Arts/Life

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 27, 2012

'May We Be Forgiven' Blames The Online World

Courtesy of Viking Penguin

"I am guilty," admits Harold Silver, the protagonist of A.M. Homes' new novel, May We Be Forgiven. "I am guilty of even more than I realized I could be guilty of."

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Book Reviews
2:06 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

A Midcentury Romance, With 'Sunlight' And 'Shadow'

John Craven Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town! And Mark Helprin's new near-epic novel makes it all the more marvelous. It's got great polarized motifs — war and peace, heroism and cowardice, crime and civility, pleasure and business, love and hate, bias and acceptance — which the gifted novelist weaves into a grand, old-fashioned romance, a New York love story that begins with a Hollywoodish meet-cute on the Staten Island Ferry.

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Pop Culture
1:29 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Pow, Crash, Boom! Marvel Thrashes DC On Screen

The Avengers has brought in more money than any other movie this year — upwards of $600,000,000 domestically. Based on characters in Marvel comics, The Avengers was released on DVD on Tuesday.
Walt Disney

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 3:54 pm

The Avengers has brought in more money than any other movie this year — more than $600 million domestically. And it's only going to make more, especially with the DVD release this week.

The Avengers features characters from Marvel Comics, but the No. 2 movie of the year was based on a character from rival DC Comics — Batman. It's just the latest skirmish in a long, long, long-running battle between Marvel fans and DC fans.

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Books
12:45 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Poverty Informs J.K. Rowling's New Novel For Adults

Author J.K. Rowling arrives at the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in Leicester Square in central London.
Matt Crossick PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 10:00 am

  • Listen to Part One of the Interview
  • Hear the Extended Interview

The extended interview above includes parts one and two of the Morning Edition interview, plus additional material.


J.K. Rowling has a new novel. She's moved away from Harry Potter, the boy wizard whose stories prompted millions of kids to obsess over books big enough to serve as doorstops. Having concluded that series, she's written a novel for grown-ups called The Casual Vacancy, a story of troubled teenagers and their even more troubled parents.

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Author Interviews
12:12 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

'Sutton': America's 1920s, Bank-Robbing 'Robin Hood'

Hyperion

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 12:49 pm

After the global financial crisis hit in 2008, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer was so angry at banks, he says, he decided to write about the people who rob them — in the form of fiction, since he's not an economist.

"I thought it would be healthy to live vicariously through a bank robber at that moment that bankers were ruining the world," Moehringer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his first historical novel, Sutton, Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American bank robber."

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Movie Interviews
10:10 am
Wed September 26, 2012

A Day In The Life Of An Oakland Emergency Room

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 11:49 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. On television and in movies, the emergency rooms of big city hospitals are places of high drama, with doctors working furiously to save gunshot victims, those hurt in car accidents and people who are suffering a medical crisis, like a heart attack.

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Movie Reviews
7:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

'Won't Back Down' Takes A Too-Easy Way Out

Nona (Viola Davis), a well-meaning teacher, teams up with warrior mom Jamie (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to fix the education system that failed their children.
Kerry Hayes Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 9:49 am

Among the many remedies we have flung at our foundering inner-city schools is a force we have reckoned without: Maggie Gyllenhaal, raising hell in the feistily titled Won't Back Down as a harried single mother eking out a living selling cars in a proletarian city, nobly represented under lowering skies by Pittsburgh.

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Kitchen Window
5:42 am
Wed September 26, 2012

A Roll For All Seasons, Wrapped In Rice Paper

T. Susan Chang for NPR

It all started several months ago, when I was fishing around for something not-too-unhealthy for lunch. Spring was over — the once-tender lettuces now milky-hearted and stiff-leaved — and I was bored with salad. I love sandwiches, but every time I gorged on bread I stepped a little heavier onto the scale. "If you're going to eat constantly," I said to myself, knowing that I would, "you simply can't afford to pack on that many carbs at a time."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Pratchett Leaves Discworld For London In 'Dodger'

HarperCollins

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 6:20 am

In 2011, NPR's Morning Edition interviewed fantasy author Terry Pratchett about becoming a legalized-suicide advocate in his native England, after his diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Bad Sheriff: Murder, Lies And Southern Fried Catfish

Stephen Marche's latest book is How Shakespeare Changed Everything.

