Arts

Author Interviews
3:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Lessons On Blindness, 'For The Benefit Of Those Who See'

A blind child studies at the Braille Without Borders school in Lhasa, Tibet, in 2005. The program was the first of its kind in the country.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 5:50 pm

In 2005, Rosemary Mahoney was assigned to write a magazine profile of the woman who started Tibet's first school for the blind, Braille Without Borders.

Sabriya Tenberken, who is blind herself, traveled to Tibet as a young woman and found that blind children there had no access to education, which motivated her to set up a program. During college in Germany, where she grew up, Tenberken also developed the first Braille script for the Tibetan language.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Congress Gets A Beating In Gates Memoir, Too

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:50 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

When it comes to American foreign policy, the hot topic this week wasn't Syria. Instead, pundits and commentators of all types were furiously debating how President Obama handled the wars in his first term. That was thanks to retired Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' new book "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War." Even though the book hasn't hit stores yet, critics of the White House have been crowing over Gates' unvarnished critique of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

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Code Switch
2:08 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Should NAACP Image Awards Only Go To African-Americans?

Robin Thicke, center, performs with Verdine White, left, and T.I. at The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! in Los Angeles in December. Thicke is nominated for Outstanding Male Artist at the NAACP Image Awards this year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Who should be eligible to receive an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? And if that definition becomes flexible, what does that do to the mission of the award itself?

That's a question worth asking as the NAACP Thursday unveiled a huge roster of nominees for its 45th annual Image Awards — a ceremony long thought to be a way to honor African-American performers who are often ignored by mainstream Hollywood awards contests.

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Race
1:25 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Globes Will Be Golden, But Hollywood Remains Mostly White

Sunday's Golden Globes celebrate a diverse group of actors. Even so, very few shows feature minorities in leading roles on screen or off.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 12:57 pm

Sunday night is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, as stars from film and television gather for the Golden Globe Awards.

This year's awards, which celebrate the best writing, acting and production of the year, are being hailed as the most diverse yet, with a significant number of minority actors up for awards.

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Movie Interviews
10:42 am
Sun January 12, 2014

From Asghar Farhadi, More Questions Than Answers

Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi and cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari discuss a shot during the making of The Past — the new drama from the director of the Oscar-winning A Separation.
Carole Bethuel Sony Pictures Classics

Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi became one of the world's most recognized Iranian artists when his movie A Separation won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film two years ago.

But he's not the sort of artist bent on addressing his nation's tumultuous relationship with the West through his work. He's more about showing us all what we have in common.

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Author Interviews
8:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

The 'Lone Survivor' Tells The Story Of A Tragic Navy Mission

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
8:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Death Squads Re-created 'The Act Of Killing' For The Camera

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced this coming week. One film widely expected to make the list is the documentary "The Act of Killing." It was just released on DVD and digital platforms last week. The film is about a massacre of communists in Indonesia in the 1960s. But rather than hearing from the victims, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer takes an unusual perspective. He shows the perpetrators reenacting their crimes. The result is haunting, even revolting at points and hard to describe.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:02 am
Sun January 12, 2014

A's On Either End

NPR

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 10:41 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."

Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?

Answer: Dream; Daymare

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Author Interviews
4:26 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Months After Marriage, A Military Wife Becomes An 'Unremarried Widow'

This photograph of Artis Henderson and her husband Miles was taken in 2006, on the day he deployed to Iraq. Miles was killed just a few months later in an Apache helicopter crash.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 11:47 am

Artis Henderson never imagined she'd end up a military wife. She had dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world; settling down with a conservative, church-going Army pilot wasn't the life she'd planned for herself.

But she fell in love with Miles Henderson and she followed him to Army bases in small towns where she struggled to fit into military life and culture. Then, in 2006, her new husband deployed to Iraq and was killed just months later in an Apache helicopter crash.

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My Guilty Pleasure
4:21 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Caped Crusader, Or Cruel Sadist? Miller Makes One Fan Wonder

Courtesy of DC Entertainment

When I was a kid, my local comic book store was a seedy, subterranean hole. I never saw other kids there — only adults and teenagers, who came alone and seemed furtive and abashed. We guiltily pored over the spandex-covered torsos and gore-splattered pages in separate corners.

