Arts/Life

Monkey See
9:20 am
Mon May 4, 2015

'Mad Men' Skates Across A Changed And Changing Landscape

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
AMC AMC

Sunday night's Mad Men was the antepenultimate episode of the series – a word we don't get to use enough, but one that can be surprisingly significant in television. The second to last episode is often (rightly or wrongly) understood and analyzed as finale table-setting, so this third to last episode is sometimes the last that feels like the regular show. And for Mad Men, it seemed to serve as a crystallizing hour for the themes that the show has returned to over and over, reaching no conclusions about those themes but turning them over and over in its narrative hands.

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Book Reviews
8:04 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Former Country Girl Catches Fire In 'The Love Object'

The Love Object
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on

When Edna O'Brien's first novel The Country Girls was published in 1960, her family and neighbors in the small Irish village where she was born tossed copies into a bonfire expressly set for that horrifying purpose. Nearly 50 years later, the country girl herself has long since moved to London, but her fiction still blazes (if only in metaphor). That's what I found while reading my way through The Love Object, a newly published selection of more than 30 of O'Brien's short stories.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon May 4, 2015

'I Take You' Is Madcap Marital Mayhem

Are some people "constitutionally unsuited" to marriage? That's the question the free-spirited narrator of Eliza Kennedy's saucy first novel, I Take You, keeps asking herself between drinks, seductions, and a mess of complications during the frenetic week leading up to her Key West wedding.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father's Death

Of I Wish You The Sunshine Of Tomorrow, Rodgers says: "The ICU room my dad was in on the day he died had yellow walls. Every time we visited him we had to wear hospital gowns that were a bright yellow. [It] was a recurring color in that whole time frame of my life."
Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers

A month after her father died of sepsis, Jennifer Rodgers began creating maps.

She took a large piece of paper, splattered it with black paint and then tore it into pieces. Then she began to draw: short black lines mimic the steps she walked in the hospital hallway during her father's hospitalization.

"It was a physical release of emotion for me," she says.

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My Big Break
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

From Bond Girl To Medicine Woman: Jane Seymour's Big Break

Roger Moore and Jane Seymour in Live And Let Die.
Danjaq/Eon/UA/The Kobal Collection

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You know actress Jane Seymour from the frontier town of Colorado Springs in the hit TV show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

With Comedic Touch, 'Zombie Wars' Tackles Impact Of Real Violence

Emily Jan NPR

Night of the Living Dead director George Romero once told NPR his movies have always been less about zombies, and more about humans and the mistakes they make.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun May 3, 2015

A Puzzle With Everything, Including The Kitchen Sink

NPR

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:50 am

On-air challenge: Each word provided is an anagram of something you might see in a kitchen. For example, "skin" is an anagram of "sink."

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History
5:49 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Orson Welles, Famous In Film, Also Brought Radio To Life

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:50 am

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Ladies and gentlemen, the director of the Mercury Theatre and star of these broadcasts, Orson Welles.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Demystifying The Art World In 'Playing To The Gallery'

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:50 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music Interviews
4:59 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Kurt Cobain Speaks — Through Art And Audio Diaries — In 'Montage Of Heck'

Kurt Cobain with daughter Frances.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 8:50 am

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Books
4:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

An Ohio Couple Would Like To Forget 'A Gronking To Remember'

The e-book's original cover image was used without permission, according to a lawsuit filed against Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple.
Amazon via The Daily Beast

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 4:46 pm

A Gronking to Remember: Book One in the Rob Gronkowski Erotica Series shot up the e-book sales charts in January. Written by a fan of the New England Patriots, the work of erotic fiction centers around a couple in a troubled marriage; the wife is entranced by seeing the Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski, play football.

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

Author Hopes Holocaust-Themed Picture Book Will Prompt Conversations

Prolific author Jane Yolen is best known for her novel The Devil's Arithmetic -- the story of a modern American girl transported back in time to 1940s Poland, where she experiences first-hand life in a concentration camp.

