Arts/Life

Arts & Life
9:45 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Philly Poet Likens Twitter To Modern-Day Scrolls

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from Philadelphia poet and English professor, Kelly McQuain. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Book Reviews
8:44 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Lillian Hellman: A 'Difficult,' Vilified Woman

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 10:17 am

"Difficult" is probably the most tactful word one could use in characterizing Lillian Hellman. If ever there were an author safer to meet through her art rather than in real life, she was the one. Born in New Orleans into a Jewish family, Hellman came of age in the Roaring '20s, liberated by flappers and Freud. Hellman drank like a fish, swore like a sailor and slept around like, well, like most of the men in her literary circle, chief among them Dashiell Hammett, with whom she had an open relationship spanning three decades. She was, recalled one observer, a "tough broad ...

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Author Interviews
8:35 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Following Garbage's Long Journey Around The Earth

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 10:03 am

Americans generate more trash than anyone else on the planet: more than 7 pounds per person each day.

About 69 percent of that trash goes immediately into landfills. And most landfill trash is made up of containers and packaging — almost all of which should be recycled, says Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes,

"It's instant trash," he says. "We pay for this stuff, and it goes right into the waste bin, and we're not capturing it the way our recycling programs are intending us to capture it. We're just sticking it in the ground and building mountains out of it."

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Monkey See
7:03 am
Thu April 26, 2012

For Fans Of The NFL Draft, A Heady Cocktail Of Hope And Sloth

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 8:10 am

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New In Paperback
12:05 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

New In Paperback April 23-29

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 12:42 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Kevin Wilson, Adrian Burgos Jr., Kevin Mitnick, Melissa Fay Greene and Doug Saunders.

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

Television
10:11 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Hugh Laurie's 'House': No Pain, No Gain

Hugh Laurie has received two Golden Globe awards and two Screen Actors Guild awards for his portrayal of Dr. Gregory House.
Fox

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 11:20 am

For the past eight seasons, actor Hugh Laurie has played Dr. Gregory House on the Fox medical series House. House is brash, narcissistic, unsympathetic, addicted to painkillers, confrontational — and 100 percent American.

Laurie is none of those things.

"I am not playing House today, so I am dressed as an Englishman and speaking as an Englishman," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm wearing a bowler hat and carrying a furled umbrella. It's nice to have a day every now and then off from the vocal exercises."

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Television
10:10 am
Wed April 25, 2012

I, David Bianculli, Highly Recommend 'I, Claudius'

Patrick Stewart co-starred in the BBC series that spanned the history of the Roman empire from Augustus through Claudius.
Acorn Media

I, Claudius came to American television, imported from the BBC, in 1977 — the same year as another ambitious long-form production, ABC's Roots, which proved to everyone that miniseries were an exciting and extremely popular new form of television. I, Claudius, shown on the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre, didn't get anything close to the audience that Roots did — but it sure got a lot of attention.

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Arts & Life
9:44 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Sculptor Gerson Frank On Love And Art

The 89-year-old sculptor recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to view two of his pieces in a collection for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. But the trip gave him the chance to fulfill another dream: marrying his partner of more than 30 years. Frank speaks with host Michel Martin about his art and his marriage.

Arts & Life
9:44 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Notre Dame Professor Pounds Out The Poems

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from Sondra Byrnes, an associate professor of law and business. She says she's only been writing poetry for a year, but has written almost 1,700 poems. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 25, 2012

In Sequel To 'Drive,' Sallis Delivers A Thrill Ride

iStockPhoto.com

James Sallis says he had no intention of writing a sequel to Drive, his 2005 neo-noir thriller that, with the help of dreamy lead Ryan Gosling, later became one of the moodiest films of 2011. But after telling his agent as much over the phone one day, Sallis couldn't shake the vision of "a woman leaning against a wall, bleeding out," an image that eventually became the opening scene of Driven.

