NWPR Books

NWPR Books
12:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

'Country Girl' Edna O'Brien On A Lifetime Of Lit, Loneliness And Love

Little, Brown and Co.

When Edna O'Brien wrote The Country Girls in 1960, the book was acclaimed by critics, banned by the Irish Censorship Board and burned in churches for suggesting that the two small-town girls at the center of the book had romantic lives. Oh, why be obscure? Sex lives.

Read more
NWPR Books
2:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Through Art And Industry, Chicago Shaped America

The term "third coast" refers to American cities that sit on the Great Lakes shoreline, like Chicago.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 7:16 am

After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.

Read more
NWPR Books
11:46 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:13 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena'

AFP/Getty Images
  • Listen to the Excerpt

Until last week, when the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were revealed to be Chechen, you might not have spent much time thinking about Chechnya. It's far away. It might not even be the country you're picturing as you read this.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

Read more
NWPR Books
11:05 am
Wed April 24, 2013

'Let's Explore': David Sedaris On His Public Private Life

David Sedaris' stories have appeared on This American Life and in The New Yorker, and have now filled seven essay collections -- most recently, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls.
Hugh Hamrick Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:43 pm

David Sedaris writes personal stories, funny tales about his life growing up in a Greek family outside of Raleigh, N.C., about working as an elf in Santa's workshop at Christmastime, and about living abroad with his longtime partner, Hugh.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:14 am
Wed April 24, 2013

'Equilaterial': Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert

Johan Swanepoel iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 7:08 am

Equilateral is a weird little novel, but any reader familiar with Ken Kalfus expects his writing to go off-road. Kalfus wrote one of the best and certainly the least sentimental novels about New York City post-9/11. I loved A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I stopped assigning it to students in my New York lit class because they were usually turned off by its black humor and lack of uplift. Equilateral doesn't run that same risk of being in bad taste as social commentary because, at first, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with current events.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed April 24, 2013

False Notes In Allende's Dear-Diary 'Notebook'

At 19, Maya Vidal, the California-born heroine of Isabel Allende's florid, frenzied and intermittently entertaining novel Maya's Notebook, has already busted out of a wilderness academy for troubled teens in Oregon, been raped and beaten by a trucker, worked as a girl Friday for a drug dealer/counterfeiter and done some $10 hooking in Las Vegas.

Read more
NWPR Books
2:33 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Google Execs Say 'The Power Of Information Is Underrated'

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google (third from left), and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (second from right) watch as a North Korean student surfs the Internet. Schmidt and Richardson visited this computer lab during a tour of Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea, in January.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen — coauthors of a new book, The New Digital Age — recently returned from a highly publicized trip to North Korea. In the second part of their conversation with NPR's Audie Cornish, they discuss the role of the Internet in more repressive countries.

Read more
NWPR Books
2:26 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

The Trustful Detective: A Q&A With An Israeli Crime Novelist

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:55 pm

D.A Mishani is an Israeli literature scholar who specializes in the history of detective fiction. And recently he became a novelist as well — his debut, The Missing File, was published in the U.S. in March. Its hero is police inspector Avraham Avraham, a lonely character who, on most nights, eats dinner in front of his TV. Only Avraham's parents call to wish him mazel tov on his birthday, and he can't solve the case at the center of the story because he refuses to suspect anyone. He is also one of the few detectives ever written in Hebrew.

Read more

Pages