NWPR Books

NWPR Books
7:24 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Book News: @GSElevator Author Loses Book Deal

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Professionally Haunted Life Of Helen Oyeyemi

Svetlana Alyuk iStockphoto

Being haunted seems like it might be an occupational hazard for Helen Oyeyemi. Her books are re-worked fairy tales, the gruesome kind, with beheadings and wicked stepmothers and ghosts and death, death, and more death (though, once dead, her characters don't always stay that way).

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NWPR Books
11:47 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Reminder From A Marine: Civilians And Veterans Share Ownership Of War

"Marines and soldiers don't issue themselves orders, they don't send themselves overseas," says former Marine Phil Klay. "United States citizens elect the leaders who send us overseas."

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NWPR Books
10:19 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth

James Baldwin, shown here in 1964, was the first in a series of authors Harry and Lynne Sharon Schwartz recorded.
Jenkins Getty Images

You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.

Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.

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NWPR Books
7:02 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Even In New Hands, Detective Philip Marlowe Rings True

Courtesy of Henry Holt

My wife and I recently moved to Los Angeles. To prepare, I reread a handful of the Philip Marlowe novels by the great Raymond Chandler, from The Big Sleep to The Little Sister. Chandler, who died in 1959, was a forefather of the modern detective novel. I've been a Chandler fan for years, but I also wanted to reread him because I knew I'd be reviewing a new Chandler book — written by somebody else.

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NWPR Books
4:30 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Book News: George Saunders Wins The Story Prize

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'Black Moon' Imagines A Sleepless American Nightmare

"It was a great time for storytellers," says Matthew Biggs, the central character in Kenneth Calhoun's haunting debut novel, Black Moon. The irony of his comment comes with a horrific aftertaste: The world is suffering from a sudden, unexplainable pandemic that's made everyone a perpetual insomniac. Biggs is one of the few who can still sleep. Humanity's state of chronic wakefulness has caused mass insanity — in the noonday sun, dreams overflow and chaos reigns.

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NWPR Books
12:18 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

When Loved Ones Return From The Dead

Randy Skidmore

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 3:08 pm

If someone you cared for died, you might be haunted by questions about how your life might be different had that person survived, about what you might say if you had one more chance to talk. Those questions are behind author Jason Mott's novel The Returned.

The book is now an ABC television series, Resurrection, which premieres Sunday.

Mott tells NPR's Michel Martin that the book was inspired by a dream about his mother returning to life, and how such a scenario would play out if it really happened.

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NWPR Books
12:06 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

'Schmuck' Revisits The Golden Age Of Radio, And A Bygone Manhattan

RTimages iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:12 pm

Beginning in 1952, and running through 1968, there was a legendary radio show called Klavan And Finch that was on WNEW in New York City. It was a four-hour live program featuring music and antic conversation between handsome, straight man Dee Finch and his live-wire counterpart, Gene Klavan.

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NWPR Books
12:06 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History

Seen here in 1935, the building that housed Manhattan's Democratic Party, known as Tammany Hall, still stands today.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:18 am

Back in 1900, when Americans in cities counted on ice to keep food, milk and medicines fresh, New York Mayor Robert Van Wyck's career ended when it emerged that a company given a monopoly on the ice business was doubling prices while giving the mayor and his cronies big payoffs.

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