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Arts & Life
2:37 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Celebrating Poem In Your Pocket Day

iStock Photo

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 10:12 am

National Poetry Month may be coming to an end, but poetry lovers still have one big day to look forward to this April. This Thursday is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is to tuck a favorite poem into your back pocket to share with family, friends and co-workers. Poetry lovers across the country have come up with clever ways to celebrate.

At Baggby's Gourmet Sandwiches in Charlottesville, Virginia, customers will find something different in their bag lunches. Owner Jon LaPanta explains.

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Kitchen Window
4:44 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Overnight Breakfast: A Feast For Reluctant Risers

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:23 am

I've never been much good at mornings. For most of my life, I prided myself on being a night owl, the type of gal who could always handle one more thing after midnight — another phone call, a few more pages of a novel, a last turn on the dance floor. For years, I even showered at night. And if, in the morning, I couldn't produce a civil word before my first sip of coffee, well, that was a small price to pay.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
12:58 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Both Community And Garden Grow In 'Seedfolks'

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

April showers bring May flowers, and in this case they bring us a selection from the garden for NPR's Backseat Book Club. Each month we ask young people to read a book along with us, and for this month, our pick is Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
12:48 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

May Backseat Book Club Pick: 'Heart Of A Samurai'

cover detail

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:27 pm

Our May book takes us on the most action-packed adventure yet for NPR's Backseat Book Club. In the Newbery Honor-winning Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, we meet 14-year-old Manjiro, a Japanese boy who works on a fishing boat. Manjiro looks out across the sea and wonders what lies there. "Barbarians live there," he's told.

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The Salt
10:59 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Poll: Are Your Friends Bombarding You With 'Food Porn'?

NPR's Becky Lettenberger freely admits she is guilty of showering her friends with her food photos.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 8:22 am

Is the "culinary paparazzi" out of control? That's the message of a parody video by musical comedians The Key of Awesome.

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Monkey See
10:53 am
Tue April 24, 2012

'...Baby One More Time' One More Time

A screencap from the Britney Spears video, "...Baby One More Time."

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 2:09 pm

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Arts & Life
9:41 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Poker Player's Poem Offers A Winning Hand

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from poet and poker player Joel Dias-Porter. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Author Interviews
9:28 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Anna Quindlen: Over 50, And Having 'Plenty Of Cake'

Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose new memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, explores her past, present and future.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 10:44 am

As a little girl, Anna Quindlen wasn't afraid of a whole lot. She frequently got into trouble and occasionally shot off her mouth. But as she grew older, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer became what she calls a "girl imitation."

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Book Reviews
9:28 am
Tue April 24, 2012

'Death And The Penguin' Captures Post-Soviet Reality

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:32 am

When you hear the words "Russian novel," you probably picture something as big and heavy as an anvil. Yet ever since the fall of communism, we've seen the ascent of Russian novelists who are shorter-winded and jauntier.

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Poetry
6:48 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Press-Play Poetry: 'Failing And Flying'

Alexander Chernyakov iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 9:27 am

Some poetry is meant to be heard as well as read. Press-Play Poetry is an occasional series that celebrates the power of the voice to bring lines on a page to life.

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

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue April 24, 2012

'Lots Of Candles': Growing Older Ecstatically

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:09 pm

Before mommy blogs and the now ubiquitous parenting columns about the life-work balance, there was "Life in the Thirties," Anna Quindlen's must-read New York Times column weighing in on everything from baby gear and baby sitters to flannel nightgowns and abortion. When Quindlen left newspaper journalism (and her Pulitzer Prize-winning "Public and Private" op-ed column, which succeeded "Life in the Thirties") to become a full-time novelist in 1995, many of her readers felt as if a close friend had suddenly stopped calling.

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Author Interviews
1:27 am
Tue April 24, 2012

A Rival For Pigeon In Willems' New 'Duckling'

Author Mo Willems says the character of Pigeon first appeared in the margins of other projects, and demanded to be written about.
Marty Umans

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 11:51 am

For a certain set of readers, one need only say the word "pigeon" to set off a frenzied outburst of delight. Pigeon is the star of a series of best-selling children's books, including The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog! and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! He's not much more than a stick figure with two circles for eyes, but he can still get huffy and display all the melodrama of a 4-year-old.

