Arts

Author Interviews
3:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

A Personal 'Report From The Interior' Of Author Paul Auster

A prolific author, Paul Auster has published dozens of works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Lotte Hansen Courtesy of Henry Holt & Co.

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 12:32 pm

Fans of the writer Paul Auster know an enormous amount about him. His novels often draw on autobiographical details, and he has written five books that are explicitly about his own life.

Last year, he published a memoir called Winter Journal that tells the story of his life through the story of his own body — every scar and blemish. Now Auster has published a companion autobiography of his intellectual self, called Report from the Interior.

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NPR Story
10:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Our Favorite TV Parties

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So, those are the fabulous soirees of fiction, but what about those lower-brow shindigs - the parties on our favorite TV shows that we'd love to crash? There is, of course, Elaine's epic dance fail at her office party on "Seinfeld."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) All right. Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?

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From Our Listeners
10:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

A Diamond, A Motorcycle, A Wooden Ring: Best Gifts Ever

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
10:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

StoryCorps: A Decade Of 'Ties That Bind'

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've listened to NPR much over the past decade, you've heard StoryCorps conversations; those intimate interviews between two people that make you as a listener feel like you've been invited in to witness something special transpire. Dave Isay is the man behind StoryCorps. And he and his team have collected over 50,000 interviews over the years. The next iteration of the storytelling project is a book. It's called "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps."

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The Salt
7:43 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Sriracha: First, The Crisis. Now, The Movie

Can't get enough of Sriracha? Now it can fill your belly and your screens.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 1:20 pm

Lately, it seems as if news about Sriracha has been as ubiquitous as the much-loved hot sauce itself.

First, there was the panic over a potential shortage, after a judge ordered the California factory where Sriracha is made to partially shut down, as our friends on the Two-Way blog have reported.

Now, this red hot culinary phenomenon is starring in its own documentary.

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Author Interviews
7:29 am
Sun December 15, 2013

54 Days In The Eternal City: A Christian 'Pilgrimage' For Lent

Rome's St. Zeno chapel was built by Pope St. Paschal I in honor of his mother. The ceiling, a gold mosaic, was intended as an interpretation of heaven.
Stephen Weigel Courtesy of Basic Books

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.

"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."

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Author Interviews
7:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

New Princesses Rescue Girls From A Distressed Damselhood

Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores." href="/post/once-upon-time-princess-saved-environment" class="noexit lightbox">
Princess Vinnea, guardian of plant life (left), and Princess Terra, protector of the land, examine one of many "gulavores" plaguing the land of Hortensis in the children's book Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores.
Courtesy Setsu Shigematsu

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

The princess industry is lucrative: DVDs, dresses, crowns, theme parties. But the story of going to the ball and waiting for Prince Charming is outdated.

So one Southern California mom has created a new princess series with modern sensibilities. Creator Setsu Shigematsu recasts princesses as environmentally conscious and not waiting around to be rescued.

At the heart of her series, The Guardian Princess Alliance, is what animates any fairy tale: simple storytelling.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

When Push Comes To Shove

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 2:04 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."

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You Must Read This
6:03 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Surprising And Skillful, 'Yellow Dog' Deserves A Second Look

I came to Amis late. I wasn't born when he published his most esteemed book, Money, and I was a 4-year-old with no great passion for Holocaust novels when Time's Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Amis has always divided critics (all writers worth their salt do), and by the time I read him in the late-noughties the naysayers were beginning to form a grumbling consensus. I quickly found that loving Amis meant having to fight his corner.

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Author Interviews
4:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Satan's Naked Women, Gatsby's Cocktails, And Other Literary Fetes

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Throwing a perfect holiday party is no simple task. Do you want a swanky cocktail party, an intimate dinner party, or a huge New Year's bash? A whole host of decisions revolve around the menu — and don't forget your gluten-free or vegan invitees. Then there's the decor (is tinsel too much?), the music (festive, but not cheesy) and, of course, the guest list.

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Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
10:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Hanukkah Lights 2013

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 10:40 am

Celebrate the Jewish holiday with Hanukkah Lights — selected stories commissioned by NPR. In this edition, a young boy learns that bigger and brighter things are not necessarily better; a lonely and alienated immigrant finds hope for the future while searching for potatoes to use in her family's Hanukkah latkes; an aging couple exchange awkwardly ironic Hanukkah presents; two men engage in a lively discussion over the traditions of the menorah and discover the healing power of an argument; and a precious gift leads to the reunion of old friends and a reconciliation of ancient cultures.

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World
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Iranian Comedian Tries The U.S., Again

British-Iranian comedian and actor Omid Djalili gained a degree of fame in the United States talking about and even joking about issues of terrorism and the Middle East following 9/11. After several years and success in Britain, he's coming back to the States.

The New And The Next
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Science Becomes 'Sexy' With Fast Cars And Gangsta Physics

Todd Rosenberg Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 5:19 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath about a gangster-turned-astrophysicist and a race car driver working to making science "sexy" again. Plus, a look at the changing landscape of African art — no tribal masks allowed.

