Arts

Book News & Features
3:13 am
Wed September 17, 2014

How One Poet's 'Genius Grant' Became A Gift To Future Generations

Amy Clampitt used her award money to buy a house in Stockbridge, Mass., near the home of Edith Wharton, one of her favorite writers.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

The recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. That made some of us wonder what past MacArthur fellows have done with their money, a question that led us to 1992 winner Amy Clampitt.

Clampitt, a poet, was on vacation when she heard from her friend, writer Karen Chase, that she had been named a MacArthur genius.

"She was furious with me because she thought I was teasing her," Chase recalls. "And by the end of the conversation she said, 'I'm gonna buy a house in Lenox!' "

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Code Switch
3:12 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

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U.S.
11:46 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works Sept. 2 in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy.
Riccardo De Luca MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:54 am

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All Tech Considered
4:33 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

The Kaypro II: An Early Computer With A Writer's Heart

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:45 pm

Commentator Andrei Codrescu remembers the first word processor he had — the Kaypro II in the 1980s. Its inventor, Andrew Kay, died Aug. 28, at the age of 95. The Kaypro II weighed in at a mere 26 pounds and was a favorite of early computer aficionados.

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Author Interviews
3:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

100 Years Ago, 'New Republic' Helped Define Modern Liberalism

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Book Reviews
3:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Book Review: 'Lovely, Dark, Deep'

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Author Interviews
1:23 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

13 Days Of High Emotion That Led To The Egypt-Israel Peace

As President Jimmy Carter looks on, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David on Sept. 6, 1978.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:13 pm

When President Jimmy Carter decided to bring Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David in 1978 to broker peace talks, his hope that the two men would like each other was "completely naïve and mistaken," says journalist Lawrence Wright.

The first couple of days turned into a screaming match.

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

'Mindy' And 'New Girl' Navigate Their Worlds Of Crazy Love

Danny (Chris Messina) and Mindy (Mindy Kaling) find themselves in a new position in the premiere of The Mindy Project.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:48 pm

[This post contains information about where main characters stand relative to each other at the opening of the new seasons of The Mindy Project and New Girl. Be advised.]

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Arts
9:11 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Who Owns The Rights To Vivian Maier's Photos?

self portrait by Vivian Maier, from vivianmaier.com
Credit © 2014 Maloof Collection, Ltd.

By now her story is one that’s been told often: A Chicago nanny takes thousands of photos, many are of street scenes from all over the city. She never tells anyone about her passion for photography. A young man buys boxes of her works on a whim at an auction, only to later realize in his possession are what will become some of the most critically acclaimed examples of street photography perhaps ever. By the time the man realizes the value of his findings, the mysterious woman who took the photos has passed away.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Book News: Rankine, Glück On National Book Awards Longlist For Poetry

The poetry shortlist for the National Book Awards will be announced Oct. 15.
NationalBook.org

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue September 16, 2014

The Monstrous And The Beautiful Dance In 'White Van'

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 12:24 pm

In the opening chapter of Wolf in White Van, the debut novel from singer-songwriter John Darnielle, protagonist Sean Phillips descends into a memory, and imagines other paths within it. "There are several possibilities," he tells us of a hallway in his family's home, with its many doors and secrets. "They open onto their own clusters of new ones, and there's an end somewhere, I'm sure, but I'll never see it."

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Business
5:39 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hachette Authors Take Their Case To Amazon's Board Of Directors

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:59 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Music Articles
2:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Nick Cave: 'The Creative Process Is An Altered State In Itself'

"I've had to change," Nick Cave says. "Change is important and change is the energy that runs through all of our records."
Courtesy of Drafthouse Films

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:58 am

When you've been in the music business as long as Nick Cave, inevitably someone will want to make a documentary about you. From grainy footage of his early '80s band The Birthday Party to a mid-'90s pop duet with Kylie Minogue that made him an unlikely MTV star, he's a tempting subject.

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Around the Nation
4:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 8:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

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Parallels
4:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs.
Graham Smith NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:27 am

It's a hot night in Baghdad, and the national theater is packed with people who are here to see the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.

They're fanning themselves with programs that show conductor Karim Wasfi, a striking man with thick eyebrows and a pointed beard, playing the cello. Tonight, he'll be conducting for the first time in more than a year.

Iraq has been in the headlines lately, with extremists taking over parts of the country, American airstrikes, the militias and the politics.

But the country was once a sophisticated center for learning and the arts.

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Monkey See
3:52 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

More Sparkles! More Fake Tans! More Dancing And Stars, Kind Of!

Dance pro Tony Dovolani and his partner, designer Betsey Johnson, are on Monday's premiere of Dancing With the Stars.
Craig Sjodin ABC

Well, it's that time again: Monday night brings the premiere of the 19th season — NINETEENTH SEASON — of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, a show that has had some ratings struggles in recent years but has managed to keep on plugging for ... well, 19 seasons.

