NWPR Books

NWPR Books
2:34 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

With Fading Memory, Terry Pratchett Revisits 'Carpet People'

Best known for the Discworld fantasy series, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer's disease in 2007. But that hasn't kept him from continuing to write.
Rob Wilkins Courtesy of Clarion

Sir Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best-selling authors. His science-fiction series Discworld has sold millions of copies worldwide. Pratchett is incredibly prolific — since his first novel was published in 1971, he has written on average two books every year.

But in 2007, 59-year-old Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a result, Pratchett can no longer read.

Read more
NWPR Books
9:18 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Scientist's Scuba Trip Sparks Search For 'Vanished' WWII Plane

More than 400,000 Americans died in World War II, but thousands of them were never found. Some died in a prison camp, and others were lost behind enemy lines — and some were on planes that were lost in the vast Pacific ocean.

On Sept. 1, 1944, a massive B-24 bomber carrying a crew of 11 people went down in the South Pacific. Its wreckage remained undiscovered, and the fate of its airmen unknown for decades. Then an American scientist, Dr. Pat Scannon, became obsessed with the mystery of these missing GIs.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Sun November 3, 2013

Amid 'Satanic' Panic, One '80s Teen Discovered Rushdie's Charms

Public Domain

In 1980s Arkansas, one concern trumped all others: Satan. He whispered backwards on our rock albums. He possessed otherwise good people's bodies and brought them to sin. His worshippers — it was honestly believed and confidently proclaimed — lived among us.

So when my stepmother opened our town's first bookstore I was amazed by one book in particular: an infernal red and black volume called The Satanic Verses.

Read more
NWPR Books
3:15 pm
Sat November 2, 2013

A Comedian's Voyage To 'The Membrane Between Life And Death'

As of the afternoon of Nov. 2, Rob Delaney had 946,960 Twitter followers. That number surely will have grown by the time you read this.
Robyn Von Swank Courtesy of Spiegel & Grau

Stand-up comedian Rob Delaney has been called the funniest person on Twitter. He's known for his zany observations and for condensing pithy, often vulgar commentary on politics and pop culture into 140 characters or less.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Sat November 2, 2013

'I Feel A Bit Like A Spy': A Q&A With Poet David Lehman

Cover of New and Selected Poems by David Lehman.
Courtesy of Scribner

Seventeen years ago, the poet, writer and editor David Lehman resolved to write a poem every day. It sounds a little similar to National Novel Writing Month, which kicked off yesterday — except that Lehman kept it up for five years, publishing many of the daily poems in literary journals and in two well-received collections

Read more
NWPR Books
3:49 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Behind Rockwell's Idyllic America, There Were A Lot Of Therapy Bills

American artist Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) looks up while seated at his drawing table, circa 1945.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

In February 1959, the great illustrator and magazine artist Norman Rockwell was on Edward R. Murrow's celebrity interview show, Person to Person. For decades, Rockwell had painted scenes that told stories of wholesome, G-rated life in small-town America, and Murrow interviewed Rockwell at his home in just such a small town: Stockbridge, Mass.

Read more
NWPR Books
1:14 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Feminist, Foodie, Filmmaker — Ephron Did It All, And Wrote About It, Too

Ilona Lieberman Knopf

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 3:21 pm

When writers die, it's hard to know if their work will live on. I'm always amazed at what does or doesn't last –– what seems fresh as time passes, or what takes on that dreaded sepia tint even just a year or two later.

Read more
NWPR Books
3:00 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Writers Illustrated: Q&A With Jeff VanderMeer, Author Of 'Wonderbook'

When you hear the phrase, "writing guide," unpleasant things may spring to mind: sentence diagrams or even — shudder to think — your high school textbook.

Now, imagine the exact opposite, and you might get Jeff VanderMeer's Wonderbook. It's a writing guide, sure, but it's unlikely you've seen one like this before. Misbegotten fish serve as models for revision. Dragons butt in from the margins to contradict lessons. There's even a talking penguin — but don't get him started on what he thinks of the duck.

Read more
NWPR Books
11:53 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Dickensian Ambition And Emotion Make 'Goldfinch' Worth The Wait

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:39 pm

"Dickensian" is one of those literary modifiers that's overused. But before I officially retire this ruined adjective (or exile it to Australia, as Dickens himself would have done), I want to give it one final outing, because no other word will do. Here goes: Donna Tartt's grand new novel, The Goldfinch, is Dickensian both in the ambition of its jumbo, coincidence-laced plot, as well as in its symphonic range of emotions.

Read more
NWPR Books
1:03 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Recurring Dream: Morpheus Returns In Gaiman's 'Sandman' Prequel

The Sandman: Overture explores the back story of the central character, Orpheus, to explain how he wound up in captivity at the start of The Sandman.
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 7:54 am

Neil Gaiman started writing the Sandman comic books 25 years ago. Since then, he's written acclaimed fantasy novels, children's books and screenplays — but the pale, star-eyed Lord of Dreams remains one of his most beloved characters. Over the course of 75 issues, the series captivated fans and critics alike.

Read more

Pages