Arts

Code Switch
2:30 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Misty Copeland On Broadening 'Beauty' And Being Black In Ballet

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 9:53 am

For ballerina Misty Copeland, the role of the Firebird is a personally symbolic one. "It was one of the first really big principal roles I was ever given an opportunity to dance with American Ballet Theatre," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "It was a huge step for the African-American community."

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Book Reviews
5:39 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

James Ellroy's 'Perfidia' Is A Brutal, Beautiful Police Procedural

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 6:32 pm

There are a lot of reasons not to read James Ellroy's newest novel, Perfidia — the opening shot in his proposed second L.A. Quartet. It's a long and sprawling book with about a million pages and 10,000 characters, so if that kind of thing scares you, go back to your Hunger Games and leave the grown-ups alone.

It's a brutal book. More than one person crawls home with a handful of his own teeth. A quick gunshot to the head? That's a merciful way to go in Ellroy's Los Angeles, and not many characters get that kindness.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Arby's Meat Mountain

No CGI. This exists.
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:31 pm

As you've probably heard, the fast-food chain Arby's wanted to advertise the fact that it offers more than just roast beef. So it created an ad that showed a giant pile of all its meats — turkey, ham, steak, corned beef, brisket, bacon, chicken tenders — along with Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese.

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Movies
3:16 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Oscar Buzz Builds At Toronto Film Fest

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
12:47 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

In A Brilliantly Disorienting Film, A Teenager Is 'Starred Up' To An Adult Prison

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
12:38 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Try This On For Size: Personal Styling That Comes In The Mail

A standard "trunk" from men's online styling service Trunk Club.
Colin Marshall NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 10:43 am

These days, you don't have to be a model — or a real housewife of reality TV — to have a personal stylist. You can get one online, for a reasonable monthly fee. The services, in which clothes are picked out for you and sent in the mail, are catching on among the time-starved and the fashion-challenged. Like my editor, Uri Berliner.

"Most days I couldn't even tell you what clothes I have on, what color they are," he says.

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Author Interviews
12:25 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

A first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was displayed at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2013. Book critic Maureen Corrigan — who calls the cover "striking" — says she likes to think that if it landed on her porch today among the more than 200 books she receives a week, she would read it.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 1:53 pm

When book critic Maureen Corrigan first read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in high school, she was unimpressed.

"Not a lot happens in Gatsby," Corrigan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's not a plot-driven novel and I also thought, 'Eh, it's another novel about rich people.' And I grew up in a blue-collar community."

She also couldn't relate, she says, because it doesn't feature any likeable female characters.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Book News: Ex-Companion Of French President Publishes Memoir

French President Francois Hollande had a bad week with the release of his former partner's memoir of their relationship. Among Valérie Trierweiler's revelations: Hollande, a Socialist, is unsympathetic toward the poor.
Antoine Antoniol Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 12:04 pm

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

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Monkey See
6:07 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Toronto, Day 4: Pop Stars, Chess Prodigies And Battling Science

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a pop star and Minnie Driver as her controlling mother in Beyond the Lights.
Suzanne Tenner TIFF

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 9:27 am

Beyond the Lights: Gina Prince-Bythewood wrote and directed the terrific 2000 romance Love & Basketball, and here, she looks at the intersection of love and celebrity. Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a rapidly rising pop star whose hard-driving mother (Minnie Driver) has been pushing her hard all her life. Career-wise, she's doing great. Personally, not so much. On a particularly bad night, Noni meets a cop named Kaz (Nate Parker), who winds up knowing more than she (or her mom) would like about her state of mind.

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Book News & Features
2:20 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Horton Meets A ... Who? Introducing The Kwuggerbug, From Seuss' 'Lost Stories'

Random House

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 11:10 am

Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — has been charming generations of children and adults since the 1950s. And though Seuss died in 1991, a new collection of his lesser-known work, called Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories, comes out Tuesday.

"The four stories in this book came from columns that appeared in Redbook magazine in the 1950s," explains Cathy Goldsmith, an associate publishing director at Random House. "Dr. Seuss actually wrote a piece once a month for Redbook."