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The Salt
3:22 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:58 pm

The words we use for everyday foods contain clues to their origins and hint at their ancient travels across the globe as they merge, fuse and sometimes take on different forms altogether. Stanford University linguist Dan Jurafsky unpacked some of the history with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel and in his book, The Language of Food.

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Book Reviews
3:22 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Book Review: 'The Moor's Account'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:49 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips

It's spelled "potato ccips."
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 4:42 pm

Lay's Potato Chips is having some sort of promotion in which they release a bunch of new flavors and we vote on which one is best, based on flavor, crunch, and foreign policy experience. One of the finalists is Cappuccino. This proves unequivocally that democracy itself is flawed.

Miles: What a rip-off! Three-fourths of the bag is foam.

Kelsie: Can I get mine substituted with soy?

Ian: The cappuccino-potato chip combination is the culinary equivalent of a mullet.

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Television
12:16 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Australian Comic Finds Humor In Humiliation For His Sitcom 'Please Like Me'

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the film version of The Music Man.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 11:07 am

Perhaps the most static conversation in American culture is the one about its constant decline. Today's music, today's actors, today's movies, today's media, today's food, today's habits, today's language — it's all going to hell, all of it, and it's taking us with it, no matter when today is.

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Book News: Agent Denies That Oscar Pistorius Is Writing A Memoir

Oscar Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Sentencing is set to begin Oct. 13.
Siphiwe Sibeko AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:46 am

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET.

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

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Television
4:58 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Competition Highlights Importance Of Fall TV Season

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 7:08 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Television critics are slogging through hour after hour of new shows to help guide our eyeballs through the busy fall season. And that includes NPR's own Eric Deggans, who's gotten off the couch long enough to talk with us. Thanks, Eric.

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Author Interviews
4:10 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

A 'Lasciviously LA' Lunch With Crime Novelist James Ellroy

James Ellroy lives in Los Angeles, which serves as the setting for much of his work.
Jenniffer Carroll Knopf

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 5:29 pm

Writer James Ellroy has spent decades capturing a gritty, noirish Los Angeles in sprawling crime novels like The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential.

Ellroy could be a character in one of his own books. He's a thoroughly uncensored guy, a bit of a Luddite, and unafraid to talk on any subject at all: his mother's horrific murder when Ellroy was just 10, which was never solved; his decades-long struggle with alcoholism; his religious beliefs. And, of course, his LA crime fiction.

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Television
4:10 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

'Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories': More Nightmares Than Sweet Dreams

Tim Heidecker (left) and Eric Wareheim, shown promoting their film Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, have been friends for two decades.
Victoria Will AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 8:08 am

The comedy of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim is just plain weird.

They alternate between deadpan humor and total absurdity in shows like Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Adult Swim. They like to focus on the existential nausea of everyday interactions and take a sledgehammer to consumer culture.

On Thursday, their latest series — Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories — premieres on Adult Swim. The show features short vignettes in the style of The Twilight Zone.

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Research News
7:20 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Millennial Generation Likes Old-Fashioned Technology: Books

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 2:44 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
7:20 am
Sun September 14, 2014

From Casting To Cutting The N-Word, The Making Of 'Gone With The Wind'

Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) made their film debut in 1939's Gone with the Wind.
AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 10:00 am

Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler are one of the most enduring couples in American cinema, and this year marks the 75th anniversary of their film debut in Gone with the Wind, a tale of war, love gone wrong and tragic endings. Adjusted for inflation, the epic melodrama has grossed more money than any other American film.

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Goats and Soda
7:20 am
Sun September 14, 2014

In The Quest To Make A Difference, 'A Path Appears'

In Malawi, Biti Rose Nasoni used a CARE microsavings program to start a business selling doughnuts.
Nicholas D. Kristof Random House

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 12:22 pm

Everyone wants to "make a difference" but with an overwhelming array of charitable causes and organizations, the question is: how? Journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn set out to find the answer in their new book, A Path Appears.

They profile a nurse in West Virginia who helps a teenage mother through the tough early days of parenting. And they tell the story of a woman in Africa who gets a small loan and starts a business that supports her family.

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Business
7:20 am
Sun September 14, 2014

'Your Call Is Important ... ' Which Is Why You Hear Music

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 10:56 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. It can be maddening. You call your doctor, your cable provider, your utility company, and you get sent to hold.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There are 12 callers ahead of you. (Music playing).

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Author Interviews
7:20 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Sprinting Toward Epiphany: Talking With A Songwriter Turned Novelist

John Darnielle's new book is Wolf In White Van.
DL Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 6:57 pm

John Darnielle is best known as the man behind The Mountain Goats, a band defined for its 20-plus years by a certain literary quality. His songs are populated with high school burnouts, bitter, broken lovers, people living on the fringe who can't escape their own ghosts.

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