Arts/Life

Books
2:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Monsters, Myths And Poetic License In Anne Carson's 'Red Doc'

Anne Carson's newest book is called Red Doc>.
Peter Smith

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

You don't read poetry. That's fine. Nobody does anymore. I'm not going to make you feel bad about that. But if there is one book I've pressed on more people in the past decade, it is Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. And I'm here to tell you its sequel has just been published, and that it's pretty much the biggest event of the year.

Autobiography of Red was a novel written in verse, a crossbreed of poetry and prose that retold the myth of Geryon and Herakles, aka Hercules.

Read more
The Salt
10:04 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Eating Eyeballs: Taboo, Or Tasty?

Fish Eyes
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 10:58 am

It wasn't the fish heads poking out of the Stargazy Pie that stopped more than a few of our readers cold. It was the eyeballs.

"Not a lot of food nowadays has eyes; what's up with that?" one reader asked in commenting on a recent Salt post that featured a photo of the historic dish, which involves whole fish (eyes and all) poking out of a pie.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:38 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Book News: 'Superman' Artist Quits Amid Uproar Over Author's Views On Homosexuality

Orson Scott Card, the Ender's Game author tapped to work on an upcoming issue of DC Comics' "Adventures of Superman," has referred to homosexuality as "deviant behavior."
Mark Dadswell Getty Images

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed March 6, 2013

No Ordinary 'Acrobat': An Unconventional History Of The Circus

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 7:05 am

Whenever I think of the circus (which, admittedly, is rarely), the first thing that comes to mind is Bruce Davidson's famous photograph of a forlorn clown smoking a cigarette and clutching a fistful of wilted flowers in the mud outside a ratty circus tent. Fittingly, I first saw this striking image on the cover of Heinrich Boll's 1963 novel, The Clown. The titular protagonist isn't the creepy backyard children's entertainer we've come to associate with the form. He's troubled and high-strung, and sees himself first and foremost as an artist — and something of a mystic, to boot.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:28 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Second-Person Narrator Tells Readers 'How To' Live, Love — And Get Filthy Rich

Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:08 am

This is not the first time Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid has taken a risky approach to a novel. His The Reluctant Fundamentalist was written entirely in the second person. The bearded narrator of that book sits at a tea stall in Lahore, talking about his drift toward extremism while directly addressing "you," the reader, who is taken to be an increasingly jumpy and terrified American across the table.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:31 am
Wed March 6, 2013

In Sly Self-Help Novel, Selling Clean Water Gets You 'Filthy Rich'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 9:18 am

Mohsin Hamid's newest novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, takes its structure from the genre of self-help tutorials. Chapter 1: Move to the City. Chapter 2: Get an Education. Chapter 3: Don't Fall in Love (the book's nameless protagonist, who transforms from rural peasant to corporate tycoon, fails to follow this last directive). After all, the dogged pursuit of success doesn't happen in a vacuum.

Read more
Kitchen Window
1:25 am
Wed March 6, 2013

The Caraway Seed Is A Spice Worth Meeting

Domenica Marchetti for NPR

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 10:42 am

I've always thought caraway to be an underappreciated spice. It holds none of the historical significance of cinnamon, cloves, pepper or other prized spices that for centuries drove commerce among Asia, Africa and Europe (and that ultimately led to the discovery of the Americas).

In flavor, it lacks the Mediterranean perfume of its cousin fennel or the allure of cumin, another close relative. Its aroma is sharp and slightly aggressive, and if you bite into a seed on its own, there is, at first, a certain soapiness to its flavor.

Read more
Theater
3:45 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

For This Pair Of Clowns, 'Old Hats' Means New Laughs

Nellie McKay, David Shiner and Bill Irwin use old-time comedy, newfangled tricks and zany music to score laughs in their new theatrical revue, Old Hats.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:14 pm

Twenty years ago, theatrical clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner collaborated on a Broadway show called Fool Moon — a giddy mixture of slapstick, improv and audience participation that proved such a success that it came back to Broadway for two more runs and toured both the U.S. and Europe. Now Irwin and Shiner have put together a new show called Old Hats, and it's been receiving rave reviews off-Broadway.