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Arts & Life
9:47 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Hip Hop Author Freestyles In Haiku

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:04 am

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet, in the form of a haiku, from Scott Heath. He's a professor of African-American literature and black pop culture. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Movie Interviews
9:20 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder

In Bernie, Jack Black plays a local mortician who murders his live-in companion after she won't stop nagging him. The movie is based on a true story.
Deana Newcomb Wind Dancer Films

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:59 am

Actor Jack Black is best known for his comedic performances in films like Nacho Libre and School of Rock. In his latest film, Bernie, Black goes to a darker place: He plays a serious small-town funeral director who uncharacteristically murders his live-in companion, a wealthy widow played by Shirley MacLaine.

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Monkey See
8:31 am
Mon April 23, 2012

'Mad Men': Hallucinations And Love Songs Are Often Mistaken For One And The Same

Jane Sterling (Peyton List) and Roger Sterling (John Slattery) made progress, in a way, on Sunday night's Mad Men.
Jordin Althaus AMC

Sunday night's Mad Men took 20 minutes or so to reveal its structure. We watched Peggy Olson fight with her boyfriend, flame out at the Heinz presentation, take herself to the movies, smoke a joint with a stranger, hook up with him (after a fashion) in the dark, return to the office, hear the sad story of Michael Ginsburg, and then meet up with her boyfriend again. Only a mysterious, frantic phone call from Don suggested that there were pieces missing.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Beyond The 'Blonde': A Look At Marilyn's Inner Life

Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

Manuel Munoz's first novel is What You See in the Dark.

Think Julianne Moore's take on Sarah Palin, or Meryl Streep's depiction of Margaret Thatcher.

Actors in biopics have a major leg up on writers when it comes to developing character. Even casual viewers can judge the performance a success if it mimics what we remember of the public persona.

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Author Interviews
1:23 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Rodney King Comes To Grips With 'The Riot Within'

After suffering from injuries from the beating and struggling publicly with alcoholism, today Rodney King is contented, sober and engaged — to Cynthia Kelley, who served on the jury of King's civil trial against the city.
Morgan St. John

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:30 am

With a helicopter buzzing overhead, the videotape of Rodney King's encounter with police is so famous, you could say he was beaten into American history: The image of him writhing in pain as several Los Angeles police officers repeatedly beat, kicked and tasered him is, by now, world-famous — and synonymous with abuse of power.

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Author Interviews
1:22 am
Mon April 23, 2012

The Artistry Of 'Children's Picturebooks' Revealed

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:15 am

Children's books seem simple, but good ones are deceptively complicated to write and illustrate.

"Traditionally illustrated books are books where the text makes sense on its own. It doesn't necessarily need words," writer Martin Salisbury tells NPR's Renee Montagne, whereas with picture books, neither the text nor the images stand separately — they need each other.

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Author Interviews
12:21 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

India: A Country In The Midst Of Change

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 8:23 pm

Akash Kapur is the son of an Indian father and an American mother. In 2003, after working professionally in New York City for more than a decade, he decided to return to India. As he writes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, he arrived in a place he hardly recognized.

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Movies
5:33 am
Sun April 22, 2012

That's Not CGI: At Monsterpalooza, Monsters Are Real

Traditional monster makeup helped transform actor Chris Sarandon in the 1985 version of Fright Night.
Columbia Pictures/Photofest

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 9:43 am

Summer is coming, and with it comes big summer movies, stuffed full of computer-created aliens, monsters and giant explosions. Not all filmmakers want to use CGI, however, and many of them gathered to celebrate the craft of "practical effects" at a recent convention called Monsterpalooza in Burbank, Calif.

Sara Karloff is the daughter of one of the most famous movie monsters of all time: Boris Karloff. She says she never saw her father's Frankenstein makeup in person. "I'm awfully glad I didn't see him in those makeups," she says. "I would have probably been a damaged child."

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