Arts/Life

Television
1:44 am
Fri May 29, 2015

'Halt And Catch Fire' Explores What It Was Like For Women In '80s Tech

Actress Mackenzie Davis plays an '80s punk software developer in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. The second season premieres May 31.
RIchard DuCree AMC

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:08 am

The TV series Halt and Catch Fire tells a story you might not expect about the personal computer revolution of the 1980s. For one thing, it's set in Texas, not Silicon Valley. And though there are plenty of bearded, bespectacled men building things in garages, the resident software genius is a woman. Cameron Howe, played by actress Mackenzie Davis, is a punk, anarchist loner who intimidates many of her co-workers.

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Book News & Features
1:43 am
Fri May 29, 2015

A Year Later, #WeNeedDiverseBooks Has Left Its Mark On BookCon

In 2014, BookCon responded to the We Need Diverse Books campaign by inviting it to form its own panel. Pictured here, left to right: I.W. Gregorio, Mike Jung, Matt de la Pena, Grace Lin and Jacqueline Woodson.
Courtesy of ReedPOP

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:56 am

Publishing's big week is almost over. The industry's annual convention, BookExpo America, ends Friday in New York, and on Saturday the publishing world opens its doors to the public with BookCon, where avid readers will get the chance to mix and mingle with their favorite authors.

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Book News & Features
3:25 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

As Publishing Industry Courts China, Authors Speak Out Against Censorship

Protesters gathered on the steps of the New York Public Library on Wednesday to show support for silenced Chinese writers.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:56 am

Chinese writers and publishers are being celebrated this week in New York at BookExpo America — the industry's largest trade event in North America. Organizers of the event say China deserves a seat at the table because it is such a big and potentially lucrative market. But some authors and free speech advocates have seen this as an opportunity to shine light on censorship in China.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

'Aloha' Brings A Muddled Romance To Hawaii

Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in Aloha.
Neal Preston Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 5:58 pm

It's hard to tell what, exactly, Bradley Cooper's deal is in the imperfect yet oddly compelling tropical dramedy Aloha. His character, Brian Gilcrest, is a military contractor assigned to oversee a ceremony in Hawaii that will allow his employer to launch a new satellite of dubious motives. That part's easy enough. After his role in the megahit American Sniper, it's intriguing to see Cooper playing what amounts to a cynical, bizarro-world version of Chris Kyle.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

'Gemma Bovery': Retelling A Classic With A Light Touch

Hervé (Niels Schneider) and Gemma (Gemma Arterton) in Gemma Bovery.
Jerome Prebois Music Box Films

French director Anne Fontaine's Gemma Bovery is a comic reworking of Madame Bovary, but that's merely the first of the movie's several layers. The bilingual film is adapted not from Flaubert's classic but from British cartoonist Posy Simmonds' graphic novel, set in contemporary times and with the Boverys as a London couple that just relocated to Normandy.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Self-Improvement Gets Romantic In 'Results'

Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce in Results.
Ryan Green Magnolia Pictures

Kat, a personal trainer played with rabid verve by Cobie Smulders in the terrific new comedy Results, is a recognizable gym rat modestly enlarged for comical promise. "I lead with my butt," the dedicated workout queen tells a client, oblivious to the fact that he's already rather taken with that highly buffed part of her anatomy. She's obsessive and blunt and aggressive almost unto unbearable. It can safely be said that empowerment is not Kat's problem.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Rocks Versus The Rock In 'San Andreas'

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:50 pm

In the Universal Pictures release Earthquake, one of the biggest hits (no pun intended) of 1974, The Big One takes a big bite out of Los Angeles — God's vengeance, the film implies, for Charlton Heston cheating on Ava Gardner with Genevieve Bujold.

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Movie Interviews
12:36 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

David Oyelowo On Acting, His Royal Roots And The One Role He Won't Take

David Oyelowo plays an American Army veteran living with his mother in HBO's Nightingale.
HBO

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 6:10 pm

If actor David Oyelowo projects a regal air, it's one he comes by naturally. Born in England to Nigerian parents, Oyelowo's father had always told him that theirs was a royal family, a claim the actor initially discounted.

"I was like, 'Yeah, whatever,' " Oyelowo tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But then the family moved back to Nigeria, where they lived on a street named after his family, and the actor realized that his father had not been joking.

