NWPR Books

NWPR Books
2:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

A Twin Carries On Alone In 'Her: A Memoir'

Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.

In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.

Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.

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NWPR Books
10:55 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Rita Moreno Reflects On Anita, Awards And Accents

Rita Moreno won an Academy Award in 1962 for her role as Anita in West Side Story.
AP

You could hardly design a better Hollywood success story than that of powerhouse Rita Moreno: Born Rosa Dolores Alverio in Puerto Rico, she arrived in New York when she was 5 years old. Over the years, she became a talented dancer and ended up in Hollywood, making her mark in musicals like Singin' in the Rain and The King and I before winning an Oscar for her unforgettable turn as Anita in West Side Story.

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NWPR Books
8:20 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Novel Explores 'Silence' And 'Roar' Of Life In A Place Like Syria

iStockphoto.com

The Silence and the Roar follows a young man living in an unnamed Middle Eastern country that is in chaos. The book doesn't explicitly take place in Syria, but the similarities between its setting and author Nihad Sirees' home country are undeniable.

Sirees' work has been banned from publication in Syria, where he's considered an opponent of the government — another point at which Sirees' story and that of his protagonist, Fathi Chin, intersect.

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NWPR Books
2:40 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Living A Life Of Joy 'Until I Say Good-Bye'

Cover of Until I Say Goodbye

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 5:18 am

Susan Spencer-Wendel knows how to spend a year.

She left her job as an award-winning criminal courts reporter for The Palm Beach Post and went to the Yukon to see the northern lights. Then to Cyprus, to meet family that she never knew. She and her husband, John, took their children on trips on which her daughter got to try on wedding dresses and Susan got kissed by a dolphin.

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NWPR Books
10:44 am
Fri March 8, 2013

A 'Sweet Valley High' Ghostwriter On Living A Double Life

Amy Boesky teaches early modern literature and creative nonfiction at Boston College.
Mark Karlsberg Studio Eleven

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 11:50 am

In her 20s, Amy Boesky lived a double life.

By day, she was a Harvard graduate studying 17th century British literature at Oxford. By night and on weekends, she was a ghostwriter for the popular teen book series Sweet Valley High.

"It was ... a sort of [an] antidote, a kind of escape hatch from the more rigorous world of scholarship and academia in which I was living," she tells NPR's Lynn Neary.

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NWPR Books
10:00 am
Fri March 8, 2013

The History Of The FBI's Secret 'Enemies' List

John Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation gives a speech on November 17, 1953, in Washington.
Bob Mulligan AFP/Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 14, 2012.

Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

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NWPR Books
11:50 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Making It In The Big Leagues Was A 'Long Shot' For Catcher Mike Piazza

Retired Major League Baseball player Mike Piazza's new autobiography, Long Shot, addresses the steroid controversy and recalls the first game after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Simon and Schuster

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:30 pm

Back in 1988, it wasn't until the 62nd round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft that the Los Angeles Dodgers finally picked Mike Piazza. Nobody expected him to make it in the big leagues. But he did. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers on Sept. 1, 1992, and he hit his first home run just 12 days later.

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NWPR Books
11:15 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Monsters, Myths And Poetic License In Anne Carson's 'Red Doc'

Anne Carson's newest book is called Red Doc>.
Peter Smith

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:42 pm

You don't read poetry. That's fine. Nobody does anymore. I'm not going to make you feel bad about that. But if there is one book I've pressed on more people in the past decade, it is Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. And I'm here to tell you its sequel has just been published, and that it's pretty much the biggest event of the year.

Autobiography of Red was a novel written in verse, a crossbreed of poetry and prose that retold the myth of Geryon and Herakles, aka Hercules.

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NWPR Books
7:27 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Samba, Spiderbots And 'Summer' Love In Far-Future Brazil

Arthur A. Levine Books

In the 17th century, fugitive slaves founded a free community in the mountains of northeastern Brazil. They called it Palmares. Contemporary accounts describe the courtyards and the fountains, the churches and council meetings of that sprawling settlement, which survived for decades before a concerted military effort by Portuguese colonists wiped it out in 1695.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu March 7, 2013

A New Focus On An Old Image In 'Mary Coin'

Do you remember those school assignments where you were asked to make up a story based on a picture? With Mary Coin, Marisa Silver looks long and hard at an image that has been seared into our nation's consciousness — Dorothea Lange's iconic Depression-era photograph "Migrant Mother" — and compassionately imagines the lives behind it. The result is a fresh angle on the Great Depression and a lesson in learning how to really look and see.

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