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Author Interviews
4:36 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Fact Meets Fiction In Tale Of A Slave, Explorer And Survivor

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 3:56 pm

In the spring of 1528, a crew of 600 Spanish and Portuguese soldiers landed on the Gulf Coast of the United States, hoping to find gold. The expedition was an utter disaster; only four members survived.

Within a year, nearly all of the men involved in the Narvaez Expedition had succumbed to disease, starvation, drowning or violent death in fights with indigenous people.

The survivors made their way across the continent, living with the natives, until finally they reached the Spanish settlements on the western coast of Mexico.

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My Big Break
4:27 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

How Dolph Lundgren Went From Chemical Engineer To Action Star

Dolph Lundgren's performance in Rocky IV as Ivan Drago — ” the "blond beast with flatiron hair and perfect muscles," as one critic wrote — ” made a big impression on American audiences
United Artists Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 2:17 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Before he was Ivan Drago, He-Man or an "Expendable," Dolph Lundgren was just another 6-foot-5-inch Swedish male model with a black belt in karate and a degree in chemical engineering.

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Author Interviews
9:20 am
Sun September 7, 2014

A Nameless Character Lost And Adrift In 'The Dog'

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

Monkey See
7:03 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Toronto, Day 3: Reitman, Costner, Kendrick, Race, Gender And Euthanasia

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick in The Last Five Years.
Thomas Concordia TIFF

Men, Women & Children: If you can't get enough alarmist local news segments about how all the kids are sexting and everyone is giving up their families for free online pornography that's infected with malware, you'll love Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children, a cautionary tale about fighting the real enemies: the internet and terrible mothers.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sun September 7, 2014

'I Am China' Asks: How Far Should An Artist Go?

iStockphoto.com

In an authoritarian state, is all art necessarily political? And if so, what is the artist's responsibility? How far should he or she push? How does an individual operate in a society that values collectivism above all? And is this intersection of art and politics worth the turmoil, chaos, and pain that it causes to those you love? These are the questions at the heart of Xiaolu Guo's new novel, I Am China.

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Author Interviews
5:13 am
Sun September 7, 2014

'What If' There Were An Entire Book Devoted To Absurd Hypotheticals?

"Earth outweighs us by a factor of over ten trillion," Munroe writes. "On average, we humans can vertically jump maybe half a meter on a good day. Even if the Earth were rigid and responded instantly, it would be pushed down by less than an atom's width."
Randall Munroe Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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

Simple questions can lead to very complicated answers. For instance: What if everyone actually had just one soul mate — one random person somewhere in the world? Could they ever meet?

"You know, there are a lot more people who have been alive than who are alive right now. So if your soul mate is randomly assigned from all humans, it's probably somebody who is already dead or who has not yet been born."

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Parallels
4:38 am
Sun September 7, 2014

China Gets A Big Dose Of Fine Art Photography

Peikwen Cheng; Praying from the Lost and Found Series, 2010.
Peikwen Cheng Courtesy of MD Gallery

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:24 am

China's largest fair devoted to fine art photography opened in Shanghai this weekend. The first-time event is called Photo Shanghai and includes more than 500 works from photographers around the world.

One of the exhibits drawing a lot of Chinese visitors this weekend is by photographer Zhang Kechun. One of the most striking images features a Buddha head, about 40 feet high, sitting in the middle of an open pit coal mine.

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Movie Interviews
4:13 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

One Woman, Many Surprises: Pacifist Muslim, British Spy, WWII Hero

Grace Srinivasan plays Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian-American Muslim woman who spied for the British during World War II, in a new docudrama about her life.
Jonathan Mount Unity Productions Foundation

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:25 am

Noor Inayat Khan, one of the heroines of World War II, had a short, astonishing life, one that took her from a pacifist childhood to a daring career in covert operations. She was a Muslim woman who worked as a British spy — a radio operator — in Nazi-occupied Paris.

A new docudrama about her, Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story, premieres Tuesday on PBS.

