NWPR Books

NWPR Books
11:48 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Book News: Remembering Doris Lessing, A Contrarian Who 'Went For Broke'

British writer Doris Lessing holds flowers and tributes as she sits outside her north London home in October 2007 after winning the Nobel Prize.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

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

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NWPR Books
11:37 am
Tue November 19, 2013

'Coolie Woman' Rescues Indentured Women From Anonymity

"Immigrant number 96153. That's how my great-grandmother was cataloged, that was the number on her immigration pass." says Gaiutra Bahadur, author of the new book Coolie Woman.

Bahadur set out to uncover her family's roots by following a paper trail of colonial archives and ship records that traced her great-grandmother's journey from a small village in India to the cane fields of Guyana.

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NWPR Books
5:13 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Book News: Syd Field, Author Of Hollywood Classic 'Screenplay,' Dies

Syd Field died Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 77.
Courtesy of sydfield.com

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

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NWPR Books
1:55 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis

President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field on Nov. 22, 1963.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:27 pm

In the 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public has never tired of books about the charismatic young president and his tragic death.

This year, the market has been particularly flooded with Kennedy books — from glossy photograph collections to serious biographies and histories to a new round of books devoted to conspiracy theories.

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NWPR Books
12:13 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Actor Hill Harper On His Life-Changing 'Letters' From An Inmate

Amy Ta NPR

He's best known for starring in hit TV shows like CSI: NY and Covert Affairs, but actor Hill Harper's most significant role may be off the screen.

After writing several advice books, including the best-seller Letters to a Young Brother, Harper began receiving letters from young men in prison. He documents his relationship with one of them in his new book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother.

He spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about the prison system and how this friendship changed his life.

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NWPR Books
11:43 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers 'Golden Notebook' Author Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing, pictured here in 2006, once refused to allow the queen to declare her a dame of the British Empire, because — as the author put it — "There is no British Empire."
Martin Cleaver AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 10:24 am

Novelist and essayist Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She lived in England most of her life, but she grew up in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing often addressed racism and colonialism in her writing, including in a series of novels about a fictional character named Martha Quest. She was best known for her 1962 book, The Golden Notebook, which was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time.

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NWPR Books
11:43 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'Promised Land' Wrestles With Israel's Brutal Contradictions

Israeli soldiers work from a Gaza Strip watchtower.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 6:01 am

In his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Israeli journalist Ari Shavit tackles several basic questions: Why was Israel created? What has it achieved? What went wrong? Where is it heading? Will it survive?

The book is based on interviews with hundreds of Israelis — Jews and Arabs — as well as his own story and family history (two of Shavit's great-grandfathers became Zionists in the late 1800s).

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NWPR Books
12:08 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'McSweeney's': Quirky Quarterly To Publishing Powerhouse

Dave Eggers is the author of What is the What, Zeitoun and, most recently, The Circle.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:58 am

In the late 90s, before Dave Eggers wrote a bestselling memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), before he penned the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are, before any of his novels, he was a young guy sitting in his kitchen tearing open envelopes filled with literary submissions.

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NWPR Books
1:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

How Writer Doris Lessing Didn't Want To Be Remembered

Author Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature for a life's work which included around 40 books and collections of essays and memoirs.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 7:42 am

In the course of a long and eventful life, author Doris Lessing was many things.

She was a mother — and a self-described "house mother" for a procession of starving artists, writers and political refugees. She was a refugee herself, from bourgeois respectability in 1940s Rhodesia. She was a campaigner against racism, a lover, an ardent communist, and a serial rescuer of cats.

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NWPR Books
1:55 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Secrets Mar The Gloss Of 'Youth' For These Heroines

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 3:10 pm

It's a funny thing to read a book and realize two things simultaneously. One: some people you know, whose taste you trust, will really love it. Two: some people you know, whose opinions you value, will want to toss it across the room.

For me, the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is a great example. He's one of the biggest authors in the world, a global bestseller. Millions of people love that guy, myself included. But I also know many people, readers and writers, who think he's a total sham.

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