NPR Staff

Writer Annie Proulx won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Shipping News, and her short story "Brokeback Mountain" became a Hollywood blockbuster — but her new novel is her most ambitious work yet. It's called Barkskins, and to say it's about deforestation undersells the book's drama, blood and epic sweep.

Ahead of the 2016 Tony Awards, it seems fair to make a few educated guesses. First: This stands to be the most widely watched Tonys in recent memory, thanks to a little show called Hamilton and its record-breaking 16 nominations. Second: Even fans of that beloved musical are going to be a little on edge — since, in a few of those categories, the show's stars are up against one another.

Catch up with these interviews from NPR's election coverage of the primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and California, done in collaboration with WNYC and KQED.

John Podesta, Chairman Of Clinton Campaign

On how to animate voters

Google's philosophy about building a successful workforce is based on a simple assumption: people are fundamentally good. So, Google tries to give each of their 62,000 employees as much autonomy and ownership of the work they do as possible. That means taking power away from managers, making each employee a shareholder, and giving everyone direct access to Google's top executives. How's it working out?

Former President Jimmy Carter may be on the brink of celebrating the birthday wish he made last year: the global eradication of Guinea worm disease. This year, there are only two confirmed cases, compared to 3.5 million a year in the 1980s. It's a medical milestone that took a nearly 30-year effort by the Carter Center and its partners.

Carter spoke to NPR's Robert Siegel about the fight against Guinea worm. An edited version of the interview follows.


Interview Highlights

You must be gratified to see Guinea worm almost gone.

How do you cover an incomprehensible disaster and make people connect with the real lives behind the headlines?

David Gilkey knew how.

His photos have helped define our coverage of global health and development at Goats and Soda. They have a tremendous warmth and humanity that reflects his own compassionate heart and soul.

When you look up at a starry night sky, it may make you feel small and insignificant — but it's also beautiful and awe inspiring. That's the feeling author Virginia Heffernan thinks we should be getting when we behold the Internet.

"Google organizes all the world's information," Heffernan tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "There's no way that one small person in our small, fathom-long bodies, could imagine containing all that information."

"Broomgate." Yes, that's really what some people are calling it.

OK, it may not quite rise to the level of a "-gate" scandal, but it is bringing about some big changes in the sport of curling.

But before we get into what exactly the controversy is about, it's necessary to give a little background on curling.

Yaa Gyasi's highly anticipated debut novel, Homegoing, follows two branches of a family tree as it grows over three centuries. Half-sisters Effia and Esi were born in different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman (though the British soldiers call their local women "wenches" instead of wives) and she goes to live in the regal comfort of the Cape Coast Castle, which is also used to hold slaves before they were sent across the Atlantic.

Olga Bell is a classically trained pianist who has ventured deeply into the world of electronica — and now, on her new album, Tempo, into dance music.

The NPR Politics team is back with its roundup of political news, where they look ahead to the batch of primary states on June 7, a date that could lock up the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton.

The team also talks about Trump's rough week, as he deals with allegations against Trump University and his donations to various veterans groups.

On the podcast:

  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders
  • White House Correspondent Tamara Keith

When it comes to politics, it's voters' life experiences that count, not just the experiences of the candidates they'll vote for.

What national events have shaped your political views? And how do those similar events play out within and between generations?

NPR's Robert Siegel put those questions to Americans in three different age groups: 25-year-olds, 45-year-olds and 65-year-olds. They are from different parts of the country and across the political spectrum.

While some of Washington's most prominent Republican leaders are still struggling over whether to endorse Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the call to do so last month — as soon as Trump became the likely nominee.

This election has brought a bitter primary season: candidates at each other's throats; a Democratic Party in crisis. But it's nothing new.

Eight years ago, the Democratic Party was recovering after a brutal primary between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Now, the party has found itself in a similar place.

This week on For the Record: Lessons learned from the 2008 Democratic primary, with two political operatives who lived through it.

