NWPR Books

NWPR Books
8:06 am
Wed March 19, 2014

The Lively Linguistical Exuberance Of 'Being Blue'

LANGUAGE ADVISORY: This review contains language some readers may find offensive.

First published in 1976 and now reissued by NYRB Classics, On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry is an exploration of color and language, a celebration of the written and the spoken. In the hands of a novelist like William H. Gass, blue becomes everything there is to know about the world. "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen." For starters, yes.

Read more
NWPR Books
7:50 am
Wed March 19, 2014

The World's Smallest Time Machine Is Still Pretty Big

When it comes to anthologies, there are two kinds of readers: On the one hand, there are folks who hate them simply because they're not novels — because it's like having an entire table full of appetizers but never getting to the main course. On the other, wiser (and, no doubt, better looking) hand, there are those who say, "Sweet! A whole dinner of appetizers!" and then commence chewing their way gleefully through every word.

Read more
NWPR Books
7:28 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Common Core Creates Opportunities For Publishers

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne with an opportunity for publishers. Some 45 states and the District of Columbia have now signed onto the new Common Core education standards. And that will draw in not just companies that make textbooks and teaching materials, but also publishers of children's books - novels, nonfiction, the kind of books people read for pleasure.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:59 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Feminism Is Fashionable For Nigerian Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won a National Book Critics Circle award for her novel Americanah.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 8:48 pm

Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie might be Africa's best-known young writer, but she's now making a big mark this side of the Atlantic.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:45 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Cannibals And Colonialism: Solving The Mystery Of Michael Rockefeller

Michael Rockefeller, the youngest son of New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, was reported missing on Nov. 21, 1961
AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:14 pm

In 1961, the 23-year-old son of one of America's wealthiest families disappeared in a remote coastal area off the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific, a region inhabited by the Asmat, a tribe known to engage in headhunting and cannibalism.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:45 am
Tue March 18, 2014

What U.S. Learned From 'Heathen School' Wasn't Part Of The Lesson Plan

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:51 am

Picture this. You're a young girl, living in a remote town in Connecticut in 1825. You've taken refuge in a neighbor's house and, as night falls, you peek out a window to see your friends and family members assembling outdoors around two crude paintings: One is of a young white woman (you); the other painting is of a man, a Native American.

Read more
NWPR Books
10:37 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Author Penelope Lively Shares 'The View From Old Age'

Penelope Lively's other books include A Stitch In Time, Astercote and The Road To Lichfield.
Robbin Matthew Photography Courtesy of Viking

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 10:52 am

Penelope Lively describes her latest book, Dancing Fish And Ammonites, as "not quite a memoir," but rather "the view from old age," a subject she says she can report on with some authority — Monday is the British writer's 81st birthday.

Lively was born in Egypt, where her father was working at the time. She and her mother fled the country during World War II. When she was 12, in 1945, Lively was sent to live with her grandmothers in England.

Read more
NWPR Books
6:43 am
Mon March 17, 2014

A Circle Of Spies Hit The Road, Filling A 'Dossier' Of Mystery

iStockphoto

A few years ago, I spent the winter in Germany, teaching at Leipzig University. I'd never taught before, and it was exciting, particularly because one of the classes I'd come up with was a survey course on spy novels. The class filled up quickly — those resourceful Leipzig students recognized an easy A when they saw it — and I was eager to share the best of an often-maligned genre with them. We looked at W. Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, John le Carre, Len Deighton, and Alan Furst.

Read more
NWPR Books
3:08 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Novel Reflects Desperate But Futile Search For Answers

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 3:35 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

All week, NPR has been reporting on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. And to help us make sense of the news, we turn now to literature. Here's author Jonathan Evison.

Read more
NWPR Books
12:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

'Rebel Music': When Hip-Hop Met Islam

Hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa at a press conference in 2006. His Zulu Nation group, formed in the 1970s to combat street violence, soon began incorporating Nation of Islam teachings in its rhetoric.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Hisham Aidi's new book is a sort of musical tour around the world. It's called Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. From hip-hop in Brazilian favelas, to Pakistani punk rock, to Gnawa-reggae in North Africa, it's a look at young urban Muslims and the music they make and listen to.

Speaking with NPR's Rachel Martin, Aidi recalls meeting a French band called 3ème Oeil — "Third Eye" — at a music festival in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip-hop.

Read more

Pages