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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Business
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The Nook Saved Barnes & Noble From Going The Way Of Borders?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Barnes & Noble Chairman and chief stockholder, Leonard Riggio, is looking into the possibility of buying the company's retail book business, but not the Nook, the e-book, the company had staked it future on.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That news comes as the company is set to release its third quarter earnings on Thursday. Barnes & Noble has already signaled the report will be disappointing, especially with the e-reader.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports on the future of the bookstore chain.

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Books News & Features
1:20 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Woody Guthrie's 'House Of Earth' Calls 'This Land' Home

The cover of House of Earth is an oil painting that Guthrie made in 1936 called In El Rancho Grande.
Courtesy HarperCollins

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:51 am

Woody Guthrie wrote thousands of songs in his lifetime — but as far as anyone knows, he only wrote one novel. Recently discovered, House of Earth is the story of a young couple living in the Texas Panhandle in the 1930s. They dream of building a house that will withstand the bitter winds and ever-present dust that constantly threaten the flimsy wooden shack they call home.

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All Tech Considered
2:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

Data gleaned from e-readers gives writers a new kind of feedback to take into consideration — or ignore.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.

Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."

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Books
1:24 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A Colorful Anniversary: The Caldecott Medal Turns 75

The Polar Express won the Caldecott Medal in 1986, and was turned into an animated movie with Tom Hanks in 2004.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 8:11 am

Some children's book illustrators might not have gotten a lot of sleep over the weekend. That's because they might have been wondering if this could be the year they win one of the grand prizes of children's literature: the Randolph Caldecott Medal.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott, which is given to the most distinguished children's picture book of the year. The winner is being named Monday morning at a meeting of the American Library Association.

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Books
2:07 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

'Fifty Shades' Is The One That Got Away. At Least From Me

Vintage Books

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Sometimes "the one that got away" is a book that was easy to overlook. A little gem of a first novel, or a memoir by an unknown writer that unexpectedly captured everyone's imagination.

But sometimes, it's the elephant in the room that you just haven't looked at yet. Everyone knows about it. It's one of the biggest sellers of all time. It's a cultural phenomenon — it's Fifty Shades of Grey. And I ignored it until I couldn't anymore.

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Books News & Features
1:49 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Now You're Talking! The Year's Best Book Club Reads

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 9:04 am

A young boy seeks justice. A young woman wants to stay alive. A friendship is tested. The child of a commune comes of age. A solitary man gives himself over to love. These are the bare actions underpinning the novels that I'm suggesting for book clubs this year. Some are first novels; others the work of well-known writers. Some might touch your heart; others might challenge the way you think. At least one will make you laugh — and a couple might make you cry. They are all good reads. And they are, above all, books you'll want to talk about with your friends.

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Books
1:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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Author Interviews
1:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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Books
2:48 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Independent Bookstores Find Their Footing

President Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia go shopping at a small bookstore, One More Page, in Arlington, Va. This is shaping up to be a better holiday season for independent booksellers than in past years.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 4:18 pm

In recent years, the start of the holiday shopping season has meant nothing but gloom for independent bookstores. But this year, the mood seems to be lifting, and a lot of booksellers are feeling optimistic. Even President Obama kicked off his Christmas shopping at a neighborhood bookstore in Northern Virginia.

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Books
3:08 am
Thu November 15, 2012

'Round House' Wins National Book Award For Fiction

Eric Miller AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:42 pm

The National Book Awards announced Wednesday night honored both longtime writers and new authors, from Louise Erdrich who won for her novel The Round House to Katherine Boo, who was honored for her debut nonfiction work, Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

Erdrich has been a highly regarded author for nearly 30 years. She'd been a finalist twice before but said being honored is "all the more meaningful when you're older ... because you don't know if your years of writing at your very best are behind you."

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Author Interviews
1:44 am
Tue November 13, 2012

'Testament Of Mary' Gives Fiery Voice To The Virgin

Scribner

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:36 pm

The Virgin Mary is one of the most familiar icons of Christianity. For centuries, artists have depicted her on everything from backyard statues of a rosy-cheeked innocent to paintings of magnificent Madonnas hanging in museums all over the world. But few writers have taken up her story or tried to create their own version of the events of her life.

Now, Irish writer Colm Toibin does just that. His novella, The Testament of Mary, raises questions about the life of Jesus' mother and the stories that laid the groundwork for the creation of a church.

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Author Interviews
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

'Smitten Kitchen' Takes The Fuss Out Of Cooking

Deb Perelman

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:26 pm

Think of the smallest kitchen you can imagine, and then take away a few square feet. That's Deb Perelman's New York kitchen. It's so small that the blogger, and now author, literally has to wedge herself between the stove and the refrigerator to cook.

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Business
3:33 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Random House, Penguin To Merge

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sandy overshadowed almost everything in yesterday and put the rest of it under water. But even with a massive storm underway the publishing industry could not ignore another big story: the merger of two of the biggest publishing houses in the business. The European conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin reached an agreement to consolidate.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

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Books News & Features
3:13 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Random House, Penguin Publishing Houses To Merge

Executives of the publishing giants Bertelsmann and Pearson announced on Monday that they will pursue a merger of their publishing houses, Random House and Penguin. The united publishing companies are set to become a large and influential force in publishing.

Books
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Publisher Sues Authors Who Don't Produce Manuscripts

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A lot of would-be professional writers dream of someday getting a book contract that includes an advance, enough money, paid upfront, to let them quit their day job and write full time.

