Arts

The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Book News: Sushmita Banerjee, Indian Author Who Fled Taliban, Shot Dead

Author Sushmita Banerjee poses at a 2002 news conference announcing the launch of the movie Escape From Taliban, which is based on her memoir A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife.
Sebastian D'Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 7:58 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Fri September 6, 2013

After Tragedy, Lost Live On In 'Maid's Version' Of The Story

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:20 pm

For readers new to Daniel Woodrell's work, The Maid's Version is a perfect introduction and an invitation to read more. It's a short book — almost a novella at a mere 164 pages — but there are lifetimes captured here. Woodrell sets the story in his beloved Missouri Ozarks, and he writes with clear-eyed observation, introducing the reader to characters whose lives are shaped as much by their rural landscape as by the moral ambiguities — the collective lies, constraints and collusions — that form the necessary glue holding their community together.

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Movie Reviews
12:10 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Dentist, Heal Thy Sister (And Vice Versa)

Reach Out And ... What Was It Again? Josh Pais and Rosemarie DeWitt are a brother and sister with serious life changes to negotiate in Touchy Feely.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 3:40 pm

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The Salt
6:41 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It'll Soon Be Hard To Know

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm

Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.

Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.

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Arts & Life
6:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

'Smitten Kitchen' Author On Learning To Love Kale

Food blogger Deb Perelman was initially a kale skeptic — until this Kale Salad With Pecorino And Walnuts changed her mind.
Deb Perelman

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:21 pm

Kale has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Once relegated to the sidelines as a mere garnish, the green now appears on 400 percent more restaurant menus than it did four years ago.

But not everyone has bought into the gospel of the vitamin- and mineral-rich green. Even Deb Perelman, who writes the blog and cookbook Smitten Kitchen, was initially a kale skeptic.

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Arts & Life
6:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Swing Your Partner: W.Va. Circles Back To Square Dancing

A couple takes to the floor in Harmon, W.Va., in 2012. West Virginia is trying to revitalize its square-dance tradition.
Jessie Wright-Mendoza for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:21 pm

Square dancing, once a pillar of small-town life, is making a comeback in West Virginia. A statewide project is trying to help communities preserve and promote this part of their cultural heritage.

Marlinton, W.Va., is one of the towns taking up the cause. Its square dances can gather a crowd, but residents still worry about attracting the attention of the next generation.

If you go to a square dance in Marlinton, there are some rules to follow. First of all, leave your stereotypes at the door, says Becky Hill, who works on The Mountain Dance Trail initiative.

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Movie Reviews
5:09 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Qwerty Can Be Flirty, If We're In '50s France

Ses Doigts, Sont Adroits: Deborah Francois proves adept with the titular typewriter in Populaire.
Jair Sfez The Weinstein Co.

Devotees of '50s Hollywood comedies could have a great time at Populaire, an intentionally lightweight ode to romance and, uh, typing. But the way to enjoy this French souffle is to concentrate on the scrupulously retro music, costumes and set design, not on the musty fairy-tale script.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Mommy Issues, Or: It's Always Sonny In Cougartown

It's a family film: Xavier Samuel and Robin Wright play one of two intergenerational couples at the center of Anne Fontaine's Adore, a film that dares to ask: "Does it count as a mommy issue if you're sleeping with her lifelong best friend?"
Exclusive Media

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:48 am

Overused and much misused, the word "provocative" has become a double-edged sword, especially when it's swung in the direction of independent cinema. At its best, the genuinely provocative film — off the top of my head, anything by Bunuel, Shaun of the Dead, Holy Motors -- shocks in order to expand our vision of the world it encompasses. At its most dispiriting, it's an exercise in cheap thrillage, designed to goose a presumptively stuffy bourgeois audience while positioning a director as some sort of iconoclast.

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NPR Story
4:26 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What Elevated Kale From Vegetable To Cultural Identifier?

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:10 pm

Of all the healthy foods you could eat, what inspires some people to wear kale T-shirts and sport kale stickers? Why do some people see kale as a part of their identities?

Author Interviews
1:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:43 pm

Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us in our beds. But this relatively new arrangement is creating issues for cats and the people who live with them.

John Bradshaw has studied the history of domesticated cats and how the relationship between people and cats has changed. He's the author of the new book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, which is a follow-up to his book Dog Sense.

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