Arts

Arts and culture

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Nina Barrett, owner of Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston, Ill., recommends three vacation reads for All Things Considered's Pack These Pages series: The Royal We by Heather Cox and Jessica Morgan, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld and

Avant garde theater director Rachel Chavkin's career is exploding. Sitting in one of her shows might mean sitting in silence or knocking back shots of vodka, while an actor sings from War and Peace right next to you. Chavkin has two shows running off-Broadway now and a show opening on Broadway this fall.

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Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice is a troubling comedy.

The play's villain is Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. He gives one of his Christian tormentors a loan on the condition that if the merchant doesn't repay, Shylock gets a pound of the borrower's flesh.

While Shylock does give a famous speech that nobly decries de-humanization of the Jews, the play is full of anti-Semitic language and ideas.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT")

MARNI NIXON: (Singing) I could have danced all night. I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT")

MARNI NIXON: (Singing) I could have danced all night. I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.

Ask Walter Mosley what he does, and he'll say, simply, "I'm a writer." And he's written a lot: 52 books, about 30 short stories and another 30 or 40 articles, he says. While most writers specialize in one or two types of books, Mosley refuses to be constrained. He has written mysteries, science fiction, erotica, young adult fiction, plays, opinion pieces and essays. He has even penned a slim book that instructs would-be fiction writers on how to get started.

Why Do Complex Systems Thrive on Trial And Error?

8 hours ago

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Tim Harford's TED Talk

Economist Tim Harford identifies similar characteristics in successful industrial and economic systems. They work much better, he says, when they're constantly evolving through trial and error.

About Tim Harford

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Astro Teller's TED Talk

Entrepreneur Astro Teller rewards colleagues when their ambitious projects fail. Teller says this helps people take risks so they can achieve their "moonshot" goals, like a balloon-powered internet.

About Astro Teller

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