Now, as an adult, I live partially in Seattle and partially on the Internet, two places where comics and graphic narratives are as respected and celebrated as any other medium. No one hides in the corner, and I read comics without shame — almost. One comic book hero remains a guilty pleasure.

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Author Interviews
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

American Literature And The 'Mythos Of The Boozing Writer'

The title of Olivia Laing's new book was taken from Tennessee Williams' 1955 play, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
John Lent AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 12:24 pm

There is a long history of alcoholism in American literature. The heavy drinking of writers like Ernest Hemingway and Hart Crane inspired a kind of myth of the American writer as a genius armed with a typewriter and a bottle of whiskey. The success of writers like Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald also gave rise to the belief that alcohol somehow stoked their creativity.

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Theater
4:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Bringing 'Dead Authors' To Life For Book-Smart Comedy

The late science fiction author H. G. Wells, shown here in 1944, is the ostensible time-traveling host of the Dead Authors Podcast. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins plays the role at the Upright Citizens' Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 5:40 pm

H.G. Wells looks remarkably good for having died in 1946.

That's because he's being played by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.

Tompkins assumes the role every month for a series called "Dead Authors" at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Movie Interviews
11:53 am
Sat January 11, 2014

'Osage' Hits Close To Home For Writer Tracy Letts

From left, Meryl Streep, Julianne Nicholson and Juliette Lewis star in August: Osage County.
Claire Folger The Weinstein Company

The movie August: Osage County has just opened, with its all-star cast.

Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and more play various members of the Weston clan. They converge on their Oklahoma home when the patriarch, Beverly, who is a poet somewhat past his rhymes, goes missing.

His wife, Violet, gobbles pills, some of which are for the pain of mouth cancer and some of which are just because.

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Author Interviews
9:05 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Healing The Wounds Of Memory's 'Impossible Knife'

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:53 am

Hayley Kincain is 15 years old and on the run — with her father, Andy.

He's come home from the war in Iraq, both honored for his service and haunted by it. He drinks and does drugs, can't hold a job, is unreliable behind the wheel of his big rig, and often seems to be the real adolescent in the family. Father and daughter try to stop running by moving back to Andy's hometown in upstate New York. But the war still goes on inside of him, and threatens to make Hayley one more casualty.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:02 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Go Where Raisins Swell Into Grapes, And Lemons Light The Sky

Courtesy of Pierre Javelle & Akiko Ida

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 10:42 am

There's a book by the novelist China Mieville that describes two cities plopped one on top of the other. One is large-scale, the other smaller-scale, and while they live in entangled proximity, both cities have the same rule. Each says to its citizens, pay no attention — on pain of punishment — to what the "others" around you are doing. See your own kind. "Unsee" the others.

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Finding Flight In 'The Invention Of Wings'

Robyn Golding iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:32 pm

I don't remember how old I was when I discovered some of the more harrowing chapters of human history — the Holocaust and American slavery — but I do remember convincing my young self that I would have been brave had I lived in those times. I would have hidden my Jewish friend Anne Frank; I would have been a station on the Underground Railroad. I would have stood up for humanity and against injustice.

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Doctorow Ruminates On How A 'Brain' Becomes A Mind

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:55 pm

When does our brain become our mind? Our heart? How does it become us, whatever we are? And how do we live with memories when they begin to burst inside?

E.L. Doctorow's new novel is called Andrew's Brain, and it plunges inside the brain of a man who tells the story of trying to outrun the memories rattling around in there, of a disaster he blames on himself, a daughter he couldn't hold close, and an indelible crime that overwhelms his world.

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Architecture
4:25 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Historic House Is Yours Free, But There's A Catch

Architects at Paolasquare International are giving away this historic house in Arlington, Va. for free.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:53 am

This little house is looking for a home.

In the past five years, 600 single-family homes have been demolished in Arlington, Va., many to make way for larger houses, according to a preservation group. One architectural firm is so determined to save one 1920s Sears kit house from demolition, it's giving the house away for free. But there's a catch: the buyer would need to pay to move it to a new location.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:30 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Political Consultant Mary Matalin Plays Not My Job

George Long Photography

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:14 am

In September we played the Not My Job game with James Carville, a laconic, Cajun from Louisiana and lifelong Democrat. And now we play the game with his exact opposite — a high-intensity Chicagoan and lifelong Republican named Mary Matalin. The best part is: they're married.

