Arts/Life

Sunday Puzzle
10:01 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

A Challenge That Is Initially Famous

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 2:23 pm

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a two- or three-word description of a famous person. The initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person.

Read more
NPR Story
1:00 pm
Sat April 14, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: Judge's Current Favorites

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
6:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'The Lifeboat': Who Gets Saved In Titanic Times?

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, a piece of fiction inspired by the Titanic's fateful voyage. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the famous shipwreck, a cluster of books have been released looking back on the voyage. But the book that caught the eye of NPR's Lynn Neary is invented. It's the story of a fictional shipwreck that occurred two years after the Titanic. It's called "Lifeboat." Here's her report.

Read more
Books
4:02 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'Prague Fatale': 'Downton Abbey With SS'

Penguin USA

Philip Kerr is a British novelist, born a decade after the end of World War II, who has written a series of compelling thrillers about crime in wartime Nazi Germany. His hero — mostly a hero — is a tough and cynical Berliner, a cop named Bernie Gunther. The newest book is the eighth in the series; it's called Prague Fatale.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:01 am
Sat April 14, 2012

'Heretics': The Crisis Of American Christianity

iStock Photo

The United States ranks as the most religious country in the developed world. And New York Times columnist Ross Douthat says that despite our politics, debates and doubts, this country is as God-besotted today as ever.

But in his new book, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, Douthat argues that religion has fallen into heresy (hence the feisty subtitle). Douthat recently spoke with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about why he thinks American Christianity has become distorted.


Interview Highlights

Read more
Titanic: Voyage To The Past
4:01 am
Sat April 14, 2012

History Lost And Found: A Letter From Titanic

Surviving officers of the Titanic recalled ship's doctor John Edward Simpson as perfectly calm in the face of death, even giving his pocket flashlight to one of the lifeboat captains.
Courtesy of Kate Dornan

Originally published on Sat April 14, 2012 12:36 pm

Many famous names went down with the Titanic, like the American millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest person on the ship, and Macy's department store owner Isidor Straus.

But you may not know about one of the ship's doctors — John Edward Simpson. Aboard the Titanic, Simpson wrote a letter to his mother back home in Belfast. It was mailed from the great ship's last port of call before it made its disastrous turn across the North Atlantic.

Read more
The Salt
4:00 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Revealing The Revolting Beauty Of Food Waste

Watermelon | Place of production: Pilar de la Horadada, Alicante, Spain | Transporting distance: 2.442 km | Carbon footprint (total) per kg: 0,54 kg | Water requirement (total) per kg: 1490 L
Klaus Pichler

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:52 am

Isn't rotting food beautiful?

Nobody likes to see good food go bad. But Klaus Pichler's photography series One Third, which portrays food in advanced stages of decay, is a feast for the eyes — even if it turns the stomach.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:14 am
Sat April 14, 2012

Former Yankees Pitcher Jim Bouton Plays Not My Job

Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun April 15, 2012 1:27 pm

Jim Bouton is a former All-Star pitcher for the New York Yankees. His classic baseball memoir Ball Four, which was first published in 1970, is just out as an e-book.

Bouton famously wrote about shenanigans in baseball, which have arguably gotten worse since then. But compared to other sports around the world, baseball players are hardly immoral at all. We're going to ask him three questions about people who really know how to cheat.

Read more
Monkey See
10:01 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

The Fourth Stooge: Memories Of 'Uncle Shemp'

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 8:02 am

This weekend, the Farrelly Brothers' version of The Three Stooges arrives in theaters. You'll see plenty of Larry, Moe and Curly. But who won't you see? Shemp. Or, as NPR's Sue Goodwin calls him, "Uncle Shemp."

Read more
Three Books...
3:23 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Permanent Siesta: 3 Books To Whisk You Away

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

One doesn't necessarily associate spring travel with heavy reading. For one, books are bulky luggage, the weighty enemies of economical packers; even an e-reader takes up precious space in one's overflowing duffel. And two, escapist migration to mountaintops or flowery fields or seaside locales for sun worship and meditative communion with nature connotes a markedly book-free environment, an escape from the office or the solemn halls of academe.

Read more
Television
2:04 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

'Airbender' Creators Reclaim Their World In 'Korra'

Korra demonstrates fire- and water-bending in The Legend of Korra, a new series from the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It premieres April 14 on Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

When M. Night Shyamalan's fantasy film The Last Airbender — panned by both critics and fans of the wildly popular TV series on which it was based — flopped majestically at the box office, it looked like the end of a valuable franchise.

But now, with The Legend of Korra, which premieres Saturday on Nickelodeon, the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender have been given a rare chance to rebuild a world that was taken away from them.

Read more
Arts & Life
10:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Tagalog Translator Reminisces On Rivers, Mountains

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from translator and writer Susan Layug of Chicago, Illinois. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Television
8:40 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Lena Dunham's 'Girls' Navigate New York City Life

Girls has been compared to Sex and the City. The characters, played by Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet, navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.
HBO

This Sunday, HBO premieres a new comedy series that's written and directed by Lena Dunham, who grabbed the media spotlight in 2010 with her film Tiny Furniture. She's 25 years old now, and stars in this new TV series as well.

Read more
Poetry
6:52 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Poet Marie Howe Reflects On The 'Living' After Loss

Marie Howe is the author of three collections of poetry. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Brad Fowler courtesy of the author

This interview was originally broadcast on October 20, 2011.

A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called "What the Living Do," the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.

Read more
Movie Reviews
10:58 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

'Hit So Hard': At The Center, But Still Out Of Focus

Seen here in a self-portrait, Patty Schemel, drummer for the '90s alternative rock band Hole, faced some of the same challenges of sudden fame and drug addiction as bandmate Courtney Love.
Courtesy of Well Go USA / Variance Films

Whenever a lead singer's star presence, whether through force of vision or excess of vanity, eclipses the collective unit of a rock band, the other members become — to quote the great Cameron Crowe rock odyssey Almost Famous — "the out-of-focus guys."

