. That's why comics and graphic books are the focus of this year's Banned Books Week, an annual event that calls attention to challenged titles.

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Code Switch
2:24 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

Author Junot Diaz says the publishing industry must have uncomfortable conversations about diversity. The alternative, he believes, is "utter, agonizing silence."
Rick Reinhard Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children's books. Writer Daniel JosΓ© Older supports the campaign, but he doesn't think it goes far enough.

"We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too."

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Code Switch
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While 'Other'

The Dey House, a 140-year-old mansion, is home to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the oldest MFA writing programs in the country. Director Lan Samantha Chang β€” who attended the workshop as a student β€” has made it a priority to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds to the program.
Linda Kahlbaugh AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:46 pm

For many writers, a contract with one of the major publishing houses is the Holy Grail β€” and getting accepted to a prestigious Master of Fine Arts program may bring aspiring writers one step closer. But these elite writing programs have a history steeped in whiteness, and writers of color don't always feel welcome.

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Book News & Features
2:05 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Over 900 Authors Lend Their Names To A Letter Backing Hachette

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 4:57 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Book Your Trip
1:29 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Travel Disasters Bring Out The Best, The Worst ... And The Cannibalism

"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 12:41 pm

Author Sarah Lotz is terrified of flying, so naturally every time she gets on a plane she imagines the worst. "I imagine how it's going to smell if things start burning," she says. "I imagine the thunk of luggage falling out of the compartments at the top. ... I imagine it all in absolutely horrible detail."

All those horrible imaginings came in handy when Lotz was writing her new book The Three β€” the story of three children who are the only survivors of four separate plane crashes that occur in different parts of the world on the same day.

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Remembrances
4:01 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Writer Nadine Gordimer Captured Apartheid's Contradictions

In addition to her 15 novels, Nadine Gordimer authored several volumes of short stories and nonfiction.
Radu Sigheti Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:32 pm

South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, died Sunday at the age of 90. Gordimer merged the personal and political to create a compelling portrait of the injustice of life under apartheid.

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Book News & Features
2:11 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

In Dispute With Hachette, Amazon Aims New Volley At Authors

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 9:10 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. A fight between Amazon and the publishing company Hachette is getting nastier. Amazon suggested that while talks between the two companies continue, Hachette authors could get 100 percent of the sale price of their e-books. As NPR's Lynn Neary reports, it was an offer Hachette was quick to refuse.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Authors Take Opposite Sides On Hachette, Amazon Spat

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 8:43 am

You might think that all writers would be of the same mind about the dispute between Amazon and Hachette Publishing Company over the price of ebooks. Think again. This week two different sets of authors sent open letters to their "readers" urging them to take one side or the other in the ongoing controversy.

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Music News
6:01 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Almost Intermediate: Adults Learn Lessons In 'Late Starters Orchestra'

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 12:35 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

By our measure, Ari Goldman is a successful man. A former New York Times reporter turned college professor, he is deeply religious and a happily married husband and father. But for all of that, there was something missing in his life. Goldman yearned to play a musical instrument.

ARI GOLDMAN: The cello is sort of the music of my soul. It's the instrument that speaks most directly to me. I never thought that I would be able to play a cello.

(SOUNDBITE OF CELLO)

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Poetry
1:33 am
Fri June 20, 2014

How Rhythm Carries A Poem, From Head To Heart

Irish poet William Butler Yeats makes a recording for the radio. Scroll down to hear him read his poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."
Culture Club Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 1:15 pm

Poetry, perhaps more than any other form of writing, delves deep into emotions. And rhythm, from the haunting repetitions of "Annabel Lee" to the taunting questions of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," plays a big part in evoking those feelings.

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Author Interviews
2:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

From 'The Magic Tree House,' Kids Branch Out To Chapter Books

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:19 am

When Mary Pope Osborne wrote the first set of stories in the Magic Tree House series in 1992, she had a contract for four books, and she figured that would be it. But then she began getting letters from teachers, parents and kids.

"Those letters are priceless," she says. "I've memorized so many of them, like: 'Dear Mrs. Osborne, Your books almost made me smart!' or 'Dear Mrs. Osborne, I'm working on my own novel. ... It's not finished yet, it's scary, it's called The Septic System.'"

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Law
3:43 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Court OKs Universities' Quest To Turn To More Digital Copies Of Books

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:43 am

A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a group of authors, deciding in favor of a consortium of universities in a case that hinged on copyright law and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The universities had allowed Google to make digital copies of more than 10 million books so that they could be searchable by specific terms.

