Arts

Remembrances
12:30 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers 'Golden Notebook' Author Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing, pictured here in 2006, once refused to allow the queen to declare her a dame of the British Empire, because — as the author put it — "There is no British Empire."
Martin Cleaver AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 12:24 pm

Novelist and essayist Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She lived in England most of her life, but she grew up in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing often addressed racism and colonialism in her writing, including in a series of novels about a fictional character named Martha Quest. She was best known for her 1962 book, The Golden Notebook, which was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time.

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Books
11:04 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Actor Hill Harper On His Life-Changing 'Letters' From An Inmate

Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:13 pm

He's best known for starring in hit TV shows like CSI: NY and Covert Affairs, but actor Hill Harper's most significant role may be off the screen.

After writing several advice books, including the best-seller Letters to a Young Brother, Harper began receiving letters from young men in prison. He documents his relationship with one of them in his new book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother.

He spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about the prison system and how this friendship changed his life.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner

Parallel processing: Couscous cooks in the coffee maker's carafe while broccoli and cauliflower steam in the basket.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:36 pm

A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.

But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.

Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.

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Television
10:55 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'Totally Biased' TV Show Canceled, A Total Loss?

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 3:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'The Best Man Holiday' And The Language Of Expectations

Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs star in The Best Man Holiday.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

The Best Man Holiday, made on an estimated production budget of $17 million, nearly doubled that on its first weekend, bringing in an estimated haul of more than $30.5 million.

As Lucas Shaw wrote yesterday for The Wrap, the film joins 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, and other films from black filmmakers that have somehow surprised people with their success.

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Television
8:34 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Money-Making TV Reruns Are More Important Than Ever Before

Reruns used to mean watching the same network episodes over again, say during the summer. Years later, viewers could catch a favorite show on cable. These days, reruns are tucked in just before prime-time lineups. And now binge viewers can catch them online with services such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

The Two-Way
6:44 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Book News: Remembering Doris Lessing, A Contrarian Who 'Went For Broke'

British writer Doris Lessing holds flowers and tributes as she sits outside her north London home in October 2007 after winning the Nobel Prize.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:48 pm

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

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Author Interviews
3:39 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Authors Tell Untold Story Of Sioux Warrior Red Cloud

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:09 am

A new biography chronicles the extraordinary life of the Sioux warrior Red Cloud. In the 1860's, when settlers were encroaching on Sioux territory, he led — and won — a two-year war against the U.S. Renee Montagne talks with authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin about the book, The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend.

Television
3:39 am
Mon November 18, 2013

TV Reruns Are Cash Cows For Multiple Reasons

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 5:09 am

Reruns used to mean watching the same network episodes over again, say during the summer. Years later, viewers could catch a favorite show on cable. These days, reruns are tucked in just before prime-time lineups. And now binge viewers can catch them online with services such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

Author Interviews
2:49 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'McSweeney's': Quirky Quarterly To Publishing Powerhouse

Dave Eggers is the author of What is the What, Zeitoun and, most recently, The Circle.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:58 pm

In the late 90s, before Dave Eggers wrote a bestselling memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), before he penned the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are, before any of his novels, he was a young guy sitting in his kitchen tearing open envelopes filled with literary submissions.

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Book Reviews
3:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Secrets Mar The Gloss Of 'Youth' For These Heroines

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 5:10 pm

It's a funny thing to read a book and realize two things simultaneously. One: some people you know, whose taste you trust, will really love it. Two: some people you know, whose opinions you value, will want to toss it across the room.

For me, the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is a great example. He's one of the biggest authors in the world, a global bestseller. Millions of people love that guy, myself included. But I also know many people, readers and writers, who think he's a total sham.

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Remembrances
3:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

How Writer Doris Lessing Didn't Want To Be Remembered

Author Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature for a life's work which included around 40 books and collections of essays and memoirs.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:42 am

In the course of a long and eventful life, author Doris Lessing was many things.

She was a mother — and a self-described "house mother" for a procession of starving artists, writers and political refugees. She was a refugee herself, from bourgeois respectability in 1940s Rhodesia. She was a campaigner against racism, a lover, an ardent communist, and a serial rescuer of cats.

