NWPR Books

NWPR Books
2:03 pm
Sat February 16, 2013

'Noble Savages': A Journey To Break The Mold Of Anthropology

Cover of Noble Savages

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 7:44 am

When Napoleon Chagnon first saw the isolated Yanomamo Indian tribes of the Amazon in 1964, it changed his life forever. A young anthropologist from the University of Michigan, he was starting on a journey that would last a lifetime, and take him from one of the most remote places on earth to an international controversy.

That controversy would divide his profession and impugn his reputation. Eventually he would come to redefine the nature of what it is to be human.

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NWPR Books
2:25 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Tales Of Transformation Make 'Vampires In The Lemon Grove' A Stunner

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 4:54 pm

In one of the eight stories in Karen Russell's new collection, a group of dead presidents has been reincarnated as horses. Rutherford B. Hayes, a skewbald pinto, frantically licks the palm of a girl in a secret code that he's worked out, revealing his true identity and asking her to alert the authorities. "Ha-ha!" the girl laughs. "That tickles."

I know, you're probably thinking: "Dead presidents reincarnated as horses? Oh, come on, Meg, that sounds like the plot of so many short stories."

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NWPR Books
9:16 am
Fri February 15, 2013

How To 'Thrive': Short Commutes, More Happy Hours

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"Many of us spend more than half our waking hours at work," writes Buettner. So he recommends you find the right job, limit your workweek to 40 hours, take vacations and go to happy hour for some satisfying socializing.

Richard Hume

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 10:03 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 19, 2011.

Many people believe that happiness comes from money or youth or beauty, but Dan Buettner would respectfully disagree. Buettner visited some of the happiest places on Earth and argues that the real keys to happiness lie in fundamental, permanent changes to the way we live.

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NWPR Books
9:16 am
Fri February 15, 2013

'Immortal' Cells Of Henrietta Lacks Live On In Labs

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 10:03 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Dec. 13, 2010.

The HeLa cell line — one of the most revolutionary tools of biomedical research — has played a part in some of the world's most important medical advances, from the polio vaccine to in vitro fertilization.

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NWPR Books
8:55 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'The Summer Prince' By Alaya Dawn Johnson

Arthur A. Levine Books

Hundreds of years into the future, in a post-apocalyptic world, there's a beautiful city in a steel-and-glass pyramid, perched on a Brazilian bay. It's Palmares Tres, founded and run by women after men made a wreck of the world, and named for a famous 17th century city founded by escaped slaves. The city runs on a combination of futuristic technology and ancient, bloody ritual: Every five years, a Summer King is elected by the people and sacrificed at the end of the year.

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NWPR Books
10:13 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:30 pm

As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed. That fact itself may not be surprising, but in the introduction to his new book, Klansville, U.S.A., David Cunningham also reveals that, "While deadly KKK violence in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia ha[d] garnered the lion's share of Klan publicity, the United Klan's stronghold was, in fact, North Carolina." North Carolina, Cunningham writes, had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Secrets, Lies And The Allure Of The Illicit

iStockphoto.com

By the time Wendy Plump learned from a friend that her husband had a longtime mistress and an 8-month-old son living just a mile away, their union was already pockmarked with the scars of adultery — both his and hers. She divulges all this and more in Vow, her at times jaw-droppingly frank but ultimately instructive post-mortem on their 18-year marriage.

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NWPR Books
10:51 am
Wed February 13, 2013

'Dead Sea Scrolls' Live On In Debate And Discovery

A part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 1:42 pm

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus that were found between 1947 and 1956 in caves by the Dead Sea. Since they were first discovered, they have been a source of fascination and debate over what they can teach — and have taught — about Judeo-Christian history. In his new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, Yale professor John J. Collins tells the story of the scrolls, their discovery and the controversies surrounding the scholarship of them.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Lost In Everett's Hall Of Metafictional Mirrors

A friend of mine, with more than half a lifetime in the business of writing and a following of devoted fans, some years ago nailed a sign on the wall above his writing desk.

TELL THE [Expletive] STORY!

How I wish Percival Everett looked up every now and then from his keyboard to see a sign like this.

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NWPR Books
10:51 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'With Or Without You' By Domenica Ruta

Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 10:05 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Domenica Ruta's memoir, With or Without You, chronicles her youth in a working-class Massachusetts town, the daughter of a wildly flamboyant mother who drove a beat-up lime green hatchback, and held impromptu storm-watching parties on the porch.

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