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Book News & Features
2:26 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Amazon's Pricing Dispute Sets Book Expo Buzzing

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 10:02 am

The dispute between retail giant Amazon and publisher Hachette was big news at Book Expo America. Writers, publishers and agents are wondering what the rift could mean for the future of books.

The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Angelou became Hollywood's first black female movie director on Nov. 3, 1971. She also wrote the script and music for Caged Bird, which was based on her best-selling 1969 autobiography. She had been a professional singer, dancer, writer, composer, poet, lecturer, editor and San Francisco streetcar conductor.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:11 pm

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Larry McMurtry Loves The West, But Knocks The Cowboy Off His High Horse

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:59 am

Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain β€” which was based on a short story.

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Book News & Features
3:40 am
Sat May 3, 2014

One NYC Indie Bookstore Survives By Being Small And Specialized

As bookstores both large and small close across the country, Posman Books is about to open its fourth store in Manhattan.
Harry Zernike Posman Books

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:11 pm

New York City's Posman Books is bucking a trend. Other booksellers β€” both independents and big chains like Barnes & Noble β€” are closing stores in Manhattan, but Posman is getting ready to open its fourth store in the city. It's one sign that some independent bookstores are managing to thrive despite the problems that have beset booksellers in recent years.

On a recent day, customers browsing at Posman Books in the Chelsea Market had a variety of needs: One was killing time before work, another was looking for a Mother's Day card, and yet another needed a new sketchbook.

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Book News & Features
1:23 am
Mon April 14, 2014

'Grapes Of Wrath' Is 75, But Its Depictions Of Poverty Are Timeless

Dust Bowl farmer drives a tractor with his son near Cland, N.M. (1938). Steinbeck writes: "The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects ... monsters raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country ... through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines."
Dorothea Lange Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:42 pm

Much has been said and written about the Dust Bowl, but if you want to get a visceral feel for how it all began and the way it affected the people who experienced it, you need go no further than the opening pages of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:

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All Tech Considered
3:11 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Printing Wikipedia Would Take 1 Million Pages, But That's Sort Of The Point

It would take more than 1,000 1,200-page volumes to contain the content of Wikipedia, but PediaPress has made an example volume to show what it might look like. "Our goal is to allow everyone to explore the physical dimensions of Wikipedia," says PediaPress founder Christoph Kepper.
PediaPress

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:55 pm

A German-based group called PediaPress is trying to raise enough money to make a print copy of all of Wikipedia. That's right, Wikipedia, the ever-evolving, always-changing, inherently digital encyclopedia of information gathered by contributors all over the world. To say this would be a massive project is an understatement.

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Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

'Sous Chef' Reveals The High-Adrenaline Dance Behind Your Dinner

Viktor Cap iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:03 pm

A restaurant kitchen at the peak of the dinner rush can be a crazy place β€” hot, crowded and filled with a kind of intense energy that some people, like Michael Gibney, thrive on. Gibney's been working in restaurants since he was young. In his new book, Sous Chef, Gibney tries to capture the rhythm of the kitchen by taking his readers through one day in the life of a fast-paced New York restaurant.

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Books
3:01 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Common Core Creates Opportunities For Publishers

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne with an opportunity for publishers. Some 45 states and the District of Columbia have now signed onto the new Common Core education standards. And that will draw in not just companies that make textbooks and teaching materials, but also publishers of children's books - novels, nonfiction, the kind of books people read for pleasure.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Pew Study: Many Technophiles Also Love Libraries

Julie Ball at a newly renovated computer lab at Shute Park Branch Library in Hillsboro, Oregon. The new lab is set to open on Saturday.
Benjamin Brink The Oregonian/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:30 pm

You might think that in a world of Google and Wikipedia, people who love technology wouldn't care much about the musty old local public library. But, according to a new report by the Pew Research Internet Project, you'd be wrong.

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Books News & Features
5:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

From Uganda To The Midwest, 'All Our Names' Draws Portraits Of Love

creacart iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

In his latest book, Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu explores the nature of loneliness, violence and love. Mengestu is known for his novels about the immigrant experience in this country, but this book, All Our Names, is something of a departure. Much of the story unfolds in Africa and there are two narrators: One is a young man who flees violence and revolution to seek refuge in America, the other is a white woman who has never left the Midwest.

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