Arts/Life

Author Interviews
3:23 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Hip-Hop In Print: Brooklyn Publisher Looks To 'Reverse Gentrify' Literature

Rapper Prodigy, shown above performing in New York City, published his debut novel, H.N.I.C., in 2013.
Mike Lawrie Getty Images

At this summer's Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, thousands turned up for readings by big-name authors: Salman Rushdie, Jamaica Kincaid, Zadie Smith and Albert Johnson. Odds are the name Albert Johnson doesn't ring a bell. But if you're a hip-hop fan, you might recognize the author by another name: Prodigy. Off and on for the past 20 years, he's been one half of the acclaimed Queens, N.Y., duo Mobb Deep.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:33 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Not My Job: Gov. Deval Patrick Gets Quizzed On Burning Man

Eric Haynes Photo Courtesy of Gov. Deval Patrick's Office

Deval Patrick was elected governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2006. He's finishing his second and final term, and he clearly no longer cares because he's agreed to join us to play our quiz.

We've invited him to answer three questions about Burning Man, the annual art festival/hippie magnet taking place in the desert of northern Nevada.

This Week's Must Read
2:12 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

In An Earthquake, History Fuels One Writer's Anxiety

San Francisco on fire in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:26 pm

While most of America is thinking burgers and swimming this Labor Day weekend, I can't stop thinking about earthquakes.

Last Sunday, a shaker registering magnitude 6.0 struck the Napa Valley in Northern California. It injured dozens and caused about $1 billion in damages. National media coverage focused on how the quake affected the area's famous wine industry — because America needs to know that our stock of cabs and zinfandels is safe.

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Latin America
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Cantinflas, With His Puns And Satire, Is Back (And Still Relevant)

Mario Moreno, known as Cantinflas, is a beloved icon in Latin America. A new biopic about the comic opens this weekend in the U.S.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:40 pm

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Author Interviews
11:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

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

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Author Interviews
11:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

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

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Movie Reviews
10:45 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Not Quite Bond, Pierce Brosnan Is Back In Action In 'The November Man'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Sean Connery was 53 when he downed his last vodka martini as James Bond (though he'd previously walked away from the role and been lured back twice). Roger Moore was 57 at the time of his last mission on Her Majesty's Secret Service (though he didn't look a day over 90). Pierce Brosnan was a spry 49 in his final Bonding session, and his departure was bittersweet: He'd started later than he'd wanted, almost a decade after he was first announced as Moore's successor in the mid-80s.

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Code Switch
7:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Photographer Captures The Often-Overlooked 'Aunty' Couture

Poonam Aunty
Meera Sethi Upping the Aunty

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:07 am

"Ugh, she dresses like SUCH an aunty!" is usually not something you'd want to hear about your style, if you're South Asian.

An "aunty" or "aunty-ji" (depending on where you want to fall on the graph of respect and familiarity) is what you call a lady roughly around your mother's age. So, the family friend who has seen you grow up, your mom's co-worker, the lady next to you in the grocery line or the nosy neighbor whose questions about your love life you endure because she makes a killer biryani — they all qualify.

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The Two-Way
5:20 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Book News: Born to Write? Bruce Springsteen To Publish A Children's Book

Bruce Springsteen performs in May in Century City, Calif.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for USC Shoah Foundation

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 9:53 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
3:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Weekend Musher Finds Dogs Keep Her Hanging On

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:00 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Men In America
3:22 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:10 pm

In my teens, I stumbled onto the wide trail of "the writer's bildungsroman," the coming-of-age stories that often gave me too much to identify with. That whispered clear messages while I slept and while I tried to imagine a life far, far outside the heat and farmlands of where I grew up.

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Monkey See
3:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

Jay Chandrasekhar and Sarah Chalke are a married couple in the new Amazon Studios pilot Really.
Quantrell Colbert Amazon Studios

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:01 am

When it comes to original TV series, it's tough to understand exactly where Amazon is going.

At first, its strategy seemed simple: It went where big-ticket competitors like Netflix and HBO didn't, greenlighting comedies like Garry Trudeau's political satire Alpha House and the Silicon Valley series Betas, along with a raft of kids' shows.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

More Physical Than Plausible, 'Starred Up' Sharply Portrays Confinement

Within moments of arriving at an adult prison — "starred up" from a juvenile facility that couldn't handle him — Eric (Jack O'Connell) demonstrates how to use jail-issue toiletries to make a weapon. But it's not that toothbrush shiv that makes the 19-year-old deadly. It's his ferocious unpredictability, a quality mirrored by this edgy, naturalistic drama.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'The Notebook': A Grim Fable Of Cruelty In Wartime

At first blush, the Hungarian film The Notebook (no relation, trust me, to that other Notebook) seems to be gearing up as a standard World War II weepie with clumsy plotting. It's 1944; the war is almost done; a father returns home on leave; brief scenes of domestic bliss follow. Then, out of the blue, Dad (Ulrich Matthes), seemingly worried that his twin sons would be "too conspicuous in wartime," packs them off to live with their grandmother in the countryside. Handing them a notebook, he tells them to record everything that happens to them.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

In 'The Congress,' An Animated Future Where Movie Studios Are Villains

The most interesting but remarkably understated aspect of The Congress, a half-live-action, half-animated trip of a film from Israeli director Ari Folman, is the increasing power accrued by the fake movie studio in its story, Miramount. When the film opens, Miramount is but a moviemaking venture, as you'd expect; by the end, it's the dominant power structure behind a futuristic dystopian society.

