Arts

Three-Minute Fiction
8:00 am
Sun October 7, 2012

No Down Time

iStockphoto.com

The president laughed and stuck the pea in his nose again. The first time he had done it, he had gotten such a big laugh that he simply had to do it again. After all, it was Christmas Eve! No war, no unemployment. Just a little dinnertime fun for the leader of the Free World and his family.

Read more
The Picture Show
6:15 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Catching The 'Shadow' Of A Lost World

Wedding party, 1914. A still from the film In the Land of the Head Hunters, in which Curtis sought to re-create a mythic story of the Kwakiutl.
Edward Curtis Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Photographer Edward Curtis started off his career at the tail end of the 19th century, making portraits of Seattle's wealthiest citizens. But a preoccupation with Native Americans and a chance encounter on a mountaintop triggered an idea: Curtis decided to chronicle the experience of the vanishing tribes — all of them. It was an unbelievably ambitious project that would define Curtis, his work and his legacy.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sun October 7, 2012

'Wooden Floors' Pack Hidden Thrill In Author's Debut

Wooden floor and chair
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Housesitting is a delicate chore. It involves inhabiting someone else's home — their personal space, watching over their stuff — and sticking to the Boy Scouts' creed to leave no trace. That's pretty much the opposite of what happens in Will Wiles' debut novel, Care of Wooden Floors. It's the story of an already strained friendship pushed to the breaking point by a housesitting favor gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Read more
Author Interviews
8:05 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Fallen 'Lion': How The 'House Of Assad' Came Down

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
7:01 am
Sat October 6, 2012

The Generous Application Of Grease

iStockphoto.com

His swearing-in had been sworn, his speech given, the parade finished. At the Inaugural Balls, Bill Taft had danced and eaten. He had listened to the jokes of senators and newspapermen. Now it was all over and there was one thing left to do. He would have a bath.

The bath was an inviting sight: The white tub sparkled, fingers of steam rose from the water.

His attendant Jim asked, "Do you need anything, Mr. President?"

"Privacy."

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
6:26 am
Sat October 6, 2012

The MacArthur 'Genius' Bow Maker Who Makes Violins Sing

Over the past four decades, Benoit Rolland has made more than 1,400 bows for violins, violas and cellos.
Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Among the 23 recipients of the MacArthur "genius" grants this past week: an economist, a mathematician, a photographer, a neuroscientist, and a Boston-based stringed instrument bow maker.

Benoit Rolland acknowledges that the violin reigns supreme as the star of the strings, capable of fetching millions of dollars at auction. But what about the bow? "A violin with no bow is not a violin, that's clear," says Rolland.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat October 6, 2012

A Love Song To Family, New York In 'Sunlight'

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:55 pm

When we get an early glimpse of Harry Copeland, he's falling in love in an instant, with a girl he sees on the Staten Island Ferry. Her hair "trapped the sun and seemed to radiate light," he writes, "and with New York in 1947, when it brimmed with color, light, drama and a babble of voices that reminded him of the world he fought to save as a paratrooper in World War II."

Read more
Music Interviews
4:48 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Wyclef Says Karma Kicked His 'Caesar Complex'

Ramon Espinosa Associated Press

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:03 pm

Multi-platinum musician, producer, activist and aspiring politician Wyclef Jean's new memoir Purpose: An Immigrant's Story provides a candid insight into his life and career. In an interview airing on Monday's Tell Me More, he sits down with host Michel Martin to discuss his family, his music and his hopes for Haiti. Jean also talks about his rocky romantic past with Lauryn Hill, how it inspired his music, and how it eventually broke up the group that made them both stars, The Fugees.

On His Childhood In Haiti

Read more
Race
4:48 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Everything You Wanted To Know About 'Indians'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will hear from musician, activist and now author Wyclef Jean. He's out with a new memoir and we'll hear from him about his career and very interesting life story, and yes, he answers questions that people have about relationships in his life. That's coming up later in the program.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:46 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Book Review: 'With Blood In Their Eyes'

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Writer Thomas Cobb may be best known for his novel "Crazy Heart," it went on to become an acclaimed movie starring Jeff Bridges as a country music singer who's seen far better days. Now Cobb is out with a new novel called "With Blood in Their Eyes." Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it's a Western worth reading.

Read more
The Fresh Air Interview
1:44 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Interview: MacArthur 'Genius' Junot Diaz

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:10 pm

His debut novel — The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — won a Pulitzer Prize. He was recently named as one of the 2012 recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. (Rebroadcast from December 2007)

The Fresh Air Interview
1:43 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Memoirist James Wolcott Reflects On The '70s

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Read more
Author Interviews
1:01 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Steven Strogatz: The Joy Of X

In The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity, mathematician Steven Strogatz provides an entertaining refresher course in math, starting with the most elementary ideas, such as counting, and finishing with mind-bending theories of infinity--including the idea that some infinities can be bigger than others.

