NWPR Books

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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NWPR Books
10:38 am
Tue February 12, 2013

A Soured Student-Teacher Friendship Threatens 'Everything'

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:55 am

Over the past week or so, I've mentioned James Lasdun's new book, Give Me Everything You Have to a bunch of colleagues; they've all heard about it already and they're all dying to read it. What Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was to parenting a couple of years ago, Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have may well be to teaching: a controversial personal reflection on the professor-student relationship — except Lasdun, unlike Chua, really has no advice to offer; no certitude, nor help for pain.

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NWPR Books
11:33 am
Mon February 11, 2013

An 'Autopsy' Of Detroit Finds Resilience In A Struggling City

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Detroit native Charlie LeDuff says that the city must forget the future and instead focus on the present. His new book is called Detroit: An American Autopsy.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:36 am

For some, Detroit may be a symbol of urban decay; but to Charlie LeDuff, it's home. LeDuff, a veteran print and TV journalist who spent 12 years at The New York Times, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001, returned home to the city after the birth of his daughter left him and his wife — also a Detroit native — wanting to be closer to family.

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NWPR Books
5:16 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Splendor Of Suffering In 'The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne'

Ann Leary's latest book is The Good House.

I tend to read funny books when I'm happy and tragic books when I'm sad, but when I'm truly depressed, when I want to be fully immersed in the horrible splendor of the most desperate human suffering, I always return to Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.

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