At the beginning of Stephanie Danler's new Sweetbitter, there's an image of a girl, Tess, driving over the George Washington Bridge. We don't really know much about her. She's come to New York City to leave her past behind — a common experience. She falls into a job at a landmark restaurant, loosely modeled on Union Square Cafe.

When we talked with British adventurer Levison Wood back in 2015, he had recently completed an epic, nine-month journey, along the length of the Nile River. When we asked him where he was headed next, Wood told us he did have another big expedition planned but that it was "top-secret."

Donna Engeman enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981. About two years later, she left after she got pregnant with her first-born, a son called Patrick. She left having achieved the rank of specialist and having found the love of her life, her husband, Army Chief Warrant Officer John W. Engeman.

In addition to Patrick, they had a daughter, Nicole McKenna.

By the time his first memoir, Fresh Off The Boat, came out in 2013, Eddie Huang was really hitting his stride. His New York restaurant, Baohaus — which serves gua bao, or Taiwanese hamburgers — was doing really well. His TV show, Huang's World, was taking him all over the world.

Some people may only remember Vice Adm. James Stockdale as independent presidential candidate Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. His opening statement of a disastrous performance during the vice presidential debate — "Who am I? Why am I here?" — made him a punchline on late night TV.

But Stockdale's legacy far surpasses any failed political endeavors. In 1965, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam and he was taken as a prisoner of war at Hoa Lo. He would be a POW for nearly eight years.

The politics team is back with its weekly roundup of political news. The team discusses why we can now say officially that Trump is the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, why we're still talking about Hillary Clinton's emails and why everything happening now goes straight back to the '90s.

On the podcast:

  • National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson
  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders
  • Congressional Reporter Susan Davis

In the late 1980s, Moby was drawn to what he calls "the dirty mecca" of New York City. As a DJ and electronic musician, he was a staple of the rave scene: massive crowds dancing until dawn, probably under the influence of a substance or two, all moving as one to his songs.

There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.

It's the topic of the book The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. Author Anthony Ocampo spoke about the book with Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

Sherman Alexie's new children's book stars Thunder Boy Smith, a little boy who was named after his dad. "People call him Big Thunder," the boy says of his father. "That nickname is a storm filling up the sky. People call me Little Thunder. That nickname makes me sound like a burp or a fart." Over the course of Thunder Boy Jr., the boy emerges from his dad's shadow to become his own person.

In the 1980s, Raymond Douglas had been living in Ireland when a priest invited him for a drink. This was not an invitation to partake in Holy Communion. Rather, the priest — whom Douglas, then 18, had come to know as the unofficial chaplain at his school — had invited Douglas out to a party.

We often associate climate change with too much water — the melting ice caps triggering a rise in sea levels. Now a new World Bank report says we also need to think about too little water — the potable sort.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Novelist Joe Hill has a pronouncement to make: "The world is really divided into two kinds of people. People who adore plague novels and wimps."

Classical music fans know the names Mendelssohn and Schumann. Chances are, Felix and Robert leap to mind — but Felix's sister Fanny was also a composer, and so was Robert Schumann's wife Clara. Those are just two composers featured in Anna Beer's new book, Sounds and Sweet Airs: The Forgotten Women of Classical Music.

On Thursday, Candace Payne livestreamed a video on Facebook. It was simple, short — a one-cut number that showed her trying out a toy she'd just bought from a local department store. Pretty standard, right?

Well, by Saturday that little video had been viewed more than 105 million times ... and counting. It has already beaten Buzzfeed for the most-watched Facebook Live video of all time.

If you somehow haven't seen it yet yourself, go ahead now. We'll wait.

The politics team is back to discuss the state of the race on the GOP and Democratic side, and this time it's in front of a live studio audience. Listen along as your favorite political nerds talk about what happened this week in the campaign, look ahead to the conventions, and share their own stories from the campaign trail.

On the podcast:

  • Campaign Reporter Sam Sanders
  • Campaign Reporter Sarah McCammon
  • Campaign Reporter Asma Khalid

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