Just as the fanciest chefs will happily eat simple cheese and toast so long as it's prepared properly, literary writers will happily read genre fiction, as long as it's prepared properly. And the best preparer of hard-boiled crime fiction, or at least my favorite, was Jim Thompson. Though he was the pulpiest of pulp writers, he was also the densest and most intense and most complicated. His cheese on toast is like melted Gruyere over crusty fresh baguette.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

New In Paperback Sept. 24-30

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:48 am

Nonfiction releases from Condoleezza Rice, Michael Lewis, Thant Myint-U, Michael Moore and Toni Morrison.



Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Media
4:10 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

CNN Defends Reporting On Slain Ambassador's Diary

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed in an attack against the American consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11. CNN recovered Stevens' diary in the ruins of the consulate and used it in its reporting without obtaining consent from his family.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:16 pm

CNN is defending itself against accusations from the U.S. State Department that it trampled on the wishes of the family of the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya in reporting on his fears of a terrorist attack before his death.

The criticism stemmed from CNN's discovery and use of the late Chris Stevens' personal journal to pursue its reporting about his concerns over security in Benghazi, Libya. A top State Department official, Philippe Reines, called CNN's actions "indefensible" and "disgusting," saying the network had broken its promises to the dead ambassador's family.

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Theater
3:44 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

A Broadway Mystery Worthy Of 'Rebecca'

The original Vienna production of a new musical based on the novel Rebecca didn't fall prey to the woes plaguing a planned New York staging.
VBW

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 5:39 pm

There's a new mystery on Broadway — one about the musical Rebecca, based on the Daphne du Maurier novel.

You can't see it yet on the New York stage. In fact, it hasn't even started rehearsals. That's because the production is short $4.5 million after one of its investors died before he could hand over the money.

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Television
11:59 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Mindy Kaling Loves Rom-Coms And Being The Boss

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) must juggle a variety of responsibilities as an obstetrician-gynecologist in the new comedy The Mindy Project.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 1:02 pm

Mindy Kaling says she loves romantic comedies, even though she wrote last year in The New Yorker that saying so "is essentially an admission of mild stupidity."

Her new Fox TV show, The Mindy Project — which she created, stars in, writes and runs as co-executive producer — is essentially a serialized romantic comedy, where each week, viewers can check in with the character to see how her life is going, Kaling says.

Except she hopes her show is "actually funny," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Book Reviews
11:24 am
Tue September 25, 2012

A Lifetime Of Love In 'My Husband And My Wives'

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:58 am

Given the glut of autobiographies, a provocative subject alone isn't enough to snag a reader's attention, although, admittedly, the title of Charles Rowan Beye's new memoir, My Husband and My Wives, is certainly arresting. It's Beye's charming raconteur's voice, however, and his refusal to bend anecdotes into the expected "lessons" that really make this memoir such a knockout.

Beye won me over in his "Introduction" when he admitted that, looking back at the long span of his life — he's now over 80 — the big question he still asks himself is, "What was that all about?"

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Arts & Life
9:50 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Etiquette For Parents To Cure Birthday Party Blues

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 10:03 am

Back to school means homework, sports, and often times, a barrage of invitations to birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks about how parents can best handle sticky social situations from gifts to guest lists. She speaks with moms Karen Grigsby Bates, Leslie Morgan Steiner, Dani Tucker and Aracely Panameno.

First Reads
8:03 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Exclusive First Read: Lehane's 'Live By Night'

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 2:24 pm

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Set during Prohibition, Live by Night is Dennis Lehane's fast-paced chronicle of Joe Coughlin, son of a corrupt Boston police superintendent and self-described outlaw. The book follows Joe from his days as a small-time gangster in Boston through a hitch in prison, where he earns the friendship of an Italian mobster.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 25, 2012

'All Gone' Offers Disappointing Take On Hot Topic

Courtesy of Riverhead Books

The best memoirs transcend the strictly personal. New York Times columnist Alex Witchel's book All Gone, about one of the hottest topics among baby boomers — caring for our aging parents — comes across as boomerish in a bad way: self-absorbed and immature, as if she's the first to suffer this sort of stress and loss.

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Fine Art
1:28 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Print-Inspired Art: All The News That's Fit To Paint

Alfredo Ramos Martinez painted Head of a Nun, tempera on newspaper, in 1934.
Gerard Vuilleumier The Alfredo Ramos Martinez Research Project, Reproduced by Permission

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 10:00 am

The print newspaper industry may be struggling, but newsprint is alive and well on the walls of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The show is called "Shock of the News" — and it examines a century's worth of interaction between artists and the journals of their day.

