Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 6:16 am
Ann Leary's latest book is The Good House.
I tend to read funny books when I'm happy and tragic books when I'm sad, but when I'm truly depressed, when I want to be fully immersed in the horrible splendor of the most desperate human suffering, I always return to Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.
On a Virginia plantation in 1852, a young house slave tends to her ailing mistress, creates exquisite paintings and plans her escape. In 2004 New York, an ambitious young lawyer works night and day on the biggest case of her promising career.
Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl, intertwines these women's narratives in a story of art and injustice.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-letter word that ends a familiar two-word phrase. You will be given the first word of the phrase. You provide the three-letter word that ends it. And the three letters in your answer will always be found, in some order, inside the first word. For example, given "Arctic," you would say "Air."
In Teddy Wayne's new novel, YouTube sensation Jonny Valentine has the sugar-sweet pipes of a teen heartthrob. But he also has a controlling manager-mom, a missing father, a retinue of people who work for him and a record label that's leaning on him to move the merchandise — fast.
A reminder that our Three-Minute Fiction writing contest ends tomorrow night at 11:59PM EST. The challenge this time around, chosen by novelist and judge Mona Simpson, is to write a story in the form of a voicemail message.
Two feet of snow can be a major inconvenience. We feel for you, friends in the Northeast. To help you work through that serious snow surplus, we shuffled through our virtual recipe box for snow cuisine.
It's like being given lemons and making lemonade, though you definitely don't want to be doing anything with lemon-colored snow you find outside.
This week, Wait Wait comes to you from the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Turns out, singer Erykah Badu was a student at the high school for the performing arts directly across the street. We're guessing she used to gaze across the street and say to herself: "Someday I'm going to be in a theater that's not yet built, performing on a public radio news quiz." And today, that dream comes true.
Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that what's generally referred to — often disdainfully — as "women's fiction" (not quite literature, not quite romance, definitely not Fifty Shades of Grey) is really a catch-all category into which almost any literary genre will fit.
Laurence Olivier, whose interpretations of Shakespeare's signature roles were often considered definitive, adapted several of those roles for film. He wrote and directed widely praised versions of Hamlet, Henry V and Richard III.
Karen Russell has a new short-story collection out, her first book since 2011's best-selling Swamplandia! The stories range from senior citizen vampires sucking lemons and wondering about their future, to a war veteran whose wounds are both locked up inside, and bright and bold across his body.
When Sampson Davis was in high school, he and two of his friends made a pact that they would someday become doctors. All three of them did. Along with those friends — and now fellow doctors — George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt, Davis co-authored a 2003 book called The Pact, about that promise and the way it shaped their lives.
Cristobal Balenciaga was known as a perfectionist, especially when it came to sleeves. Blume says, "It was perhaps a sign of real personal attention if you were one of the rare clients that he had lunch with, and at the end of the lunch he ripped out [your] sleeve and reset it."
Credit Courtesy Balenciaga Archives
Balenciaga debuted his baby doll dress in 1958. Blume writes, "all women benefited — and benefit still — from the principal achievement of [Balenciaga's] 1950s lines: the elimination of a tight nipped-in waist and the smoother, more yielding silhouette."
Credit Richard Drew / AP
Balenciaga hired Alexander Wang as its new creative director in December 2012. While the fashion house's namesake was known for staying out of the public eye, Wang's public image is very much a part of his designs.
In the early '80s, Italy's Taviani brothers, Paolo and Vittorio, made one of the true modern masterpieces, TheNight of the Shooting Stars. Set in the last days of World War II, when Germans laid mines all over Tuscan villages and Fascists loyal to Mussolini killed their own countrymen, it was a very cruel film.
Who are you rooting for this season? If it's the Phoenix Sins, then watch out--your starting lineup may include sloth, gluttony, envy and pride. Puzzle guru John Chaneski has taken the names of U.S. pro sports teams and swapped out a vowel for the letter "i" to imagine some hilarious team names you might hesitate to wear proudly on a jersey.
"He played Rick in Casablanca, and it's also one stroke over par in golf." Crossword puzzlers will delight in this game's clues, which appear to be about two very different things, but the answer to which is, in fact, the same. If you knew the answer to the clue above was "Bogey," this game will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
You remember the chorus to Jimi Hendrix' famous song "Purple Haze": "S'cuse me while I kiss this guy." No? You caught us. This game, led by guest musician John Roderick, is made of often-misheard lyrics, known as "mondegreens." Get your karaoke voice ready, because you'll want to sing along with these answers.
You know how some actors seem to be in every movie? Some literally are. Try to name a movie that doesn't star Michael Caine, Anthony Hopkins, or Donald Sutherland. You cannot! In this game led by host Ophira Eisenberg, we give you a list of films, and you must determine which silver fox starred in what.
In this Ask Me One More final round, John Chaneski names a world city, and contestants must decide whether or not it is its nation's capital. Former geography bee champions and map enthusiasts, rejoice!
If you call in the next ten minutes, we'll throw in an extra-special trivia game hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle guru John Chaneski about those fabulous late-night commercials selling products that you must buy right now! Operators are standing by.
"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team--the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.
This past weekend, a surprising little movie topped the box office over pop-action juggernaut Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and the Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook.
Warm Bodies is a zombie romance brought to you by the man behind the recent cancer comedy 50/50; clearly, director and screenwriter Jonathan Levine has an interest in genre bending, and this latest flick is equal parts Night of the Living Dead and Romeo and Juliet. It's told through the eyes of R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie living in an airport.
There's a sequence early in the laughable drama The Playroom that epitomizes everything wrong with it: With her parents out of the house, 16-year-old Maggie Cantwell (Olivia Harris), the eldest of four latchkey kids, sneaks into the garage with her boyfriend on a determined quest to lose her virginity. While the two fumble around clumsily on the floor, Maggie's youngest brother, Sam (Ian Veteto), sits outside the garage door, trying to sew a merit badge onto his shirt but struggling to thread the needle.
Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 6:14 pm
In the opening sequence of The Sorcerer and the White Snake, two monks step through a giant gate and find themselves in a new world — one made entirely of computer-generated images. Only Fahai (Jet Li) and his disciple Neng Ren (Zhang Wen) are human.
"Don't believe everything you see," the older man warns.
The new road-trip comedy Identity Thief — about a guy who confronts a woman who's wrecking his credit rating — is such a catalog of missed opportunities, it probably makes sense just to list them.
The setup: Sandy Patterson, who works in a Denver financial firm (and is not supposed to be mentally challenged), blithely hands over his Social Security number to a stranger on the phone who says his accounts have been compromised, at which point his accounts get compromised. No tricks, no subterfuge, no laughs — he's just stupid.
It took years for our fictions to consider the Holocaust narrative. And for an even longer time, a stunned silence hovered over the fate of "Hitler's children" — ordinary Germans during and after World War II. That embargo, too, is lifting, with a significant trickle of novels, movies and television dramas that imagine what it felt like to be the inheritors of the worst that humans can do to other humans.