Arts

Book Reviews
1:32 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

A Moody Tale Of Murder In A 'Broken' Dublin Suburb

Broken window.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:18 pm

Mid-20th-century mystery master Ross MacDonald is credited with moving hard-boiled crime off the mean streets of American cities and smack into the suburbs. In MacDonald's mythical California town of Santa Teresa, modeled on Santa Barbara, evil noses its way into gated communities, schools and shopping centers that have been built expressly to escape the dirt and danger of the city.

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Author Interviews
1:20 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Not A Feminist? Caitlin Moran Asks, Why Not?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:03 pm

Writer Caitlin Moran believes most women who don't want to be called feminists don't really understand what feminism is. In her book How to Be a Woman, Moran poses these questions to women who are hesitant to identify as feminists:

What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?

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Deceptive Cadence
1:01 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall? No, Seriously.

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall: one of the world's greatest stages.
Jeff Goldberg / Esto courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:00 pm

We all know the punchline to the old joke, right?

Even people who wouldn't know Yo-Yo Ma from Yanni know Carnegie Hall is where the world's greats play. So how do unknown students and amateurs get to perform at one of the world's most celebrated venues?

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Book Reviews
11:01 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Jaime Hernandez Bridges The Indie-Vs.-Cape Divide

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:56 pm

If only Nixon could go to China, only indie-comics master Jaime Hernandez could produce God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, the brightest, purest, most quintessentially superheroic superhero yarn in years.

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New In Paperback
7:03 am
Thu August 2, 2012

New In Paperback July 30-Aug. 5

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 11:32 am

Nonfiction releases from Scott Wallace, Joshua S. Goldstein, Catherine Salmon, Katrin Schumann and Julie Salamon.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Poetry Games
5:18 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:15 am

A Muslim-American poet and novelist of Indian descent, Kazim Ali's work has been featured in Best American Poetry and the American Poetry Review. He teaches at Oberlin College.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:31 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Canadian Olympians: Win Or Lose, They Play A Good Tune

Canadian rower — and classically trained pianist — Michael Braithwaite hopes for gold Wednesday.
Courtesy of Michael Braithwaite

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 1:04 am

Canadian rower Michael Braithwaite is pumped and probably a little nervous. It's the day before the double sculls (two person team) competition at the London Olympics and the British Columbia native is hoping his strong arms and shoulders will bring him gold.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Powell's Drunken Pair Prioritize Language

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:14 pm

With his 2009 The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?, Padgett Powell produced one of the most readable literary oddities of the past decade. In that book, a narrator — perhaps the author himself — fired off questions (and only questions) that come to read less like a novel than a personality test gone haywire: "Should a tree be pruned? Are you perplexed by what to do with underwear whose elastic is spent but which is otherwise in good shape? Do you dance?" And so on, for more than 150 pages.

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Remembrances
4:38 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal, American Writer And Cultural Critic, Dies

Author Gore Vidal in 1986. Vidal, whose prolific writing career spanned six decades, died Tuesday at age 86.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

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Poetry Games
12:43 am
Wed August 1, 2012

'Once More,' Passing The Torch To One And All

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:14 am

Representing Europe in NPR's Poetry Games is Slovenian poet Ales Steger. Steger's first work translated into English, The Book of Things, won last year's Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. The translator was poet Brian Henry, who also translated Steger's Olympic poem, "Once More."

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Media
6:43 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

'The Lies Are Over': A Journalist Unravels

Former New Yorker staff writer Jonah Lehrer is the author of Imagine: How Creativity Works.
Nina Subin Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"The lies are over now." That's an attributable quote from writer Jonah Lehrer, who resigned Monday from his job as a staff writer for The New Yorker, one of the most prestigious jobs in journalism. The past few months have been a series of revelations about Lehrer's tendencies to reuse his own material and make up quotes.

Lehrer started to attract unwanted attention earlier this year when his magazine work was found to borrow liberally from his own previously published articles. It seemed lazy and embarrassing, but not punishable.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:51 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Grotesque Horror Through A Kid-Sized Window

cover detail

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:15 pm

Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus.

There are still days when rain flooding the gutters conjures a picture in my mind of a paper boat being chased by a little boy in a yellow raincoat. The boy's name is Georgie and he is about to meet a rather gruesome fate, smiling up at him from a storm drain.