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Television
3:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

J.J. Abrams On His Dynasty: Too Much Power For One Man

In this Fox show Almost Human, Karl Urban (left) plays a human cop partnered with an android, played by Michael Ealy.
Liane Hentscher FOX

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 5:10 pm

J.J. Abrams already had the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek franchises under his belt when he was offered Star Wars. He says taking on the beloved work of science fiction in addition to the others was a big decision: "It's too much power for one man!"

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize-Winning Author, Dies

British author Doris Lessing (L) shows her prize insignia of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature at the Wallace Collection in London in 2008.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:43 am

Doris Lessing, the Nobel Prize-winning author, died Sunday morning according her publisher, Harper Collins.

Lessing, who produced 55 works, including poetry, operas and short stories, was 94 years old.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:46 am
Sun November 17, 2013

More Fun Than A Dead Rose

NPR

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the vowel in the first word is a short "e" and the vowel in the second word is a long "o." For example: A place to meditate would be a "zen zone."

Last week's challenge: There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Who is the politician and what's the restaurant?

Answer: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Rock Cafe

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Around the Nation
7:04 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Bike Evangelist Wants To Put More Riders In The Low Seat

Andrew Duncan Carson makes recumbent bikes out of recycled parts in his garage. He says he'll never ride an upright bike again.
Jon Kalish NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:24 am

After several knee operations, 66-year-old Marilyn Cowser of Greenfield, Wis., found herself no longer able to Rollerblade or ride her bike.

She was advised to try a recumbent bike, but when Cowser went to her local bike shop, she found they were selling for upwards of $1,500. Cowser wasn't willing to spend that kind of money, so she went to see a guy about a half-hour away who builds recumbents in his garage.

"When I got there, he had them all out," she says. "And I got on this one and took off. I mean, I just went."

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NPR Story
5:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Ricky Martin Writes A 'Dreamer' For Children

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

He is a Grammy Award winner, an international music superstar, New York Times best-selling author. And now Ricky Martin has yet another accomplishment to add to his already impressive resume: children's author. Ricky Martin has just released his first children's book. It is called "Santiago the Dreamer: Land Among the Stars." Martin joins us from New York City. Thanks so much for being with us.

RICKY MARTIN: Thank you so much for having me. How are you, Rachel?

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NPR Story
5:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Father And Son Make A Slow Connection In 'Nebraska'

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The tone and pace of "Nebraska," Alexander Payne's latest film, is set from the very beginning. The opening scene - an elderly man, bundled up in a well-worn coat is lumbering down the shoulder of a freeway on the outskirts of Billings, Montana. He could be lost in a dementia-fueled haze or on a clearly defined mission. The truth about that man, Woody Grant, turns out to be a bit of both. Here's director Alexander Payne.

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Arts & Life
5:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

Most-Traveled Man Hangs Up His Walkin' Shoes

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There are travelers and then there are travelers. Mike Spencer Bown is clearly the latter. For 23 years, he has wandered the Earth exploring every country on the planet. Now, he says he is hanging up his traveling shoes and returning home to Calgary, Canada. What more fitting guest could there be for our Wingin' It travel segment?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Mike Spencer Bown joins us now for the studios of the BBC in London. Welcome to the program, Mr. Bown.

MIKE SPENCER BOWN: Thanks.

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The Salt
5:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

MSG, Seasoned For A Comeback

According to legend, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda discovered the food additive monosodium glutamate in 1908 after contemplating the meaty flavor of seaweed soup.
Jung K Oh iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:20 pm

Umami, that savory fifth taste — in addition to bitter, sour, sweet and salty — has become a sought-after flavor in the culinary scene.

Not quite so beloved is the umami additive monosodium glutamate — MSG, as it's more popularly known. For decades it's been vilified, maligned and, some say, misunderstood.

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The Salt
5:35 am
Sun November 17, 2013

'Anything That Moves' Explores America's Extreme Food Culture

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 3:20 pm

Author Dana Goodyear has spent a lot of time dining with foodies who champion bugs as a meal. And horses. And brains. Whales. Leaves. Weeds. Ash. Hay. Even plain dirt.

Goodyear, a staff writer for The New Yorker, set out to document the outer bounds of the extreme food culture that has taken hold among American foodies. Their quest for ever more exotic, challenging ingredients, she says, is raising fundamental questions about the nature of food itself and the assumptions that underlie what we view as acceptable to eat.