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Book Reviews
2:45 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Teen Drama? Occult Thriller? Gritty War Epic? 'Bone Clocks' Is All Three

A clock at the Amsterdam train station reads quarter to 12.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:53 pm

"There are three rules for writing a novel," Somerset Maugham supposedly once said. But then he went on to add, "Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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Code Switch
2:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Controversy Over Sofía Vergara Obscures An Industry's Failings

Sofía Vergara and Television Academy CEO Bruce Rosenblum enact the notorious pedestal stunt at the 2014 Emmy Awards.
Vince Bucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 4:24 pm

After Sofía Vergara's controversial appearance at the 2014 Emmy Awards, we wanted to see more perspectives exploring the cultural dimensions of the controversy. Make sure to read Daisy Hernandez's reaction. Here's a response from contributor Juan Vidal.

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Television
11:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Jon Hamm On The Evolution Of Don Draper On 'Mad Men'

Hamm has never won an Emmy despite 13 nominations, including two this year for Mad Men. In 2010, Hamm talked with Fresh Air about how Draper was "losing touch" with his life and the world around him.

Originally broadcast Sept. 16, 2010.

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

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Television
11:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Edie Falco On Sobriety, The Sopranos, And Nurse Jackie's Self-Medication

Falco plays ER nurse Jackie Peyton, who is competent at her high-stress job but struggles with addiction. Falco was nominated for an Emmy for her role on Nurse Jackie, which is in its sixth season.

Originally broadcast April 9.

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

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:03 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Playlist: Listens For A Long Hike

Bring along the TED Radio Hour as your hiking pal.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

For your next hike, let the TED Radio Hour keep you company with these intriguing stories. TED speakers explore ideas about fear, privacy, and money while you explore the great outdoors.

The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Book News: Former Poet Laureate Robert Hass Wins $100,000 Poetry Prize

In this 1998 photo, President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton are seen at the White House with Poets Laureate Robert Pinsky (left) Rita Dove (center) and Robert Haas (right).
Susan Walsh AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 28, 2014

'Kill My Mother' Is A Darkly Drawn Confection

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:39 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer — now in his mid-80s— has been in the business for more than 60 years. So his first graphic novel, a darkly drawn confection in the noir tradition, called Kill My Mother, comes late in his career. I feel a certain kinship with him, because as a reader I'm a latecomer to the genre myself. Call me a dinosaur, but his book, so deliciously inviting to scan (if a bit convoluted in its plot), is one of the first of its kind that I've read cover to cover.

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Author Interviews
5:02 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Telling Crimea's Story Through Children's Books

Author Lily Hyde adds a dash of magic to her children's stories about Eastern Europe.
Corbis

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:57 am

Understanding all the players, alliances and political stakes in the rapidly shifting crisis in Ukraine can be challenging for anyone unfamiliar with Eastern Europe and its history. And it doesn't get any simpler when you step back a century or two — which is why Lily Hyde's stories blending history, myth and geopolitics are grabbing the attention of readers, reporters and activists alike.

We all want to believe in fairy tales. Hyde takes it one step further, using fairy tales as inspiration to share stories about Eastern European history with children and young adults.

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Book News & Features
1:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Raising A Birthday Glass To Comics King Jack Kirby

Artist Paul Harding's take on Jack "The King" Kirby, which is featured on the special-edition beer brewed for a Kirby Day celebration at Schmaltz Brewery in Clifton Park, N.Y.
Paul Harding

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:47 am

If you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you know Groot — the singing, dancing, crime-fighting tree. Groot was created by comics legend Jack Kirby, who's also responsible for Captain America and was the co-creator of the Avengers and the X-Men. Kirby died in 1994, but his birthday on Aug. 28 has become something of a national celebration for comic book fans.

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Monkey See
12:18 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lifetime Promises To Bring Out The 'Strong Black Woman' In White Women

Beauty pro Tracy Balan, fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon, home/sanctuary guru Nikki Chu and soul coach Tanisha Thomas host Girlfriend Intervention, which is a real show, believe it or not.
Richard Knapp Lifetime

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 12:56 pm

Lifetime's new show Girlfriend Intervention is not subtle about its message. Its premise is four black women giving a makeover to a white woman on the theory that, as they put it, "Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out."

They don't even have to say "weak white girl" or "lame white girl" or "ugly white girl" or "unfashionable white girl" or "boring white girl," because all those things are, before long, implied.

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Television
11:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.

Originally broadcast Dec. 13, 2011.

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

Transcript

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:39 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Playlist: Time Out

Take a moment to slow down with these TED Radio Hour stories.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Summer's the perfect time to slow down, sit still, and reflect. Here are some compelling stories about listening, gratitude, and justice.

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

Monkey See
8:19 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Small Batch Edition: Undressing 'Project Runway'

Heidi Klum remains with Project Runway, where she's been since it began.
Lifetime
  • Listen to the Conversation

On this Small Batch Edition of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, Glen and I are always up for a little chat about fashion and people's skill and lack of skill at the making of sick burns, so we sat down for a catch-up chat about Project Runway, which is part of the way through its 13th season, now on Lifetime after an earlier history on Bravo.

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The Two-Way
5:51 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Book News: Calif. Law Calls For Textbooks To Teach Significance Of Obama's Election

President-elect Barack Obama waves to his supporters after delivering his victory speech at his election night party Nov. 4, 2008, at Grant Park in Chicago.
David Guttenfelder AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 27, 2014

'Lock In': A Cop Story For Robot Lovers, A Robot Story For Cop Lovers

When I'm reading for fun and not sitting up in my ivory tower reviewing books for NPR, I generally gravitate toward two kinds of stories: science fiction and procedurals. In both cases, I like my books grimy and lived-in. I have no love for utopias, shiny spaceships where nothing is ever broken, or Teflon detectives who don't come with baggage. If there isn't a bullet hole in someone or something before the story starts, there'd better be one put there within the first couple of pages.

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