Of course, those advances do come with an expectation that an author will actually write the book. The Penguin Publishing Group recently filed suit against a dozen authors who failed to produce manuscripts after getting an advances.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

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Books
1:30 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Put Down Your E-Reader: This Book's Better In Print

"For two days and nights, Odysseus was alone in the wild water. The sea was so rough that he couldn't see beyond the nearest wave. Over and over again, he thought he was going to die."
Neil Packer Candlewick Press

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 9:28 am

Most people who read a lot have gotten used to reading on a screen, whether it's a laptop, a tablet or an e-reader. Some say they prefer it to the experience of reading a heavy, awkward print version of the book. But every now and then, a book comes along that just seems to insist on being physical — something about it simply can't be transferred to the screen.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Renaissance CSI: Machiavelli-Da Vinci Detective Duo

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 4:39 pm

What would happen if two of the biggest names of the Renaissance — Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci — teamed up as a crime-fighting duo? That's the idea behind Michael Ennis' new historical thriller, The Malice of Fortune. The mystery novel pairs the ruthless political philosopher and the genius inventor and artist together as an unlikely detective team on the trail of a serial killer.

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Author Interviews
1:51 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Same Streets, Different Lives In 'NW' London

British novelist Zadie Smith is also the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. In her latest book, NW, she lays out a problem for readers: Do people get what they deserve?
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:57 am

Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.

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Author Interviews
1:32 am
Tue August 14, 2012

In The 'Shadow' Of Death, Stories Survive

Vaddey Ratner's novel is derived from her own experiences — she spent four years of her youth working in forced labor under the Khmer Rouge.
Kristina Sherk Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 3:00 am

When she was just 5 years old, Vaddey Ratner's comfortable and protected life as the child of an aristocratic Cambodian family came to an abrupt end, as Khmer Rouge soldiers entered the capital, Phnom Penh. They banged on the gates of the family compound and ordered them to leave — it was the start of the Khmer Rouge reign of terror, which left hundreds of thousands of Cambodians dead, including all of Ratner's family except her mother.

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Books News & Features
2:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
3:46 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:32 am

It's an election year, and that may be good news for those of us who like our summer reading: Laura Miller of Salon.com says a lot of publishing companies don't want to release all their best books in the fall because they'll have to compete with all that presidential campaign news. And that means more great books to choose from when the weather is hot.

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Books
2:15 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Perlutsky's 'Carnival Of Animals' Poems Meet Music

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Jack Prelutsky says when he was a child, teachers made poetry a chore rather than a pleasure. He grew up and became a poet writing verse for children, dozens of books. And this weekend, Prelutsky's poems will get some accompaniment from the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center here in Washington, D.C. He talked with NPR's Lynn Neary.

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Books
1:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1300

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:04 am

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

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Sports
2:42 am
Thu April 19, 2012

As NBA Playoffs Near, Teams Grapple With Injuries

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 5:39 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

There's one more week left in this lockout-shortened, action-packed NBA regular season and still it's anybody's guess which team will survive the playoffs and be crowned champion. You've got young, hungry teams, veteran teams trying to hang onto their legacies, and everywhere, it seems, injured star players. NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Lynn.

NEARY: Tom, let's start with those injuries. Who's hurt and how's it going to affect the playoffs?

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Middle East
5:50 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Syrian Ceasefire Is Increasingly Under Threat

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary. Renee Montagne is on assignment.

In Syria, a ceasefire that's part of an U.N.-Arab League peace plan is unraveling, just six days after it got underway. Once again, dozens of people are dying each day, as the Syrian military pounds the cities and towns that have most fiercely resisted the government, and opposition rebels are fighting back.

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Africa
3:09 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Crisis Between Sudan, South Sudan Intensifies

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 3:28 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The crisis between Sudan and South Sudan has intensified with the north branding its recently independent southern neighbor the enemy. This follows two weeks of bitter fighting in the disputed oil-producing border area between the two Sudans. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is monitoring developments from her base in Dakar, Senegal and joins us now.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Good morning, Ofeibea.

Greetings.

NEARY: Now, Ofeibea, just bring us up to date on what is happening in Sudan and South Sudan right now.

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Law
2:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Justice Department Sues In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The publishing business is still trying to absorb the news that the Justice Department is suing Apple and publishers for price fixing in the e-book market. Three publishers - Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - decided to settle the suit. But Apple, along with the companies Macmillan and Penguin, plan to fight the allegations. Here's NPR's Lynn Neary.

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Author Interviews
1:35 am
Fri March 30, 2012

The Art Of The Everyday: The Alchemy Of Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler's Baltimore
Chris Hartlove for NPR

Authors today vie for the attention of the reading public with interviews, Facebook postings and tweets. But Anne Tyler, whose 20th novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, is poised for release next week, has maintained her distance from the din. Famously shy, Tyler hasn't done a face to face broadcast interview in years, preferring perhaps to let her books speak for themselves.

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Author Interviews
3:08 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Growing Up, From Utopia To Reality In 'Arcadia'

Hyperion Books

Dystopian worlds may be all the rage in fiction right now, but writer Lauren Groff is bucking that trend. She's more interested in Utopian communities, like the 1960s commune she envisions in her new novel, Arcadia.

Groff says she got the idea for Arcadia while pregnant with her first child. She fell into a depression, living in an unfamiliar town where she didn't know anyone, waiting for her first book to be published and wondering what kind of world she was bringing her child into.

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