Arts/Life

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Modern 'Plague,' And The Heroes Who Tamed It

How to Survive a Plague features Peter Staley and others who fought to bring attention to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.
William Lucas Walker IFC Films

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:26 am

Late in How to Survive a Plague, a fair-minded, careful history of the AIDS-activist movement ACT UP, comes an affecting montage that bears witness to the triumph and the tragedy of the New York-based group's radical crusade — a push to get affordable treatment for a disease that, at its peak in the late 1980s, was killing millions worldwide.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

The Pangs And 'Perks' Of High School, Revisited

Sam (Emma Watson), Charlie (Logan Lerman) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) help each other through the lowest parts of high school in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
John Bramley Summit Entertainment

Writer-director Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own 1999 novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, might just as aptly be titled The Pains of Being a Wallflower. This fable of early-'90s high school recounts (if it usually doesn't show) abundant trauma — including suicide, child sexual abuse, psychotic blackouts and a gay boy who's bashed by his own father.

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Author Interviews
12:46 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

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Television
12:07 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Kelly Macdonald: Strong Woman On The 'Boardwalk'

In Boardwalk Empire, Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) is married to corrupt political boss "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi.)
Macall B. Polay HBO

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 12:24 pm

When Kelly Macdonald landed her first acting gig in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed 1996 film, Trainspotting, her lack of experience made it hard for her to relax on set.

"I don't think I spoke very much — I was very, very shy," Macdonald tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I kind of hid in the toilets most of the time when we weren't required on set."

Before Trainspotting, Macdonald was working at a bar in Glasgow, Scotland. After two friends separately handed her fliers for the movie's open casting call, she decided to audition.

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The Picture Show
10:45 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Photographing Literature's Famous Food Scenes

"The kitchen table was loaded with enough food to bury the family: hunks of salt pork, tomatoes, beans, even scuppernongs." (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Dinah Fried

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:37 am

A confession: I've read Jack Kerouac's On the Road, but I can't tell you much about it. Yes, I know he's on a road trip. But beyond that, I don't recall any of the characters or anything they do or what the point was. What I do remember is that he described some truly great food. In fact, I liked those sections of the book so much that when I read them, I apparently felt the need to scribble them down, word for word, in a notebook.

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Music Interviews
9:25 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Nelly Furtado Inspires 'The Spirit Indestructible'

Nelly Furtado says her new album, The Spirit Indestructible, is both fun and spiritual.
Mary Rozzi

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:10 pm

Singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado has sold more than 16 million albums and 18 million singles worldwide. She's gone multiplatinum in 32 countries and won a bevy of awards, including a U.S. Grammy and the Canadian and British equivalents.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 20, 2012

A Leap Of The Imagination Across The 'River Of Bees'

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:09 am

Ursula Le Guin comes immediately to mind when you turn the pages of Kij Johnson's first book of short stories, her debut collection is that impressive. The title piece has that wonderful power we hope for in all fiction we read, the surprising imaginative leap that takes us to recognize the marvelous in the everyday.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 20, 2012

T.C. Boyle's 'San Miguel' Is No Island Paradise

Viking Adult

San Miguel is the name of a treeless island off the coast of California where, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a few nervy ranchers struggled to raise sheep. San Miguel is also the name of T. Coraghessan Boyle's chilling and beautiful new novel, which is loosely based on the memoirs of those ranchers.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu September 20, 2012

New In Paperback Sept. 17-23

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Alan Hollinghurst, Thomas Frank, Siddhartha Deb, Emmanuel Carrere and Mindy Kaling.

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

Movie Interviews
1:27 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Watch This: Filmmaker Kevin Smith's Varied Tastes

Kevin Smith has served as a writer, actor and director for films such as Clerks.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:33 pm

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

The Elusive, Endangered 'Knuckleball'

Knuckleball! also features the only other active knuckleball pitcher during the 2011 season: R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets.
Break Thru Films

There are essentially two things that can happen with a knuckleball. It can float toward the plate without spin, jerk around like boozy relatives at a wedding hall and make the world's best hitters look like hapless Looney Tunes characters. Or it can float toward the plate with spin, lope with a steady trajectory at 65 mph and give the world's best hitters the juiciest slab of red meat this side of Sizzler.

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Author Interviews
12:40 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Debunking The 'Myth Of The Muslim Tide'

Philippe Huguen Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 4:36 am

The violent protests that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East over a video insulting the Prophet Muhammad were in part a reflection of conflicting values — Islamic strictures on images of the prophet versus the Western principle of respect for free speech.

