Arts

Arts and culture

Linda Holmes is filing dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival. These movies will see wider release in the coming months.

Mascots

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Mara Wilson says that the most complicated relationship she's ever had is with a fictional, 6-year-old girl. That's because you probably know Wilson best as Matilda, from the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic.

"I wanted to be her so badly ..." Wilson tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "She's kind of like my big sister over shadowing me."

Wilson was a successful child actress — you may also recognize her from her starring roles as Natalie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire, or as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street.

Raina Telgemeier's new graphic novel Ghosts is about death. But it's written for children.

Telgemeier tells NPR's books editor Barrie Hardymon that stories serve as a way to begin difficult conversations. "Stories are such a powerful way of communicating ideas and in comforting people," she says.

When describing the cultural history of the Caribbean island of Grenada, it's the cooking pot rather than the melting pot that springs to mind. And there's no better culinary metaphor than "oil down," the peculiarly named national dish of Grenada, a mix of meats and vegetables.

Nearly every ingredient in this hearty stew has a unique origin and story to tell: For instance, callaloo, a leafy vegetable somewhat similar in taste to spinach, and the same plant's root, known as dasheen, are indigenous to the Caribbean and were cultivated by Grenada's earliest Amerindian inhabitants.

As you open Angel Catbird, Margaret Atwood's new comic book, your mind may wander through her previous works in search of comparisons and common themes. In her case, that's quite a trip. Though best-known for more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and essays, she's also a creator of comics.

Linda Holmes is filing dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival. These movies will see wider release in the coming months.

Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford (the fashion designer) surprised a fair number of folks with his very good first feature as a director, A Single Man, in 2009. It was gorgeous to look at, as one might expect, but it was also deeply felt, thanks in part to a strong central performance from Colin Firth.

Kristin Chenoweth has starred on Broadway in Wicked and on television in Pushing Daisies and The West Wing. We've invited Chenoweth, who is 4 feet 11 inches, to answer three questions about 6-foot-1 model and actress Brigitte Nielsen, who is perhaps most famous for her brief marriage to Sylvester Stallone. Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

Once upon a time, there was a strange little woman who lived in an upside down house.

Her name was Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and she was a combination of friend and therapist to all the kids who lived in her small town. Author Betty MacDonald began making up stories about Mrs. Piggle Wiggle for her family in the 1940s; those bedtime tales led to a series of classic children's books.

Now, MacDonald's great-granddaughter Annie Parnell has teamed up with Ann M. Martin — who created the Babysitter's Club books — to reboot the series for modern readers.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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