Arts

Arts and culture

"I hate the term curry house," says Ranjit Mathrani, who co-owns Veeraswamy restaurant in London. "We are not a curry house."

Veeraswamy has been around since 1926 — it is London's oldest surviving Indian restaurant. Founded by Edward Palmer — the great-grandson of an English general and an Indian princess — the restaurant served not quite Indian food, but an Anglicized version of it, catering to an English clientele that craved something a bit spicy, but not overly so.

Richard Reed Parry plays to arenas full of fans as a member of the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, but he impressed listeners in 2014 with a more intimate record. Parry's Music For Heart And Breath featured compositions that asked some of the best musicians in contemporary classical music to use their own heartbeats and breathing to guide their performances.

The Book Concierge is back and bigger than ever! Explore more than 350 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics.

Open the app now!

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Internet Archive and the University of Maryland launch such a library, and it's free to anyone with an Internet connection. Kids helped design the library, and they had final say on the books. NPR's David Kestenbaum reports.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Netflix will film eight more episodes of House of Cards, in a final season that will feature female lead Robin Wright — with former star Kevin Spacey cut out of the show completely.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

There's an unforgettable scene in the Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Filmmaker Griffin Dunne asks Didion about the legendary moment when, while reporting a piece on the counter-culture in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, she came across a 5-year-old girl tripping on LSD.

"What was that like?" Dunne wonders. Didion pauses, and replies, "It was gold." Which is to say that the little girl was great material.

In the winter of 1949, a group of judges — including poets T.S. Eliot and Robert Lowell — met to decide the winner of the prestigious Bollingen Prize for the best book of poetry published in the United States the previous year. They gave the prize to Ezra Pound for his collection The Pisan Cantos. Then all hell broke loose.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors were a chance to celebrate among others a dancer, a rapper and a TV-sitcom pioneer. Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

It's that time of year — Sugar Plum fairies dancing in delight, the Mouse King, a gorgeous Christmas party, a prince, and that instantly recognizable music.

The Nutcracker ballet is a beloved holiday perennial, but Wicked author Gregory Maguire's new novel Hiddensee — which is based on the Nutcracker tale — is not exactly meant for the kiddos. It tells the backstory of the powerful toymaker, Herr Drosselmeier, who gives the Nutcracker to Clara.

Pages