But journalist Doug Saunders says that the video itself reflects a troubling current in Western political discourse — an irrational fear of Muslim communities in Europe and the United States.

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Book Reviews
11:35 am
Wed September 19, 2012

'Life Of Objects' Tells A Cautionary WWII Fairy Tale

Knopf

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:25 am

Susanna Moore's latest novel, The Life of Objects, is a slim World War II saga that reads like a cautionary fairy tale: It's packed with descriptions of ornate furniture and paintings, lavish banquets, demons and diamonds. At the center of the story is a young girl bewitched by her own desire to live a larger life, a wish that's granted with grim exactitude.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

'The Black Count' Cuts A Fascinating Figure

Crown

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:39 am

The novelist Alexandre Dumas — the one known for penning The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers — is often referred to as "Alexandre Dumas, pere." This is to distinguish him from his son, also a writer, who is identified as "Alexandre Dumas, fils." The thing is, there is an even older Alex Dumas who, while not a professional writer, made quite a name for himself in Revolutionary France. For the father of Alexandre Dumas, pere, the sword was mightier than the pen, and this larger-than-life figure's story heavily influenced the fiction of his literary offspring.

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Television
1:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Claire Danes: Playing Bipolar Is Serious Business

Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison in Showtime's Homeland. The second season premieres on Sept. 30.
Kent Smith Showtime

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:33 am

The second season is about to start for the Showtime series Homeland, a show whose cast and crew are up for numerous honors at the Emmy Awards Sept. 23.

One of them is Claire Danes, who plays a CIA agent who's become obsessed with the idea that an American hero — a Marine returned home after years of captivity in Iraq — has secretly become an operative for al-Qaida. Danes spoke to NPR's Steve Inskeep about preparing for the part, finding the character's body language and being "a big fat ham."

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Kitchen Window
4:00 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

How To Upset The Apple Cart, Deliciously

Michele Kayal for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 8:28 am

Apples are the onions of the fruit world: abundant, versatile and a friend to almost any flavor. Apples and onions even go well together.

As we enter the thick of fall, apples will tumble from their bins, a harmony of flavors, textures and hues — reds, yellows, browns and greens — that capture the very essence of the season. But when was the last time you thought of using an apple for anything besides pie, applesauce or cider? Maybe you tossed one into a salad. Maybe.

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Monkey See
8:55 am
Tue September 18, 2012

The Sophistication Problem: James Bond, Gene Kelly, And The Limbs We Live On

iStockphoto.com

In an excellent piece at the Press Play blog at Indiewire, Matt Zoller Seitz writes of a screening of From Russia With Love, where he found that much of the audience was too busy guffawing at the elements it found dated to engage the film on its own terms. While he writes eloquently and angrily about the phenomenon of ironic distance, the killer line is this one: "It's up to the individual viewer to decide to connect or not connect with a creative work.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 18, 2012

'The People Of Forever' Are Frank But Flawed

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:33 am

Nothing like a novel by a young recruit to tell you the truths about an army, as in, say, From Here to Eternity and The Naked and the Dead. In this case it's a book called The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, by Shani Boianjiu, a young female veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. And though it may not be the first of its kind — Moshe Dayan's daughter Yael published some fiction about the Israeli army decades ago — Boianjiu's debut novel has some virtues all its own, and some flaws.

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Author Interviews
1:36 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Becoming 'Anton,' Or, How Rushdie Survived A Fatwa

Salman Rushdie's other novels include Midnight's Children, Shame and Luka and the Fire of Life.
Syrie Moskowitz Random House

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:04 am

The recent violence sparked by the film Innocence of Muslims recalls a very different controversy from more than 20 years ago:

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Author Interviews
1:35 am
Tue September 18, 2012

In 'Season,' One Plantation's Double Murder Mystery

Attica Locke is the also the author of Black Water Rising, a murder mystery set in a racially divided Houston.
Jenny Walters Harper

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 4:35 am

When it comes to healing the wounds of its troubled racial past, the United States is still in its "adolescent phase," says novelist Attica Locke. The 2008 presidential election changed everything she had been taught about race, she says — and, as an African-American writer, she felt compelled to write about that new reality. The result is The Cutting Season, a thrilling, century-spanning story of two murders.

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Renaissance CSI: Machiavelli-Da Vinci Detective Duo

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 4:39 pm

What would happen if two of the biggest names of the Renaissance — Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci — teamed up as a crime-fighting duo? That's the idea behind Michael Ennis' new historical thriller, The Malice of Fortune. The mystery novel pairs the ruthless political philosopher and the genius inventor and artist together as an unlikely detective team on the trail of a serial killer.