Yolen has also written many children's picture books, like the classic How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Those very different books both have something in common with her newest release. It's a picture book for kids — about the Holocaust.

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Author Interviews
1:37 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

John Lydon: The Foul-Mouthed Yob Sets The Record Straight

John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon, seen here with his band Public Image Ltd at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival, is the former frontman of the Sex Pistols.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 4:27 pm

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Novelist Ruth Rendell, Author Of 'Wexford' Books, Dies At 85

A September 1995 photo shows Ruth Rendell, in London. The prolific crime writer died Saturday at the age of 85.
Max Nash AP

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 12:05 pm

British mystery and crime writer Ruth Rendell — one of the most prolific authors in the genre, with more than 60 novels — has died at age 85 following a stroke in January, her publisher said in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that the family of author Ruth Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, announce that she passed away in London at 8am on Saturday 2 May, aged 85. The family have requested privacy at this time," Hutchison said in the statement.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:22 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Not My Job: Designer Jonathan Adler Gets Quizzed On New Coke

Brad Barket Getty Images for Bing

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 8:05 am

Back when he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Jonathan Adler was told that he'd never make it as an artist, and he should go be a lawyer. But Adler continued making his pottery, and today his design empire includes 26 stores named for him all over the world.

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Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

'Outsider Baseball': Tells Tales Of Obscure Baseball Characters

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Arts & Life
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Above The Fray: Mafate Offers A Roadless, Island Isolation

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

A Veteran Scientist Dreams Boldly Of 'Earth And Sky'

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

Freeman Dyson is one of the most famous names in science, and sometimes one of the most controversial. Dyson is 91 and was one of the British scientists who helped win World War II. He spent most years since as a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has won the Max Planck Medal and the Templeton Prize, and written important, oft-quoted books including Disturbing the Universe and The Scientist as Rebel, and newspaper articles that inspire both admiration and debate.

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Theater
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Getting To Know The Real Story Was Key To Broadway's 'King And I' Revival

Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara have both received Tony nominations for their portrayals of the king and Anna Leonowens in Bartlett Sher's revival of The King and I.
Paul Kolnik Courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

Director Bartlett Sher has been familiar with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's The King and I since he performed it in high school, but he didn't learn the actual history behind the musical until he started working on a critically lauded revival that recently received nine Tony nominations. In the real story, a young woman of English and Indian heritage — Anna Leonowens, the "I" in The King and I — receives an invitation from King Mongkut of Siam to teach at his court. The year is 1862.

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Does Post-Apocalyptic Literature Have A (Non-Dystopian) Future?

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel like reading a book.
iStockphoto.com

The end of the world sure is taking a long time. Ever since the breakout success of Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel The Road, America has been degraded, devastated, and decimated time and time again — at least, on the page. Granted, McCarthy didn't invent post-apocalyptic fiction. But he helped spark a literary trend that shows no signs of abating.

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Movie Interviews
3:34 am
Sat May 2, 2015

At 81, The Man Behind Big Bird Sees 'No Reason To Quit'

The documentary I Am Big Bird tells the story of Caroll Spinney (left), who has been the man inside the yellow suit for more than 40 years.
Tribeca Film

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

Big Bird, the towering yellow bird with confetti feathers from Sesame Street, will eternally be 6 years old, but his character is nearly 50. The man behind Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, is 81 — and has no plans to step out of the suit any time soon.

"I see no reason to quit," Spinney tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I can't imagine walking away from being Big Bird. I mean, that's an awfully good job, and there's not too many of them. So, I just want to keep doing it until I can't do it anymore."