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Interviews
4:13 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

No Tiara, No Problem: 'Rejected Princesses' Have Stories Worth Telling

Sergeant Mariya Oktyabrskaya is one of the women featured on Jason Porath's blog Rejected Princesses. Oktyabrskaya was the first female tanker to ever win the Hero of the Soviet Union award.
Jason Porath

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 9:13 pm

Many of us have come to know the tales of Disney's princesses by heart. But put Snow White, Cinderella, Belle and Ariel aside for a moment and consider these characters: A transgender Native American, a tank commander and a Mexican revolutionary.

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Author Interviews
4:13 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

Online Dating Stats Reveal A 'Dataclysm' Of Telling Trends

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:28 am

OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder is a man obsessed with data. His dating site is known for gathering enormous amounts of information about users — the more questions you answer about yourself, the better the site's algorithm can, in theory, find you a match.

Like other social sites, OkCupid keeps track of user data in order to make the site more effective. But, Rudder says, that information could also change the way we see ourselves.

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Music Interviews
4:13 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

The Full Escovedo: What You May Not Know About Sheila E.

Drummer, singer and bandleader Sheila E. unpacks the details of a rich musical life in the new memoir The Beat of My Own Drum.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 5:39 pm

Most people know Sheila E. as a pop star, from the hit records she made in the 1980s with the telltale influence of Prince. But did you know she made her debut album as a teenager, or that she played percussion on Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough"?

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Sat September 6, 2014

Blue Jeans Losing Their Grip On American Hips

Levi's didn't even call them "jeans" until after James Dean wore them. Would he have preferred stretch fabrics and elastic waistbands?
AP

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 2:17 pm

The AP says that the nation's devotion to denim is wearing thin. Sales fell a significant 6 percent over the last year after decades of steady growth, according to the market research firm NPD Group.

Seems the nation is leisurizing its pants, bypassing the dungarees and choosing elastic waistbands and sweats instead. Sales of yoga pants and other active wear climbed 7 percent in the same period.

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NPR Ed
7:43 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Q&A: Dana Goldstein, Author, 'The Teacher Wars'

Dana Goldstein
Michael Lionstar Dana Goldstein

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 11:27 am

I recently came to the education beat after spending the better part of a decade as a foreign correspondent, mainly reporting on conflicts in the Middle East.

Shortly after turning in my Kevlar vest for chalk dust, I was struck by how intensely polarized the education reform debate is in America. I'd traded real mortar fire for the rhetorical kind: Man the barricades, incoming Common Core!

Which raises the question: How did we get here?

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Toronto, Day 2: Franco And Faulkner, Love, And A Steely Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson tends to a bleeding Scott Speedman in October Gale.
TIFF

The idea of a James Franco-directed adaptation of William Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury sounds like the setup for a bit on Funny Or Die, or maybe for the thing you'd have someone mention offhand in our satire about Hollywood. Franco does so many different things that he's almost killed any specific image he could possibly have, but you can say this for him: he tries things.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Stars Line Up To Reimagine Laura Nyro

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 10:28 am

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

Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Comedians Take A Dark Turn In 'Skeleton Twins'

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 10:28 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

A Judge Makes Critical Decisions In 'Children Act'

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 2:06 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Remembrances
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Joan Rivers On Her Own Funeral: 'I Want Paparazzi'

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 10:28 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Joan Rivers knew what she wanted for her memorial service. I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene, she once wrote. I don't want some rabbi rambling on. I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.

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Movie Interviews
6:50 am
Sat September 6, 2014

'Starred Up' Not Your Typical Father-Son Tale

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 10:28 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Book News & Features
4:55 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Two New Books Provide A Double Dose Of 'Sublime' Geekery

iStockphoto.com

In the 21st century, it's no longer a debate: Geeks rule. From industry to politics to pop culture, those with a quirky, obsessive passion for specialized knowledge are the uncontested leaders in their fields. Two of those notable geeks, Vikram Chandra and Randall Munroe; have written new books — Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty and What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, respectively.

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