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Reporter's Notebook
2:31 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

For Liberian Youth, A Creative Outlet In Krumping

Franklyn Dunbar, 17, practices krumping with his crew at his mother's house in Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia, Liberia. Dunbar was born in New York, but moved to his home country of Liberia seven years ago.
Tamasin Ford NPR

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 4:39 pm

The music starts up, masking the blare of the generator needed to power the stereo. The dancers begin, and almost like a relay, they take turns showing their moves. Their bodies shake and contort to the beat. Their eyes are fixed in a stare with a fierce look of anger as they lose themselves in the music.

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Books
12:02 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

How Obama, Roberts Interpret Laws In 'The Oath'

Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Tim Sloan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 10:25 am

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran on the platform of "change we can believe in" — but he has a different approach to the Supreme Court's interpretation of constitutional law.

"Obama is a great believer in stability — in the absence of change — when it comes to the work of the Supreme Court," Jeffrey Toobin, author and senior legal analyst for CNN, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "He is the one trying to hold onto the older decisions, and [Chief Justice John] Roberts is the one who wants to move the court in a dramatically new direction."

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Monkey See
10:13 am
Mon September 17, 2012

The 25 Magic Words Of American Television

iStockphoto.com

Tonight, two new fall shows premiere: Mob Doctor, which is about a doctor who works for the mob, and Revolution, which is about a devastating global power outage and — more than that — a revolution.

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Food
9:34 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Are You A Sellout If You Cook For Your Man?

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 10:03 am

For generations women have been told, if you want a man, learn to cook. That's exactly why feminist writer Shayla Pierce stayed out of the kitchen. But now she finds herself with a boyfriend, learning to cook, and wondering if that makes her a sellout. She speaks with host Michel Martin about her article and her change of heart.

PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Books Behaving Badly: A Tale Of Real Life In Ink

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 11:28 am

Shani Boianjiu is the author of The People of Forever Are Not Afraid.

When I was 11, I found a book that did not know it was a book. It was a yellowing Hebrew translation of Tarjei Vesaas' Norwegian novel The Ice Palace. I found it on the shelf in my room that belonged to my parents' old books. Usually, these books were too long for me.

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Movies
1:38 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Toronto Looks East With Asian Film Summit

Luminaries including Mira Nair, Guneet Monga, Shailja Gupta, Nina Lath Gupta and Dibakar Banerjee attended TIFF's Asian Film Summit Banquet to discuss the growth of a new, realist South Asian cinema.
Peter Bregg Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:52 am

On Sunday, the annual Toronto International Film Festival came to a close after 11 days of screenings, meetings and, of course, parties. It's become an important place to kick off the fall film season. But this year, the festival wasn't only looking west to Hollywood — it was also sharpening its focus on the East, and the rise of new cinema from India, in particular.

One of the films at this year's Toronto festival was called Shanghai; it comes from Mumbai, and was directed by Dibakar Banerjee.

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The Salt
2:43 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

Nordic Cuisine: Moving Beyond The Meatballs And Pickled Fish

The Nordic Food Lab experiments with garum, a form of fish sauce familiar to the ancient Romans.
courtesy Nordic Food Lab

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 12:42 pm

For many people, the phrase "Scandinavian food" probably doesn't bring much to mind beyond the Ikea food court. For those who do have a connection with these Northern European countries, the mental image is probably smothered in gravy with a side of potatoes. But if you're coming to Copenhagen's noma restaurant expecting the same old meatballs and pickled fish, think again.

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Arts & Life
2:43 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

A Reminder, Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Is Open

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 7:50 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a reminder now that Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction Contest is open. It's where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. In each round, we have a judge with a new challenge. And this time, it's novelist Brad Meltzer, and he's come up with this.

BRAD MELTZER: Your story must revolve around a U.S. president who can be fictional or real.

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Author Interviews
4:24 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Doomed Love And Psychic Powers In 'Raven Boys'

Courtesy of Scholastic

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:20 am

Maggie Stiefvater is a young-adult author with a passionate fan base — she describes her subject matter as everything from "homicidal faeries" to "werewolf nookie."

She wrote the best-selling Shiver trilogy and the novel The Scorpio Races. Her most-recent book, The Raven Boys, is the first in a series of four that will follow Blue Sargent, daughter of the Henrietta, Va., town psychic, as she becomes involved with the lives of four students at the local private school who call themselves the Raven Boys.

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