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Movie Reviews
1:42 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Hollywood Offers Up A Bevy Of Superheroes In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
11:37 am
Fri May 1, 2015

'Far From The Madding Crowd': Counterprogramming Writ Victorian

Far From the Madding Crowd features feisty heroines, sturdy heroes, and three — yes, three --€” men vying for the heroine's affection.
Alex Bailey/Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 11:59 pm

Genre flicks on steroids — that's the general rule for this time of year, whether we're talking superheroes, supercharged cars, or romance — and in that context, the lush, overstuffed costume epic, Far From the Madding Crowd is a perfect fit.

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Monkey See
10:39 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Free Comic Book Day: A Guide To The Heroes, Musicians And Mutants

Help the CBLDF Defend Comics
Diamond Comic Distributors

Another first Saturday in May, another blockbuster superhero movie set to bust our collective blocks, another Free Comic Book Day.

"What's Free Comic Book Day?" you ask, because you've managed to ignore the gallons of virtual ink I've spilled about it on this blog every year since 2009.

(No look it's fine, I get it, but at this point it's starting to look like willful obtuseness on your part, ok?)

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Monkey See
10:08 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Free Comic Book Day And Rabbit Holes

NPR

Another year, another Free Comic Book Day!

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The Salt
7:46 am
Fri May 1, 2015

What's Inside A 'Derby Pie'? Maybe A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen

A view inside the Kern's Kitchen factory in Louisville, Ky. Though lots of people in Kentucky have their own versions of what they call "derby pie," the Kern family trademarked the name "Derby-Pie" decades ago. And the Kerns are quite vigilant about protecting that brand name.
Nina Feldman for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:28 pm

Ask anyone in Louisville, Ky., what to eat and drink during the Kentucky Derby, and chances are good he'll tell you two things: mint juleps and "derby pie."

But while bartenders around the country make mint juleps without controversy, things are a little more complicated for "derby pie." The creators of the pie are real sticklers about what can be called a "derby pie" — and what can't. And they're not afraid to sue over it.

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Movie Interviews
1:32 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Carey Mulligan Returns To Period Drama For A Thomas Hardy Classic

Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene in a new film adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 11:54 am

The great Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy was still alive in 1915 when one of his novels was made into a silent movie. Even then, Far From the Madding Crowd was a tempting tale: It follows a headstrong young woman being pursued by a trio of suitors — a sheep farmer, a wealthy landowner and a rakish officer.

Now Hardy's novel is getting another film adaptation, this time starring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, the book's heroine. Mulligan tells NPR's Renee Montagne about why she wanted to play Bathsheba and her practice of scrapbooking her characters.

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Movie Reviews
3:53 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Bigger And Louder Than Ever, Can The Avengers Still Satisfy?

Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner).
Film Frame Marvel

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 5:13 pm

The Marvel Cinematic Universe whirrs along with Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which is a true sequel to 2012's The Avengers but also a reward of sorts for making it through the four smaller superhero flicks released in the interim. This is the social contract comic book fans have signed now, as Marvel Studios ends Phase 2 of its grand experiment.

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Movie Reviews
3:43 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

In 'Marie's Story,' A Tale Of Teaching And Faith

Ariana Rivoire and Isabelle Carré in Marie's Story.
Film Movement

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 2:47 pm

Marie Heurtin was born blind and deaf just five years after Helen Keller, and she experienced a similar liberation through the discovery of sign language. The French girl's tale is the harsher one, since Keller didn't lose sight and sound until she was 19 months old and was able to communicate in a limited way with another girl before the breakthrough dramatized in The Miracle Worker.

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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Revisiting The Melodrama Of 'Far From The Madding Crowd'

Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd.
Alex Bailey Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

A fierce spirit ahead of her Victorian time, vacillating between love, sex and business in choosing a partner to run the farm she refuses to see go under, Far From the Madding Crowd's Bathsheba Everdene is also a woman for the ages and therefore amenable to endless re-imagining, up to and including Katniss Everdeen. All in white and gamboling through green meadows with adorable lambs and a very hot Alan Bates, Julie Christie made an unforgettable Bathsheba in John Schlesinger's 1967 steamed-up adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1874 pastoral novel.

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