NWPR Books

NWPR Books
9:07 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Banned Romance: What's So Bad About Happily Ever After?

As Banned Books Week begins, it's a good time to examine one genre that frequently falls afoul of censors: romance.

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NWPR Books
12:57 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Political Violence, Uneasy Silence Echo In Lahiri's 'Lowland'

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies.
Marco Delogu Courtesy of Knopf

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:02 am

Earlier this month, Jhumpa Lahiri rejected the idea of immigrant fiction. "I don't know what to make of the term," she told The New York Times. "All American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction."

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NWPR Books
1:59 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

'Hollywood Said No,' But 'Mr. Show' Fans Said Yes!

From left, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross co-created the sketch comedy series Mr. Show. They have since played long-running roles on Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively.
Sharon Alagna Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 3:19 pm

When the comedy program Mr. Show with Bob and David came on the air in 1995, there was nothing like it. Created by comedians Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, it was full of dark, subversive and riotously funny sketches tied together with bizarre and brilliant segues reminiscent of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

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NWPR Books
8:20 am
Sun September 22, 2013

In Ed Ruscha's Work, A City Sits For Its Portrait

Another image from Twentysix Gasoline Stations: ÂśStandard, Figueroa Street, Los Angeles,Âť taken in 1962. The humble gas station also made an appearance in Ruscha's painted works.
Ed Ruscha Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

For a seminal work of art, Twentysix Gasoline Stations doesn't look like much. It's a small, thin paperback book resembling an old industrial manual — just 26 black-and-white photos of gas stations that Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha self-published 50 years ago, when he was 26.

"If I showed the book to somebody who worked in a gas station, they might be genuinely interested in it, saying, 'Oh yeah, I remember that place out on the highway.' "

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NWPR Books
8:20 am
Sun September 22, 2013

NFL Veteran Recounts The Bruises And Breaks Of Life In The League.

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Being a professional football player can be a brutal life. Nate Jackson spent six years in the NFL, mostly as a receiver with the Denver Broncos, and while he wasn't a star — or even a starter — he did carve out life in the rarefied air of professional sports, and he got just as banged up as any big-name player. But he learned to play through the pain.

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NWPR Books
8:20 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Abused By Both Polanski And Media, 'The Girl' Moves On

In March of 1977, a 13-year-old aspiring actress scored what she thought would be her big break: a magazine photo shoot with a famous movie director. What happened that day made headlines around the world: Director Roman Polanski, then 43, gave Samantha Gailey a hefty helping of champagne and Quaaludes, then raped her.

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NWPR Books
1:16 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

For Shy Girl, Poe's Rapping And Tapping Inspired More Than Fear

Marius G. Sipa iStockphoto.com

Koren Zailckas' latest book is the novel Mother, Mother.

The fourth grade blessed me with "the cool teacher." I've long since forgotten his name, but I haven't forgotten the sound of him tearing into the teacher's parking lot every day on his Harley Davidson. In memory, Mr. Cool towered over me at six-foot-something, his death-metal hair offset by a wiry goatee, his Air Jordans a bright counterpoint to his spider web tie.

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NWPR Books
2:36 am
Sat September 21, 2013

A Road Trip Sparks An Unlikely Friendship In 'Norvelt To Nowhere'

Jack Gantos recently won the Newbery Medal, the highest award in children's literature, for his novel Dead End in Norvelt.
Anne Lower Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 8:34 am

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a book that begins in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The first few paragraphs also disclose that nine elderly women in the town of Norvelt are dead by poison.

Did we mention it's a kids' book, too?

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NWPR Books
4:07 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Yasmin Thayná: 'I Always Wanted To Make Literature With My Hair'

Brazilian writer Yasmin Thayná, 20, participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.
Courtesy of Yasmin Thayná

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. On Tuesday we heard Tatiana Salem Levy's love letter to Rio. Now we turn to 20-year-old Yasmin Thayná, who discovered her love for writing as a teenager when she participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.

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NWPR Books
2:50 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Richard Dawkins' Delightful Memoir Dilutes The Poison

Richard Dawkins, founder of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, speaks at the March 2012 "Reason Rally" on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

On Tuesday, famed evolutionary scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins' new book — a memoir called An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist — will be published here in the United States. (It came out in the United Kingdom on September 12.) Spanning the years from Dawkins' birth in Kenya in 1941 to the publication of his bestseller The Selfish Gene in 1976, the book tells the story of how Dawkins fell in love with learning and then science.

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