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Fresh Air Interviews
1:14 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Facing The Fiscal Cliff: Congress' Next Showdown

Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:35 am

In December, Congress is poised for another showdown on the deficit and taxes. If Congress doesn't act, 2013 will mark the end to Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for a dozen years, and the beginning of automatic cuts to domestic and defense programs that would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says the combination of higher taxes and deep spending cuts could create a 4 percent reduction in economic output, a number big enough to throw the country into another recession.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:00 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Classical Lost And Found: Making a Case For Casella

Alfredo Casella's orchestral scores are finally receiving well-deserved attention these days.
Chandos

Up until a few years ago, Italian-born, French-educated composer-pianist-conductor Alfredo Casella's greatest claim to fame in America was as the director of the Boston Pops in the late 1920s, preceding Arthur Fiedler. But that pales in comparison to the significant body of distinguished music he left behind that is receiving increased attention from record companies.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
8:15 am
Tue July 31, 2012

A World On The Page: Five Great Travel Memoirs

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 1:56 pm

Sartre was wrong. Hell isn't other people. Hell is tourists — specifically, other tourists. When traveling, there's nothing more dispiriting — not exchange rates or dengue season — than coming across a compatriot. Is it because we travel not so much to see how other people live, but to imagine the other lives we might have led? (Me, I'm small and rather rumpled.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue July 31, 2012

'The Chocolate Thief': A Delectable Summer Bonbon

Laura Florand's new novel concerns a romance between a French chocolatier and an American candy-bar magnate.
Nikki deGroot iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 5:03 pm

Some despair at the idea the world will end in fire or ice. To my mind, given that the earth is our only source of chocolate, it hardly matters how the supply is cut off. I think woe and joy are best addressed with chocolate, whether it is shaped into a kiss or comes from an Ecuadorian plantation.

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Poetry Games
6:25 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

'Olimpicamente': In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:14 am

A poet and editor of BOMB magazine living in Brooklyn, Monica de la Torre was born in Mexico City. Her poem "Olimpicamente" is told in the voice of the Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza, who was born in the village of La Brecha, in the state of Sinaloa, where her father was a fisherman. Though of limited means, her parents supported her passion for taekwondo, and in 2008 Espinoza fought her way to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. "I am," says the poet, "dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story."

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Planet Money
4:30 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Four Signs Your Awesome Investment May Actually Be A Ponzi Scheme

Spotting a con artist isn't usually this easy. Allen Stanford was recently sentenced to 110 years in a $7-billion fraud, but a new book suggests the Ponzi business continues to thrive.
Dave Einsel Getty Images

Ponzi schemes get a lot of attention when big ones go bust. Bernie Madoff, of course, got a ton of attention when his $20-billion con collapsed in late 2008. So did Allen Stanford, who was recently sentenced to 110 years in prison for scamming investors out of more than $7 billion over two decades.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:11 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

The 2012 Classical Olympians Puzzler

Some characters in classical music have Olympian athletic abilities.
Julia Vynokurova Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 2:52 pm

The grumbling of Londoners and the off-putting remarks of Mitt Romney are all but forgotten now as the 2012 Summer Olympics are in spectacular full swing. From here on out the race for the gold continues.

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Books
11:31 am
Mon July 30, 2012

For Gymnast Moceanu, Life Threw Her Off Balance

Dominique Moceanu is the youngest gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal; she was 14 during the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Host Michel Martin talks with Moceanu about her new memoir, "Off Balance." The book details the thrill of competition but also a dark side of elite gymnastics.

You Must Read This
7:03 am
Mon July 30, 2012

An Existential Guide For When You're Really 'Lost'

cover detail

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 1:16 pm

Adam Frank is an astrophysicist at University of Rochester and host of the 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog on NPR.org.

I don't read self-help books. On any given day my self seems to need so much help that 200 pages of cheerful advice and end-of-chapter exercises miss the core of my dilemma. The real question keeping me up at night is this: What the hell is a self anyway? How did I get one and why is it so damn desperate for help?