Deceptive Cadence
12:03 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

#wheresthebeat

Pablo Helguera

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Deceptive Cadence
9:30 am
Fri October 5, 2012

(More) Lockouts, Lawsuits And Losses

A still from the Minnesota musicians' YouTube campaign.
courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:24 pm

  • As we've been anticipating, the Minnesota Orchestra is now in lockout after contract negotiations failed. And the orchestra has now canceled all concerts until November 25.
Read more
Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
9:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 4, 2012

J.K. Rowling delves into small-town English politics in The Casual Vacancy. It debuts at No. 1.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
9:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of October 4, 2012

At No. 14, The Chew features recipes, tips and cooking techniques from five celebrity chefs.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
9:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of October 4, 2012

The Shoemaker's Wife, a war romance inspired by Adriana Trigiani's own family, appears at No. 13.

NPR Bestseller List
9:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of October 4, 2012

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

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
9:03 am
Fri October 5, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of October 4, 2012

Blue Rider Press

Neil Young looks at his career against the backdrop of history. Waging Heavy Peace debuts at No. 3.

Author Interviews
3:15 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Preventing Silicon Valley's 'Immigrant Exodus'

Wharton Digital Press

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 4:02 pm

A new study from the Kauffman Foundation shows that the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States has fallen slightly. But according to Vivek Wadhwa, an author of the study, the drop is especially steep in Silicon Valley, long a magnet for the brightest and most ambitious minds from around the world.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:00 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Book Review: 'The Round House'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:12 pm

Alan Cheuse reviews Louise Erdrich's latest novel The Round House. Cheuse teaches creative writing at George Mason University.

Books
4:59 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Google, Publishers Reach Deal On Book Scanning Plan

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Today, a long legal battle came to an end. On one side, Google; on the other, book publishers. The two have reached an agreement to resolve a lawsuit that's dragged on for seven years. But this does not end Google's legal trouble, as it tries to digitize the world's books. An even more important lawsuit remains unresolved - with thousands of authors of those books that Google has scanned. NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:58 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Colbert: 'Re-Becoming' The Nation We Always Were

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:56 am

Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.

"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."

Read more
History
2:21 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Oxford Taps Crowds To Learn Words' Histories

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:47 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The Oxford English Dictionary needs your help. Do you know where words like disco, baked Alaska or email come from? For years the widely regarded authority in the English language has asked the public for help tracking down the history of words and phrases. Yet as our lexicon evolves, the mission grows even tougher. A new initiative called OED Appeals hopes to solve that problem by using that same crowdsourcing approach online.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Google, Publishers Reach Deal On Book Scanning

Google and a group of book publishers have settled a seven-year-old dispute that would allow the search giant to continue in its quest to digitize all the world's books.

This is only a step in that direction because Google still has an outstanding lawsuit with authors.

The New York Times explains:

Read more
U.S.
12:22 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

How 'Star Wars' Seduced Another Generation Of Kids

Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Courtesy of Nancy Edson

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:03 pm

Read more
Book Reviews
11:55 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Roving Eyes, Wandering Hands In 'How You Lose Her'

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:58 pm

Ay-yi-yi, what is it with these Dominican men? Their hands — and eyes — never stop roving, even as they're slipping engagement rings on their true loves' fingers.

If that sounds like negative stereotyping, don't complain to me: I'm just passing along the collective cultural verdict of the women and men, most of them themselves Dominican, who hustle through Junot Diaz's latest short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. A good man is hard to find in these stories, and when you do find him, he's always in bed with someone else.

Read more
Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu October 4, 2012

A Mashup Of Mundane And Magical In 'Dragonslayer'

Courtesy of Harcourt

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:48 am

It's been a big year — well, a big few years — for young adult fiction, which I'm not going to complain about in the slightest; nothing beats a good YA novel for pure storytelling punch. But I might complain, just a little, about the overwhelming sameness of some of the plots. Dystopian futures, quiet-yet-spunky teenage girls, doomed love triangles — sound familiar? Suzanne Collins has a lot to answer for. Luckily, you can crack open The Last Dragonslayer and spend time with a protagonist who has a refreshingly different set of priorities.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:39 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Tobolowsky: An Actor's Life 'Low On The Totem Pole'

The Tobolowsky Files." href="/post/tobolowsky-actors-life-low-totem-pole" class="noexit lightbox">
Stephen Tobolowsky is an actor and writer. He also hosts the podcast The Tobolowsky Files.
Jim Britt Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:37 am

If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.

In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."

Read more

Pages