Read more
Movie Reviews
9:16 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

An Inspiring Teacher, Exactly When He's Needed

Mohamed Fellag, an Algerian comedian and humor writer, plays the title character in the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, who steps in to teach a class of middle school students at exactly the right time.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 3:55 pm

At the start of a bright, sunny day that seems otherwise like any other day, a popular teacher is found dead in her classroom. It was suicide.

The school is traumatized, especially that teacher's students. By the next day, the principal is at her wits' end trying to find someone willing to take the class. So when Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) offers to teach, it comes at just the right moment.

Read more
Movie Interviews
9:01 am
Thu April 12, 2012

'Chico & Rita': An Animated Film With A Cuban Beat

Chico's story mimics the stories of many Cuban musicians who left Havana and arrived in New York City in the 1940s — a time when musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were starting to emerge.
Luna Films

The animated film Chico and Rita is set in 1940s Havana, at a time when Cuban musicians were starting to leave the country and join the jazz scene in New York. It was also a time when musical styles were fusing — and changing the Afro-Cuban jazz scene entirely.

The film tells the story of Chico, one of the best piano players in Havana, and Rita, his sultriest singer. They're lovers, and eventually their migration takes them past New York to Paris — criss-crossing continents to make music while struggling to keep themselves and their relationship afloat.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:46 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Surviving 'Immobility' And End Times

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:20 am

Stories about the end of the world are as old as literature itself. From the tale of Noah's Ark to the plague-ravaged landscapes of Mary Shelley's controversial 1826 novel The Last Man, writers have long held a morbid fascination with the possibility of a future apocalypse.

Read more
Media
1:17 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Huckabee Pledges More Civil Alternative To Limbaugh

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says his new radio show will be more "conversation and less confrontation."
Gary Kline

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 8:22 am

Mike Huckabee fell short four years ago in his quest to become the Republican presidential nominee. As of this week, the former Arkansas governor has a new job: national radio talk show host.

The Mike Huckabee Show started Monday with an anticipatory flourish.

"Welcome to the community of conversation. You've just made a right turn, and you've arrived at the corner of conservatism and common sense," he said. "In this show, we're going to be confronting the issues — not the listeners."

Read more
New In Paperback
11:37 am
Wed April 11, 2012

New In Paperback April 9-15

Love of My Youth cover detail
Pantheon

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Mary Gordon, Henning Mankell, Jim Rasenberger, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Charles J. Ogletree Jr. and Meghan O'Rourke .

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

Book Reviews
10:16 am
Wed April 11, 2012

'Present': For Nadine Gordimer, Politics Hit Home

Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo courtesy of the author

Nadine Gordimer's trademark characters live for politics, the Struggle. You get the feeling they would be sick to their collective stomachs if they ever even tried to bite into a gourmet cupcake.

Read more
Arts & Life
10:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Virginia Author Remembers Nostalgic Summers

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, guest host Viviana Hurtado shares a poetic tweet from author and professor Luisa Igloria of Norfolk, Virginia. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Movies
10:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Film Festival Turns Lens To African Homeland

The 19th New York African Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, with a wide selection of films exploring ideas of home and homeland. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with the festival's founder Mahen Bonetti, and documentary filmmaker Laura Gamse, who is showing her film The Creators about South African artists.

Monkey See
9:59 am
Wed April 11, 2012

'America Revealed': The Ups And Downs Of The Quest For More Of Everything

Yul Kwon visits the Reno Tomatina, a giant tomato fight, in the first episode of PBS's America Revealed.
jeffross.com PBS

Read more
Author Interviews
9:58 am
Wed April 11, 2012

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."

"And it was like, no, I don't want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And that wasn't happening, and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me."

Read more
Book Reviews
5:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Sleuth Soccer Moms Tackle Bad Guys And Stereotypes

iStockPhoto.com

In the most vital essay on crime fiction ever written — Raymond Chandler's 1944 apologia "The Simple Art of Murder" — Chandler paid this tribute to his hard-boiled predecessor, Dashiell Hammett: "Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it into the alley."

Read more
Theater
2:35 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Encore! Encore! Applauding The Literal Showstopper

Actress Pearl Bailey during curtain call for the 1967 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!
John Dominis Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:26 pm

Earlier this month, tenor Juan Diego Florez made headlines when he sang the aria "Una furtiva lagrima" in the Donizetti opera L'elisir D'Amore at the Metropolitan Opera — not once, but twice.

The audience responded so enthusiastically that after well over a minute of applause and shouts of "Encore!" he sang the whole thing again — all five minutes of it.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:34 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

'Indie Darling' Greta Gerwig, Making A Bigger Splash

Greta Gerwig (center) tells NPR's Robert Siegel that she doesn't mind being called "Hollywood's indie darling" — as long as she can keep making movies the way she wants.
Sony Pictures Classics

Greta Gerwig, who stars in Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress, has made a name in indie films like Greenberg with a style that stands out for its naturalism. In Damsels, she inhabits the role of Violet, a bright, sweet, sincere college girl as only a bright, sweet, sincere former college girl could.

Read more
Kitchen Window
1:00 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

No Ordinary Bake Sale: Simply Made From Scratch

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 5:00 am

Parenting has changed in the past few decades. My mother didn't work while raising her first three children, finally going back when I was 4. She didn't have to worry about car seats or tummy time or how much television we watched.

Read more
Arts & Life
10:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Arizona Artist Looks To Space For Celestial Verses

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from writer and artist Heather Feaga from Phoenix, Arizona. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Pages