Irwin and Shiner's rubber-faced, loose-bodied clowning hasn't gotten easier over two decades.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

'Out Of Order' At The Court: O'Connor On Being The First Female Justice

Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in as an associate justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger on Sept. 25, 1981. Holding two family Bibles is husband John Jay O'Connor.
Michael Evans AP

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 2:15 pm

Sandra Day O'Connor wasn't expecting the call from President Reagan that would change her life that day in 1981.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:51 am
Tue March 5, 2013

The Devil To Pay In Oates' 'Accursed' America

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 9:49 am

Some months ago, a fellow writer told me that Joyce Carol Oates was writing a vampire book. It turns out there is some truth in this seemingly far-fetched statement, just as there are grains of truth sprinkled throughout The Accursed, a sprawling tale of terrible events afflicting Princeton high society between 1905 and 1906. Oates began drafting the novel in 1984, when she first moved to this best-known of New Jersey college towns and became interested in its history. She put the project aside for many years but returned to it — and completed it — in 2012.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Book News: Male Authors Still Get Far More Coverage, Survey Shows

Author Jennifer Weiner, who has been outspoken about gender bias in book coverage in the media, pictured in 2005.
Evan Agostini Getty Images

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

Read more
Author Interviews
1:53 am
Tue March 5, 2013

To 'Sum It Up': A Legendary Basketball Coach Braves Alzheimer's

Pat Summitt celebrates the Lady Vols' first national championship, in 1987. Summitt says it took seven Final Four losses to learn how to win one.
J. Miles Cary Courtesy of the Knoxville News-Sentinel

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 8:21 am

The image of Pat Summitt for many fans is that of a madwoman, decked out in orange, yelling to her players from the sideline. In 38 years as the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, Summitt shouted her team to more victories than any other coach in the history of college basketball — men's or women's.

Now the famously fierce coach is facing an opponent unlike any other: In 2011, she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:40 am
Tue March 5, 2013

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

This Dec. 26, 2004, photograph shows a trail of destruction in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa after tidal waves lashed more than half of Sri Lanka's coastline.
Sena Vidanagama AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:56 am

On Dec. 26, 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, her two sons and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. The day was just beginning when she and a friend noticed that something strange was happening in the ocean. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In a new memoir, called simply Wave, she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:38 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Skipping Out On College And 'Hacking Your Education'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 3:18 am

The cost of college can range from $60,000 for a state university to four times as much at some private colleges. The total student debt in the U.S. now tops credit card debt. So a lot of people are asking: Is college really worth it?

There are several famous and staggeringly successful college dropouts, including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. You may not end up with fat wallets like them, but Dale Stephens says you can find a different education path.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:34 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Jeb Bush: Legal Residency, Not Citizenship, For Illegal Immigrants

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican National Convention in August in Tampa, Fla.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:44 am

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents, says the United States should overhaul its laws to make immigration easier and to give illegal immigrants a way to legal residence, not citizenship.

Bush lays out his plan with co-author Clint Bolick in the new book Immigration Wars. Bush tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that they propose legalizing undocumented immigrants "after there is a recognition that if people come here illegally, they have to pay a fine or do community service [and] make sure they don't commit any serious crimes."

Read more
New In Paperback
11:55 am
Mon March 4, 2013

March 4-10: Spiritual Crisis, Suburban Plight And America's War Machine

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:25 pm

Fiction and nonfiction softcover releases from Nathan Englander, Amanda Coplin, Anthony Giardina, Rachel Maddow and Lauren F. Winner.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
11:53 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Cinerama Brought The Power Of Peripheral Vision To The Movies

A film still of New York City from 1952's This Is Cinerama. The film was meant to introduce audiences to the new Cinerama widescreen.
Flicker Alley LLC

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 12:51 pm

As early as silent film, directors attempted to create widescreen images. But in the 1950s it became a commercial necessity to give the multitude of new TV watchers what they couldn't get on a small screen. So even before CinemaScope, VistaVision, Todd-AO and Panavision, there was Cinerama — a process in which three projectors threw three simultaneous images onto a gigantic curved screen. Cinerama offered what no TV or movie screen could provide before — peripheral vision, which could make you feel as if you were really in the midst of the action.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:40 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Mike White On Creating HBO's 'Enlightened' Whistle-Blower

In HBO's Enlightened, Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Series creator Mike White stars as Tyler, Amy's friend and co-worker.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 12:51 pm

The HBO series Enlightened wrapped up its second season Sunday night. The show began as the story of a woman — the naive, idealistic, manipulative, determined and sincere Amy Jellicoe, played by Laura Dern — trying to put her life back together in the wake of a breakdown. After spending a couple of months at a New Age recovery center in Hawaii, Amy attempts to apply what she has learned to her life back in the real world of corporate America.