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Code Switch
10:23 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Not Your Mother's Catholic Frescoes: Radiant Portraits Of Queer People Of Color

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's "Queer Icons" series portrays queer people of color as saints and warriors. Jahmal Golden is a poet and a student at The New School.
Courtesy of Gabriel Garcia Roman

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 2:06 pm

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's portraits feature friends and acquaintances, activists and poets, Americans and immigrants — some naturalized, some undocumented.

All of them are queer people of color.

"I wanted to specifically focus on this community because queer and trans people of color are so rarely represented in the art world," says Roman, who is Mexican-American and also identifies as queer.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Thu May 28, 2015

'Trigger Mortis': New Bond Novel Brings Back Pussy Galore

A return to Pussy Galore's golden days: Honor Blackman, who played the character on screen in Goldfinger, poses with the original Bond, Sean Connery.
Express/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 3:37 pm

What kind of birthday gift do you get a man who has everything? It's a well-worn riddle — and one that gets all the more difficult if the man in question happens to have died a half-century ago.

Luckily for Ian Fleming, today's 107-year-old birthday boy and the creator of James Bond, novelist Anthony Horowitz knows just the gift: a reunion with an old friend.

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Code Switch
7:00 am
Thu May 28, 2015

The Worst Kind Of Groundhog Day: Let's Talk (Again) About Diversity In Publishing

This summer brings many excellent books from writers of color.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:57 am

Another day, another all-white list of recommended reading. This year's New York Times summer reading list, compiled annually by Times literary critic Janet Maslin, offered up zero books by non-white authors.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 28, 2015

'The Water Knife' Cuts Deep

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 1:29 pm

In The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi's best-selling, Hugo- and Nebula-winning debut, the author imagines a 23rd century in which the forces of commerce have run amok over the basic, biological building blocks of life. In his equally powerful sophomore novel, The Water Knife, he takes a similar approach to an inorganic substance without which human life wouldn't exist: H2O. But where The Windup Girl takes place hundreds of years from now in Southeast Asia, The Water Knife hits closer to home for U.S. readers.

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Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Give 'Em The Go-Ahead

We all remember Clint Eastwood's character Dirty Harry and his famous line, "Go ahead, make my day." In this game, contestants deliver that line... Ask Me Another-style. So go ahead, make our pâté.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

I'm Quitting The Band

It's hard to keep a good rock band together; you're always losing members. In this game, we take the names of famous bands and drop a letter to make a whole new band. For instance, a "Seven Nation Army" couldn't stop The White Strips from selling out to a Crest bleaching product.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Back In Time

In this game, we've rewritten the famous Beatles song "Get Back" to be about movie characters going back to their own time period, where they once belonged. Get back, Cusack, Jacuzzis aren't safe transport.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Ampers And What?

Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Will & Grace — how hard was it to come up with those titles? In this game, we quiz contestants on TV show titles that are just two words plus an ampersand. But it's not as easy as it sounds. For example, "Actor Jude & a restaurant request" translates to Law & Order.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Veep Of The Rings

In this game, VIP Anna Chlumsky is quizzed about something near and dear to her heart — Lord of the Rings. And just like Frodo had Samwise to help him on his quest, Anna brings along a friend to join her onstage.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Veep's Anna Chlumsky On Youth, Television And Tolkien

Actress Anna Chlumsky attends the Los Angeles premiere for the second season of HBO's series 'Veep' at Paramount Studios.
Angela Weiss Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 3:22 pm

After a successful career as a child actress, starring in films such as My Girl and Trading Mom, Anna Chlumsky walked away from the big screen and went back to school. But while working as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins, she began feeling an itch. "There was a month where I was really open to [the question] 'what should I do with my life?'" Chlumsky told Ophira Eisenberg at The Bell House in Brooklyn. "And I'd get signs from the universe."

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Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

The Best Piece of Trivia You Learned This Week: Teary Edition

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 2:53 pm

What's the best piece of trivia you learned this week? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter, and we'll figure out whether it's true or false.

True or false: in outer space, tears stick to your eyeballs, effectively blinding you if you can't wipe them off.

Heard in Veep of the Rings

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

In This Test Kitchen, The Secret To A Great Cookbook Is Try, Try Again

Chefs Yotam Ottolenghi (left) and Sami Tamimi pose for the photographer at their company's bakery in London, December 2012.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Underneath railway arches on a nondescript street in North London, you'll find an old warehouse that's the epicenter of the Ottolenghi food empire.

