What is it like to raise a child whose very identity is fundamentally different than yours? Writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents and how the experience shaped the identities of both parent and child.
My home is where I find my identity, where I create my identity which is an ongoing phenomenon. β Pico Iyer
Each of us has a sense of who we are, where we come from, and what we believe. But is identity assigned at birth? Shaped by circumstance? Or is it something we choose, that changes over time? In this hour, TED speakers describe their journeys to answer the question: who am I?
Country and culture used to serve as the cornerstones of identity, but what does "home" mean to someone who comes from many places? Writer Pico Iyer talks about the meaning of home in a world where the old boundaries of nation-states no longer apply.
Back in 2009, you may recall, Somali pirates boarded the cargo ship Alabama. The tension between the pirates and the American captain, Richard Phillips, is the basis for a new film in theaters this weekend, and critic Kenneth Turan has our review.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: The cargo ship Alabama is headed down the east coast of Africa when Captain Richard Phillips, played by Tom Hanks, sees something no captain in these waters wants to see.
Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.
Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:
In an old house in Paris That was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
Before seeing Paul Greengrass' nerve-wracking, based-on-fact thriller Captain Phillips, I'd never been able to get my head around the logistics of Somali piracy. Enormous commercial freighters, captured and held for ransom by tiny bands of pirates β often teenagers β who always seem to overtake the freighters on the high seas in fishing skiffs smaller than the freighters' lifeboats.
I mean, you wonder: How on earth could four or five teenagers capture a freighter, subduing a far larger crew and extracting millions of dollars in ransom?
And finally this hour, we celebrate the 110th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro. She is the 13th woman to win the award. The Canadian writer was hailed by the Swedish academy as a master of the contemporary short story. Over her career, Munro has written 14 story collections and one novel. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Munro began writing as a child in rural Western Ontario, raised in a family of tough Scottish Presbyterians.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:59 pm
Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.
Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even β especially β as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:54 pm
Loose, lively and agreeably unsolemn, the alt-culture biopic CBGB is an account of thatManhattan punk-rock crucible whose audience will likely be even smaller than the crowd that actually went to the club in the 1970s.
That's because to really enjoy Randall Miller's film, viewers not only probably need to have experienced the club in its formative years; they'll also need not to be too terribly invested in their own versions of what happened there. This is not a film for purists or quibblers.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:34 pm
There's the strong silent type, and then there's the strong mute type. In Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, journeyman tough-guy Danny Trejo skews toward the latter. If the recurring catchphrase in these films is "Machete don't ____" β as in, Machete don't text, Machete don't tweet, Machete don't die β the fact is that what Machete mostly don't do is speak.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:43 pm
Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:12 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well β at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.
Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.
"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."
"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:56 pm
The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians β almost.
The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:17 am
Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:
At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.
"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:31 pm
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision β what it calls the "prize motivation" β with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."
Visual artist Carrie Mae Weems has been celebrated for her art and activism for decades, and now she can add a MacArthur 'Genius' Grant to her collection. In a 'Wisdom Watch' conversation with host Michel Martin, Weems discusses life, love and turning sixty.
The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.
The Swedish Academy, which gives Nobel Prizes out this time of year, calls for master of the contemporary short story. Canadian writer Alice Munro is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. The announcement was made earlier this morning in Stockholm. And joining us to talk about the selection is NPR's Lynn Neary. Lynn, good morning
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
Good morning. Good to be here.
GREENE: So we have an editor at MORNING EDITION from Canada, and he literally jumped out of his seat when he heard this news.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:38 am
Sequels: 2, Tragic life events: 1, Daniel Cleaver guest appearances: several (v.v. good)
Yes, Bridgeteers, your favorite British flibbertigibbet is back β but this time, there's bit of a suprise: She's grown up, at least a little. Now 51 and a widow (the shocking death of Mark Darcy was revealed recently in The Sunday Times magazine), Bridget is struggling to take care of her two young children and still make time for her hot young boyfriend.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 2:21 pm
The world of Jane Austen β gracious country houses, empire-waist dresses, card parties and suppers and genteel raillery and a touch of social anxiety β is familiar literary ground. And no house is more familar and comforting than Longbourn, home to Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. But what goes on behind the scenes? Who irons those dresses and prepares those suppers?