Music
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

The Inspiration Of Jazz Flautist Jamie Baum

Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Thanks again for listening. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

RATH: That is one of the most celebrated voices the world has ever heard, the Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Khan died in 1997, but his recordings continue to inspire. Artists like jazz flautist Jamie Baum.

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

On Newtown: Poet Yusef Komunyakaa

Last year, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., NPR reached out to Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who himself knows the grief of losing a child. The result was a poem, "Rock Me Mercy."

Books
8:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

For The Ruling In India, Two Books To Measure Its Impact

An Indian gay rights activist looks down during an anti-Section 377 protest in New Delhi on December 11, 2013.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise move, the Indian Supreme Court this week ruled to uphold a ban on gay sex. The ban, instituted under British colonial authority more than 150 years ago, had been repealed in 2009. With its reinstatement, the law, also known as Section 377, once again makes homosexual acts punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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Fine Art
6:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Sun May Set On The Collected Works Of A Western Icon

Courtesy of Harry Jackson Studios

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

The work of the late Harry Jackson ran the gamut from abstract expressionism, inspired by his friend Jackson Pollock, to the Western art for which he was best known. His sculpture of a hard-riding John Wayne was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1969.

Most of Jackson's life work is still at his studios in Cody, Wyo. But unless a major donor steps forward, it will be sold piecemeal to pay the bills.

On Ranch And Canvas

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Simon Says
6:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent'

Anthony Rapp (left) and Adam Pascal perform a scene from the New York Theatre Workshop production of Rent in 1996.
Joan Marcus AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

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Monkey See
6:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

NPR NSFW? Checking Out The Sexy Books On Mobile

Browse More Than 200 Of This Year's Standout Titles" href="/post/npr-nsfw-checking-out-sexy-books-mobile" class="noexit lightbox">

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Monkey See
4:12 am
Sat December 14, 2013

The Case For — And Against — Loving 'Love Actually'

Karen (Emma Thompson) tries to console Daniel (Liam Neeson), whose wife has recently died.
Universal Pictures/Photofest

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Fine Art
4:10 am
Sat December 14, 2013

In The Background: Art You May Never Notice

Mountain Gorillas, one of the first dioramas on which Fred Scherer apprenticed, completed in 1936.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:31 pm

You've probably never heard of painter Fred F. Scherer. If you've ever been to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City, though, you may have seen his paintings — probably without realizing it.

Scherer died at age 98 a few weeks ago. His art — those big murals you see behind taxidermic animals in museum dioramas — deserves a closer look.

We visited the AMNH to photograph some of the installations containing his paintings, and spoke with Stephen C. Quinn, who recently retired as an artist from the museum, and knew Scherer well.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Not My Job: Actor Oscar Isaac On Folk Music Vs. Filk Music

Oscar Isaac as the titular character in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.
Alison Rosa Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 10:27 am

The latest movie by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, is a lot like their other movies in which a guy endures a lot of terrible things happening to him. This one's different though, in that this time, the guy seems to deserve it. Oscar Isaac plays — and sings — the role of Llewyn Davis, a homeless, former merchant marine trying to make it in the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene.

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Movie Reviews
5:21 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

'Hobbit 2,' 'Mr. Banks' Are Not Your Parents' Family Films

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:56 pm

Bob Mondello takes a look at two holiday crowd-pleasers: the latest iteration of a fantasy involving hobbits: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the true-life story of the creation of a 1960s fantasy involving a flying nanny, Saving Mr. Banks.

Poetry
4:12 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Poem: Nelson Mandela, 'An Ordinary Man'

Jonathan Blakely/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 5:56 pm

On Sunday, South Africans will lay to rest the remains of Nelson Mandela.

The legacy left by the activist and political prisoner who transformed a nation and became president is being remembered by politicians, historians and artists.

Among them is Thabiso Mohare, a young South African spoken word artist who performs under the name Afurakan. He wrote a poem for NPR about Mandela called "An Ordinary Man."

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Code Switch
12:58 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Screening Room: Who Might Be The Next Black Actress On 'SNL'?

Kerry Washington (with Taran Killam) recently appeared on SNL to spoof the show's lack of a black female cast member.
Dana Edelson AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:22 pm

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Books
11:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Science Book Picks for 2013

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow and you are invited to join our annual holiday club of the air. This week we'll be talking about some of the best science reads from 2013. I'm going to throw in my favorite one right at the beginning before Deborah and Maria get a chance to put a word in edgewise.

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Fitness & Nutrition
11:21 am
Fri December 13, 2013

This Doc's Miracle Drug? Exercise

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:58 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

You know the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, my next guest might add to that. How about a jog a day keeps the doctor away, or a set of pull-ups? His new book is a prescription pad for a variety of ailments from anxiety and depression to heart disease, diabetes, low libido, arthritis, even cancer. But what's different about this medical book is that there are no drugs recommended, no trips to the pharmacy.

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NPR Bestseller List
11:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of December 12, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of December 12, 2013

Embarrassing photos with a seasonal theme fill Awkward Family Holiday Photos. It debuts at No. 14.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of December 12, 2013

Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train, arriving at No. 15, follows two orphans from different eras.

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