Jerusalem-born food impresario Yotam Ottolenghi and his business partner, Sami Tamimi, started out over a decade ago with one restaurant in London selling fresh, Middle East-inspired food. The business now encompasses several restaurants, an expanding online food business and some cookbooks that have been wildly successful on their home turf and here in the U.S.

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Ask Me Another
2:48 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Wardrobe Of Games

For this final round, every answer contains an article of clothing or wardrobe accessory. So if we said, "colorful wasps sometimes mistaken for bees," the answer would be "yellow jackets."

Heard in Veep of the Rings

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
11:24 am
Wed May 27, 2015

For Actress Maria Bello, Family May Be Complicated, But 'Love Is Love'

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 3:25 pm

Maria Bello is famous for her roles on television's ER and in films like Coyote Ugly and A History of Violence, but her new book is about her life off-screen. Whatever ... Love is Love is a memoir about family and relationships that expands on a column Bello wrote in 2013 for The New York Times.

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Movie Reviews
10:22 am
Wed May 27, 2015

A Critic Takes On Cannes: Highlights (And Lowlights) Of The 2015 Festival

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 11:24 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Fat Is Not A Four-Letter Word In 'Dietland'

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:53 pm

Editor's note: A Dietland quote in this review contains language some may find offensive.


In fiction, there are the Good Fats (Clara Peggotty, Mrs. Weasley and various other pillowy matrons) and the Bad Fats (Ursula, Augustus Gloop, assorted despicable characters whose fatness is shorthand for moral decay). Oh, and the Funny Fats. Don't forget the Funny Fats (Falstaff and his schlubby ilk). But complicated, dangerous, compelling Fats? These are rare.

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Book News & Features
3:04 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Author Margaret Atwood Contributes Manuscript To Future Library

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 5:54 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

How Dorothea Lange Taught Us To See Hunger And Humanity

Carrot pullers from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Mexico. "We come from all states and we can't make a dollar in this field noways. [sic] Working from seven in the morning until twelve noon, we earn an average of thirty-five cents." California, February 1937
Dorothea Lange Library of Congress

Documentary photographer Dorothea Lange had a favorite saying: "A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera."

And perhaps no one did more to reveal the human toll of the Great Depression than Lange, who was born on this day in 1895. Her photographs gave us an unflinching — but also deeply humanizing — look at the struggles of displaced farmers, migrant laborers, sharecroppers and others at the bottom of the American farm economy as it reeled through the 1930s.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Sip It Slowly, And Other Lessons From The Oldest Tea Book In The World

A range of Darjeeling tea at Goomtee Tea Estate in Darjeeling, India.
Jeff Koehler for NPR

At least 2,500 years ago, tea, as we know it, was born.

Back then, it was a medicinal concoction blended with herbs, seeds and forest leaves in the mountains of southwest China. Gradually, as manners of processing and drinking tea were refined, it became imbued with artistic, religious, and cultural notes. Under the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907), the apogee of ancient Chinese prosperity, the drink involved ritual, etiquette and specific utensils. During this period of splendor, the first book dedicated solely to tea was written by Lu Yü.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Prolific Fantasy And Science-Fiction Writer Tanith Lee Has Died

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:35 pm

British science-fiction and fantasy writer Tanith Lee has died, according to her publisher. Lee, 67, was a prolific author who also worked in radio and television; her dozens of books include Don't Bite The Sun and Death's Master -- the latter of which was part of her popular Flat Earth series.

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Code Switch
10:39 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Lovely Illustrations From The Story Of A Black Boy Who Dreams Of Going To Mars

Courtesy of Myles Johnson and Kendrick Daye

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:48 pm

Like lots of little kids, Jeremiah Nebula — the main character of a children's book called Large Fears — has big dreams. He wants to go to Mars.

But Jeremiah is also pretty different from the characters that Myles Johnson, the author of the Kickstarter-backed book, met in the stories he read when he was growing up. Jeremiah is black, and he really, really likes the color pink.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Learning To Love, And Forgive, In Brilliant 'Day'

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:52 pm

Warren Duffy is having a bad year. The comic book store he opened in Cardiff, Wales, has shut down, leaving him in debt to his angry ex-wife. He habris come home to Philadelphia to claim the inheritance left to him by his late father — a roofless, possibly haunted mansion that's only inhabitable in the most technical sense of the word. And he's basically broke, forced to make pocket money by drawing pictures at a comic book convention, where, because he's biracial, he's shunted into the "urban" section.

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