NWPR Books

NWPR Books
4:02 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

A Look At India's New Leader, Through The Lens Of Literature

Cover detail of India: A Million Mutinies Now

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 12:13 am

On Monday, Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India's prime minister. His rise to power is a remarkable story. A former tea vendor who speaks poor English, Modi is a distinct outsider to India's political and cultural establishment. His election signals the extent to which India is shedding its old hierarchies and class barriers, becoming a more meritocratic society.

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NWPR Books
1:26 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

In Cunningham's Latest, Powerful Language Makes Up For Weak Plot

Author Michael Cunningham

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 3:46 pm

Michael Cunningham is known for his lyric and evocative language, and his sixth novel, The Snow Queen, is no exception, though the novel's plot leaves something to be desired. The setting is Bushwick, Brooklyn. It's November, 2004, and the neighborhood, though lightly gentrifying, is still a no-man's-land of desolate streets, industrial warehouses, and lopsided apartments. Two brothers, Barrett and Tyler Meeks, along with Tyler's fiancee, Beth, are living their lives the best they can in a two-bedroom on Knickerbocker Avenue.

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NWPR Books
12:24 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

A Second Posthumous Collection From Rock Critic Ellen Willis

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 12:54 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Ellen Willis was the first rock critic for The New Yorker is. She was also a radical feminist writer and activist. Her work appeared in the Village Voice, where she was a columnist, as well as in Rolling Stone and The Nation.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu May 22, 2014

'Girl In The Road' Is A Dizzying Journey

Can you write about the future these days without it being apocalyptic? It's not clear whether Monica Byrne was trying to answer that question in her debut novel, The Girl in the Road — but she does it anyway. Taking place near the end of the 21st century in India and Africa — as well as on a high-tech bridge that spans the Indian Ocean between the two — the book isn't short on misery, tragedy or violence. It certainly isn't optimistic. At the same time, it gracefully dodges the apocalypse-mongering that's become all but de rigueur in near-future science fiction.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Full Of Warmth And Wisdom, 'Vacationers' Is A Frothy Beach Read

cover detail
Riverhead Books

Meet the Posts — no relation to Emily and her rules of etiquette. The stressed family of New Yorkers in Emma Straub's breezy summer read, The Vacationers, are the kind of people who pack their troubles on top, for easiest access, when they head off on a trip together.

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NWPR Books
2:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

40 Years After Watergate, A Look Back At Nixon's Downfall

Washington Journal

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 10:43 am

Forty years ago, in mid-May 1974, Elizabeth Drew, the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, wrote this in her journal: "Rumors went around the Capitol today that the President was resigning."

The Capitol, she observed was "noisy and edgy .. and in the hothouse atmosphere, the rumors burst into full bloom."

By August 1974 the president in question, Richard Nixon, would resign rather than face a Senate impeachment trial.

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NWPR Books
1:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

How The Koch Brothers Remade America's Political Landscape

David Koch is one-half of politically and economically powerful duo known as the Koch brothers. He and his brother, Charles, are tied in sixth place on the list of the wealthiest men on the planet.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 2:08 pm

Brothers Charles and David Koch are the subject of the new book Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty. The author, Daniel Schulman, describes the Kochs as having pumped hundreds of millions into remaking the American political landscape, trying to bring their libertarian views into the mainstream.

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NWPR Books
1:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

'Chameleon' Has Cabaret, Spies And A Plot Fit For Lifetime

German troops march towards Paris' Arc de Triomphe in 1943.
Keystone Getty Images

Even the most restrained plot summary of Francine Prose's latest novel sounds like a teaser for a late night Lifetime TV movie. Here goes: In the Paris of the late 1920s, a butch lesbian race car driver named Lou Villars has her license revoked by the French government for daring to dress as a man in public. Lou goes on to become a performer in a risque review at the Chameleon Club, a smoky nightclub where threadbare artists and thrill-seeking aristocrats mingle in the half-light.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Remembering Two Lives: Which Are The 'Real' Children?

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:52 am

There's a photograph of my mother's side of the family that I often think about. In it are my mother, her five siblings, and a host of children and cousins. Nestled into the center of the photograph is my grandmother, small and frail by then, but without whom none of the rest would be there.

That sense of marvelling at what multitudes could come from one person — within sight of that person — stayed with me throughout My Real Children.

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NWPR Books
11:34 am
Tue May 20, 2014

A 'Great Day At Sea' For A Brit Aboard An American Carrier

AFP/Getty Images

One of the most enviable aspects of Geoff Dyer's intellect is how nomadic it is. With dazzling authority and acuity, he has roamed over subjects as varied and dense as jazz (But Beautiful), photography (The Ongoing Moment), D.H. Lawrence (Out of Sheer Rage), and the perfect doughnut (the title essay of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition). Dyer himself is just as peripatetic, and his appetite for new experiences is the perfect reason to procrastinate on writing about them.

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