NWPR Books

NWPR Books
9:15 am
Mon April 8, 2013

In A Vivid Memoir Of Life In Pakistan, A Vortex Of Tragedies

Rajesh Parameswaran is the author of I Am An Executioner: Love Stories.

Sara Suleri Goodyear's heartbreaking 1989 memoir of life in Pakistan, Meatless Days, circles backward and forward in time and space, from Lahore to Connecticut and around again. The author renounces plot in favor of an intimate, impressionistic survey of her family's tragic history.

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NWPR Books
8:08 am
Sun April 7, 2013

'It's Pat' Creator Muses On Motherhood And Family Life

Julia Sweeney is a comedienne, writer and performer. She lives outside of Chicago.
Lauren Topel Simon & Schuster

Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.

So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.

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NWPR Books
8:08 am
Sun April 7, 2013

'The Interestings': An Epic, Post-Summer Camp Coming-Of-Age

iStockphoto.com

Meg Wolitzer's new novel is an epic exploration of friendship, coming-of-age, talent and success. The Interestings follows six artistic friends who meet as teenagers one pivotal summer at a camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods. Over the next 40 years, they grow up to find some of their talents developing into grand success, while others don't.

Wolitzer joins NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the convergence of talent and luck, envy-inducing gremlins and her own experiences at summer camp.

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NWPR Books
2:28 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Stories Of 'Outside The Wire' Give An Insider's View Of War

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 8:08 am

In some ways, it was like any other writing class: backpacks, books, rough drafts, discussions about literature. But instructor Christine Dumaine Leche and her students weren't sitting in a college classroom or a community center — they were on an air base in Afghanistan and the students usually came to class after long days in a war zone. Leche was teaching them to translate their experiences — the danger, the boredom, the painful separation from their families, the fear and the hatred — into prose.

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NWPR Books
2:20 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

How Twitter Star Kelly Oxford Makes Everything 'Perfect'

Kelly Oxford is a little bit wicked and a whole lot wild and funny.

In no time, she went from being a housewife and mother of three in Calgary to Internet fame through her blog — and later, through Twitter, where her popularity exploded.

There, she shared zips like:

And:

Oxford's been retweeted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and even the late Roger Ebert — one of her earliest supporters. Her secret? "The simpler they are, the better they hit," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden.

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NWPR Books
10:23 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Former Mormon Missionary Describes The Experience Of 'Elders'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 1:47 pm

As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.

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NWPR Books
2:48 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Botched NY Real Estate Deal That Lost 'Other People' Billions

The Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex is seen from Waterside Plaza in 2006, the same year it was sold in a record-breaking real estate deal.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 3, 2013 5:50 pm

The middle-income housing projects Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village sit on an 80-acre patch of Lower Manhattan. In 2006, they came to epitomize the lunatic excess of the housing boom when their 11,232 apartments sold for $5.4 billion. They were bought at a competitive auction by Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty.

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NWPR Books
8:28 am
Tue April 2, 2013

In 'Life After Life,' Caught In The Dangerous Machinery of History

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Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 6:56 pm

Flannery O'Connor said short stories need to have a beginning, a middle and an end, though not necessarily in that order. But what about novels? Kate Atkinson seems to believe there can be a beginning, a middle and an end, and then another beginning, plus several more middles ... and why not have a beginning again?

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NWPR Books
8:14 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Minks, Perfume And Beastly Beauty In 'Shocked'

Peter North Getty Images

Beauty can be a beast. That's one message from Shocked, Patricia Volk's smart, fascinating book about her complex relationship with her beautiful, elegantly attired, hypercritical mother.

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NWPR Books
7:29 am
Tue April 2, 2013

The 'Unsinkable' Debbie Reynolds Looks Back On Life, Love And A Boozy Busby Berkeley

Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for more than 60 years — beginning as an ingenue chirping a novelty tune called "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in one of her first films, a Jane Powell/Ricardo Montalban vehicle called Two Weeks With Love. That was 1950. Today, she's indisputably a grand dame of show business, working with names like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.

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