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
3:00 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Loose Meat Sandwich

Beware Pickpockets and Loose Meat.
NPR

We've all encountered loose change, loose teeth, and certainly loose-fitting pants, but only a lucky few of us have encountered the Loose Meat Sandwich. It's an Iowa classic that's basically like a hamburger, except the patty doesn't hold together at all. We picked up a couple from Maid-Rite here in Chicago.

Mike: The meat pebbles make it so much easier to fatten up those hard to reach parts of the body.

Leah: I think you have to have baleen to eat this properly.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Redistricting: A Story Of Divisive Politics, Odd Shapes

Robert Draper is the author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the House of Representatives and Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush.
Dena Andre

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:47 pm

Journalist Robert Draper says the 27th Congressional District in South Texas looks like a Glock pistol. It's just one of several "funny shapes" you will see in states across the U.S. as a result of the redrawing of congressional boundaries — otherwise known as redistricting.

"These maps can be very, very fanciful — they're these kinds of impressionistic representations of the yearnings and deviousness of politics today," Draper tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Author Interviews
10:42 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Choke Artist' On Lowering Expectations

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Yale law professor and author, Amy Chua, scored a best seller last year with her memoir, "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." In it, she describes herself and other so-called Tiger Mothers who go to almost any length to push their kids toward perfection, holding back dinner until she nails that violin cadenza, threatening to put him out for being disobedient or demanding that she get straight As and become a doctor or a lawyer or maybe both.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Making A Comedy Pilot? You Might Want To Call James Burrows

In a 2001 photo, actress Debra Messing and director James Burrows pose together after Burrows won a Directors Guild of America award for directing the pilot of Will & Grace.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:41 pm

"It's staggering."

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Monkey See
7:14 am
Mon September 24, 2012

A Dull Night At The Emmys, But A Big One For 'Homeland' And 'Modern Family'

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis hold up their Emmy Awards for Showtime's Homeland.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 8:53 am

Let us say this first: As an actual determination of the utmost merit in television, the Emmy Awards are ridiculous and have been ridiculous for quite some time. Naming shows that the Emmys failed to take seriously is easy: The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the run of Friday Night Lights and so forth. If you look to the Emmys to actually anoint the best show or the best performance, you will bawl your eyes out over and over, and also, anyone who watches very much television will make fun of you as a rube and a dupe. Is that blunt enough?

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon September 24, 2012

The Anti-Romance Novel I Didn't Know I Needed

Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls.

I was never more confident in my knowledge of the world of men and women than the summer I was 13. I'd become an expert, certainly not through any hands-on experience with boys, but by reading the trashy romance novels my best friend, Michele, had pinched from her mother.

That summer I read books whose covers featured beautiful wild-haired maidens, heaving bosoms barely contained in torn blouses, on stallions, heads thrown back, submitting to or resisting the advances of some rogue.

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Author Interviews
2:16 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

The Life And Times Of Movie Star 'Laura Lamont'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:05 pm

It's a small town girl's dream: One day, you're strutting the floorboards of a summer stage; the next, the silver screen. Thus is the arc of Elsa Emerson, a Door County, Wis., girl whose life at the Cheery County playhouse never quite goes away when she becomes the Oscar-winning Laura Lamont.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sun September 23, 2012

'Wallflower' Film Puts Adolescence On Screen

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, from the small screen to the big one, and the story of a teenage boy about to begin his freshman year of high school.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER")

LOGAN LERMAN: (as Charlie) Dear Friend, I haven't really talked to anyone outside of my family all summer. But tomorrow is my first day and I really want to turn things around this year.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sun September 23, 2012

In 'Mad River,' A Friendly Cop Tackles Rural Crime

Courtesy of Riverhead Hardcover

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

John Sandford has written his own five-foot shelf of novels and thrillers, most of them as part of the "Prey" series. Almost all of the books are set in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

His cast of characters has changed and shifted somewhat over time, but largely features Minnesota cops. The plots are centered around Lucas Davenport, a kind of superstar investigator who ages a little from book to book and has a checkered career with a bit of a bad boy reputation – one that has not prevented him from becoming a high ranking official in state law enforcement.

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Monkey See
3:33 am
Sun September 23, 2012

On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs PBS

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility?

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Finding Consecutively Good TV Shows

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 8:46 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a TV show, past or present. Each can be found in consecutive letters in the sentences read. Name the TV shows. For example, in the sentence, "We watched the acrobat many times," the hidden TV show is BATMAN. Hint: Each answer has at least six letters.

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