Read more
Movies
10:33 am
Mon March 4, 2013

'Bless Me, Ultima' Role A 'Gift From Heaven'

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:51 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now we'd like to tell you about a film that took an unusually long and winding path to the big screen. The film is called "Bless Me, Ultima." It's based on the best-selling novel by Rudolfo Anaya. It's both one of the most loved, most popular and most controversial novels in the modern American canon.

Read more
Author Interviews
10:32 am
Mon March 4, 2013

A Multimedia Journey Through 'The Persian Square'

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:51 am

You may be used to hearing about Iran in the news — about its strained relationship with the U.S., or its internal political unrest, or the possible nuclear threat Iran poses.

But you may not hear much about Iran's impact on America's culture — from poetry to Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.

That's why Tell Me More's senior producer, Iran Davar Ardalan, decided to write the new digital book The Persian Square.

Read more
Monkey See
9:48 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Are Romantic Comedies Dead?

Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby.
AP

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:45 am

The March issue of The Atlantic features an essay from Christopher Orr called "Why Are Romantic Comedies So Bad?"* In it, Orr asserts that romantic comedies have been "lackluster for decades." Decades.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:59 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Book News: 'New Yorker' Plagiarist's Book Pulled From Shelves

Jonah Lehrer attends a panel discussion in conjunction with the World Science Festival in 2008.
Thos Robinson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:17 am

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

Read more
Author Interviews
1:07 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Time Rules In Jamaica Kincaid's New Novel, 'See Now Then'

Jamaica Kincaid, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, lives in Vermont.
Kenneth Noland Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:44 pm

Author Jamaica Kincaid is out with a new novel, her first in 10 years.

Kincaid is perhaps best known for her books At the Bottom of the River and The Autobiography of My Mother. Her new book, See Now Then, tackles some difficult themes.

The novel opens with a scene of a seemingly idyllic home life in small-town New England. But it is soon clear the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sweet is anything but sweet.

Read more
Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:06 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

The Movie Alex Karpovsky Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Luis Guzman and Adam Sandler in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 2:35 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

Read more
Three Books...
4:17 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Hardly Heroic: 3 Flagrantly Flawed Main Characters

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 6:00 am

It feels so good to root for the golden-hearted guy. To imagine that in a crisis you'd be just like Harry Potter — noble, self-sacrificing, flaunting rules only in the service of Good. But most of us also harbor secret, selfish thoughts we're certain Mother Teresa never had. Those failings are what make the morally flawed heroes of these books ring uncomfortably true. And if we, the readers, refuse to empathize with these very human characters, does that make us nobler than they, or merely self-delusional?

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Perfectly Puzzling

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 5:43 am

On-air challenge: You will be given two words starting with the letter P. Name a third word starting with P that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "peer" and "point," you would say "pressure," as in "peer pressure" and "pressure point."

Read more
The Salt
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Family Keeps Jewish Soulfood Alive At New York 'Appetizing' Store

Russ and Daughters, which opened on the Lower East Side in 1914, specializes in smoked fish.
Courtesy of Jen Snow, Russ and Daughters

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 12:28 pm

It's been more than 100 years since Joel Russ started peddling herring from a barrel on the streets of New York.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Film Hoists 'Hava Nagila' Up Onto A Chair, In Celebration Of Song And Dance

Jenny Jimenez Katahdin Productions/More Horses Productions

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:43 am

Whether you love it or you hate it, you know it: "Hava Nagila." Maybe you grew up listening to Harry Belafonte's rendition, or found yourself in a chair being hoisted into the air by a singing crowd at your wedding or bat mitzvah. The kitschy Jewish standard lends itself particularly well to group singalongs and celebrity covers — but where did it come from?

Read more
Author Interviews
3:49 am
Sun March 3, 2013

Secretly Working To Win The War In 'Atomic City'

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 6:48 am

Before the fight to win women equal footing in the workplace, there was the fight against Hitler and Hirohito. In the depths of World War II, everyone in America had to pitch in, men and women alike. And in 1943 the government offered war jobs, lots of them, in a town called Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Where is it on a map? What do they do there? What will I do there? The government didn't give any answers to those questions — and still the recruits, many of them young women, streamed in.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:07 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

For Ireland's First Female President, 'Everybody Matters'

Mary Robinson was Ireland's first female president. A former United Nations High Commissioner and activist lawyer, she has advocated for human rights around the world.
Jurgen Frank Jurgen Frank

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 3:21 pm

For seven years, Mary Robinson served as the first female president of Ireland. Yet, she also has a long record of service as a human rights advocate.

After leaving office in 1997, she was appointed as the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations. She now runs The Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice. This week, she has a new book out called Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice.

Read more

Pages