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Crime In The City
4:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Writer Has A Down-Home Feel For Atlanta's Dark Side

Writer Karin Slaughter has seen the fallout of some of Atlanta's most gruesome crimes and most dramatic transitions.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 8:24 am

Best-selling crime novelist Karin Slaughter (yes, that's her real name) grew up just south of Atlanta in the 1970s and '80s, when the city saw some of its most gruesome crimes: A rash of child murders in which dozens of African-American children disappeared, their bodies turning up in nearby woods and rivers. The realization that horrid crimes can happen even to children changed Slaughter's life.

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Book Reviews
4:58 am
Mon July 30, 2012

A Portrait Of A Country Awash In 'Red Ink'

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:15 pm

As the federal debt balloons, reducing it would seem more and more pressing. Yet policymakers remain far apart. Debt, deficit and budget rhetoric is often accompanied by numbers cherry-picked to support a particular political view.

But a new book by Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel lays out the numbers that both political parties face.

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Poetry Games
10:33 pm
Sun July 29, 2012

'Lifting,' And Lifted By, Words

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:13 am

Poet Ouyang Yu comes to NPR's Poetry Games representing two continents: Asia, where he was born (in China); and Australia, where he moved in 1991. He is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese.

Of his poem "Lifting," he writes: "Much as I admire weightlifting heroes or heroines, I can't help reminding myself that, however powerful a weightlifter is, he or she can't lift himself or herself up. The magic of the word is that, when well lifted, it has the power to transform."

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Author Interviews
7:38 am
Sun July 29, 2012

'Sorry Please Thank You': Technically, We're All Alone

Charles Yu is the author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Third Class Superhero.
Larry D. Moore Random House

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 11:58 am

Smartphones and tablets just need a flick of a finger to keep us updated about news and friends anytime, anywhere. As much as we're connected, though, we're also detached. That's a big theme in a new book of short stories by author Charles Yu.

Yu's stories are sad ones. They're techy, too. One story, "Standard Loneliness Package," is entirely about humans using technology as a way to buy detachment from the ordinary emotions of human experience — grief, heartbreak, awkwardness.

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Author Interviews
4:53 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

For U.K. Author, Games A 'Smoke And Circuses' Affair

In his new book, Iain Sinclair bemoans what the construction of Olympic Park and the Olympic Stadium has done to his East London neighborhood.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 9:55 am

Thousands of elite athletes have descended on London for the 2012 Olympic Games, and spectators the world over are tuning in to enjoy the action.

But five years' worth of development has left some locals feeling invaded, and some austerity-weary Britons resenting the bill. Between construction and security, the British government's budget has soared past $14 billion, about $10 billion over original projections.

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Author Interviews
6:21 am
Sat July 28, 2012

Before The D-Day Invasion, Double Talk And Deceit

Allied troops invade Juno Beach on D-Day. Ben MacIntyre's latest book, Double Cross, recounts the grand deception beforehand that helped make the invasion a success.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 7:52 am

Early in 1944, Southern England bristled with 150,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers gathered for an invasion the Allies hoped would end World War II.

The soldiers, pilots, sailors and Marines knew they were there to be launched into Nazi-occupied Europe. But surely the Germans knew also. It's hard to hide the largest invasion force in history. LIFE Magazine even ran photos of GIs in Piccadilly.

The question was: Where would they attack?

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Arts
3:30 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Soprano Patricia Racette

Soprano Patricia Racette

On August 18th at 8PM, "An Evening with Patricia Racette" will be presented by Opera at the Beach.

It will be at the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre in support of two local organizations.  Our listeners heard her last season singing at the Met, in both “Dialogues des Carmelites” and “Il Trovatore.”   She’ll sing a program of both opera and jazz & broadway hits, and we were fortunate to get to talk to her before she arrives in town. 

Deceptive Cadence
2:06 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: July 27, 2012

Bass-baritone Evgeny Nikitin's current publicity shot, in which his controversial tattoos are not visible.
Bob Gruen courtesy of the artist
  • Russian bass-baritone Yevgeny Nikitin was tossed from his upcoming engagement singing Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. It was discovered that he has had an enormous swastika tattoo on the right side of his chest and a Nazi "life rune" on his arm.
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Deceptive Cadence
11:58 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Faster, Higher, Louder

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.

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