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My Guilty Pleasure
4:22 am
Sun November 17, 2013

If Being A Teen Wasn't Awkward Enough: A Date With 'Your Mom'

iStockphoto

I read my guilty pleasure junior year of high school; a time when for many young men guilty pleasure means something else. I heard about a book of essays by Ian Frazier that was supposedly very funny. So I asked my Mom for a ride to the mall.

Back then there was no Amazon. Well, there was, but it was in South America. Fortunately, asking Mom if she'd like to go to the mall was sort of like asking Chuck Schumer if he'd mind going on television. Three minutes later, we were in the car. Mom asked the name of the book I was getting.

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Photography
1:55 am
Sun November 17, 2013

In The Streets Of Iran, A Fashion Shoot Bursting With Color

A photo that was featured in FSHN Magazine's 2013 couture issue.
Afra Pourdad

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

Iran is a notoriously closed society, so this was an unusual milestone: It was recently the setting for a high-fashion magazine shoot, published in California-based magazine FSHN.

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Television
4:41 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Republican-Filled 'Alpha House' Aims For Bipartisan Laughs

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Fans of "Doonesbury" have been doing without the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip since the summer. The strip has been on vacation. But its creator, Garry Trudeau, has not exactly been chilling at the beach. Trudeau spent the last several months in a New York film studio making a sitcom called "Alpha House." The show is being launched online on Amazon. It chronicles the misadventures of four fictional Republican senators who share a Washington, D.C., townhouse. Jon Kalish visited the set and has this story.

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Movie Interviews
4:21 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

At 13, 'Book Thief' Star Picks The Screen Over The Balance Beam

Sophie Nelisse says years of training as a gymnast taught her to focus in ways that helped her acting on the set of The Book Thief.
Jules Heath Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 7:38 pm

At 13, Sophie Nelisse is already making big career decisions. She started training to be a gymnast at the age of 3 and has long had dreams to represent Canada in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"If you want to train at a national, international level, you have about [one] week of break per year," Nelisse tells host Arun Rath. "So I was training about six hours per day."

She put that part of her life aside when she was given another opportunity of a lifetime: to play the lead in the film The Book Thief.

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Author Interviews
7:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Pro Wrestling Mythology Plays Out In 'Squared Circle'

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 10:22 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF WRESTLING EVENT)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Welcome to the grandeur, the magnificence, the beauty and the brilliance of the greatest love event in all of entertainment. Welcome to WrestleMania.

DON GONYEA, HOST:

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Parallels
7:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Animated Film On The 'Kamikaze Plane' Hits A Nerve In Asia

The latest film from celebrated Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises, centers on the engineer who designed the plane used in the kamikaze attacks during World War II.
Studio Ghibli Walt Disney

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 10:22 am

Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki created beloved films such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. But his latest film is drawing unusually sharp criticism.

The Wind Rises is no ordinary tale: It tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the Japanese engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero, the fighter plane (in)famously used in kamikaze attacks in World War II.

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Book Reviews
4:30 am
Sat November 16, 2013

The Fun In 'Black-Haired Girl' Isn't The Plot — It's The People

iStockphoto.com

Robert Stone won the National Book Award in 1975, for his second novel, Dog Soldiers. Since then, he's twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and nominated for or the recipient of a florist's display of other honors. Recently, when I asked some writers and English professors at a party to name the best novel ever written about Hollywood, Stone's Children of Light was the top choice.

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Movie Interviews
4:29 am
Sat November 16, 2013

On The Timeless Appeal Of 'Calvin & Hobbes'

Joel Allen Schroeder dove into the world of Calvin & Hobbes for Dear Mr. Watterson, an admiring documentary about the strip.
Gravitas Ventures/Submarine Deluxe

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 5:39 pm

Bill Watterson brought an end to Calvin & Hobbes in 1995, after just 10 years of writing and drawing the comic strip. But to his many devoted fans, that shockheaded boy and his tiger are as important today as they were when they first appeared in daily papers all around the country.

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NPR Story
1:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

The Soulful, Swinging Sounds Of Stax: A Look Back

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 10:22 am

Memphis' Stax Records was an international sensation, putting out hits like Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming," "Green Onions" by Booker T. and the MGs and Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness." But behind the music, Stax's story features racial harmony in a city with a troubled history. There are tragedies, lost opportunities and legal disputes, but also some of the most soulful music you'll ever hear.

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