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This Week's Must Read
5:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

As Zamata Joins 'SNL,' A Look At — And Beyond — The Prism Of Race

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:19 pm

This week the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Live hired Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member. The show had come under criticism for its lack of diversity, especially its lack of black women; Zamata will be the show's first female African-American cast member in six years.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

American Beer Fans, Praise The Heavens: A Trappist Brewery In U.S.

Spencer Trappist Ale, made by the first official Trappist brewery outside Europe, will go on sale next week in Massachusetts.
Nick Hiller The Spencer Brewery

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:27 pm

The town of Spencer, in central Massachusetts, isn't well known for ... well, anything, really. But it's about to become internationally famous — at least in beer-drinking circles.

Spencer is home to St. Joseph's Abbey, where robed monks are busy brewing the first American Trappist beer. If all goes as planned, Spencer Trappist Ale will be available in Massachusetts retail stores by the middle of next week.

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Sports
4:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

John Wooden: An English Teacher Who Happened To Be A Hoops Legend

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The late John Wooden coached college basketball and was more successful at it than any other coach and it's at least arguable that he was more successful than any college coach of any sport. He took over the hapless basketball program at UCLA in 1948 and by 1964, he lead the Bruins to a NCAA championship.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

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Movie Interviews
4:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Cate Blanchett Finds Humor In The Painfully Absurd

Laugh Riot: Blanchett, pictured here at a Hollywood screening of Blue Jasmine on Jan. 9, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that she read the film as a black comedy. It wasn't until three weeks into filming that director Woody Allen told her it was meant to be a serious drama.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:19 pm

The actress Cate Blanchett is in the States this week; it's summer vacation time for her kids in Australia, where she and her husband are artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company.

It's also awards season, and Blanchett makes a compelling claim for one: She plays the title role in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, for which she's earned near-unanimous acclaim.

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Remembrances
1:48 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Remembering Activist Poet Amiri Baraka

Playwright, poet and activist LeRoi Jones on June 30, 1964. Jones later changed his name to Amiri Baraka.
AP

The influential and controversial poet, playwright and essayist Amiri Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi Jones, was one of the key black literary voices of the 1960s. The political and social views that inspired his writing changed over the years, from his bohemian days as a young man in Greenwich Village, to black nationalism and later years as a Marxist.

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Movie Reviews
12:59 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

'Invisible Woman' Charts Charles Dickens' Hidden Relationship

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:30 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. The new film, "The Invisible Woman," charts the hidden relationship between Charles Dickens and a young actress for whom left his wife, but who for years never showed up in biographies of Dickens. It's the second film directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Dickens and features Felicity Jones as the actress, Nelly Ternan.

Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

HBO's 'True Detective' Brings Big Stars To Tell A Brutal Tale

Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star in HBO's series True Detective.
JIm Bridges HBO

Woody Harrelson has a simple explanation for how he handled playing the same detective over a 17-year span of time for HBO's newest foray into quality TV, True Detective.

"I just took off my wig," joked Harrelson, sporting a beard and his naturally receding hairline for a press conference here Thursday to tell a roomful of TV critics about HBO's attempt to reinvent the buddy cop story.

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Fri January 10, 2014

'Dumb Records' Is Latest Addition To Southtown Culture

blacksheepspringfield.com

A new record store is opening in Springfield this weekend. Making a profit off vinyl records may sound risky, but the four co-owners have a lot experience building a following in the punk music scene especially. Kevin Bradford recently joined us to talk about it. He owns Black Sheep Cafe, a music venue, and will be one of the co-owners of the record store at 1107 South Grand, called Dumb Records: 

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The Salt
11:43 am
Fri January 10, 2014

A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

After Grist's six-month-long series on genetically modified foods, some loyal readers accused the site of changing directions in the debate.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 11:52 am

A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson's idea. And he didn't realize it would take six months, either.

Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist's editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri January 10, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of January 9, 2014

In Wave, arriving at No. 9, Sonali Deraniyagala writes about losing her family in the 2004 tsunami.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri January 10, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of January 9, 2014

Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Jerusalem, a 2012 cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, returns to the list at No. 13.

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