Arts

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

In 'Reaped,' 5 Lives That Are Far More Than Just Statistics

iStockphoto.com

On July 18, 1863, the Union Army's famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — a black military unit — made a desperate assault on Confederate forces at Fort Wagner near Charleston, S.C. In the end, they were unsuccessful and lost almost half of their forces. Escaped slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman bore elegiac eyewitness to the terrible day: "We saw the lightning and that was the guns," she said later.

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The Salt
3:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Kitchen Time Machine: A Culinary Romp Through Soviet History

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

The French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the connection between food and memory when the narrator of his novel Remembrances of Things Past bit into a madeleine and was transported to thoughts of his childhood.

But what if that madeleine were poisoned, so to speak?

That is the question underlying Russian American writer Anya von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Though it contains recipes, this is not a cookbook but rather, a history of a family and of Soviet Russia.

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Code Switch
7:12 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

'It Could Have Been Me': The 1983 Death Of A NYC Graffiti Artist

A passenger boards a subway car painted with graffiti, in New York in 1984.
AP

"It could have been me. It could have been me."

These were the words uttered by painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, who was deeply shaken after he heard the story of a black graffiti artist who was beaten to death by New York City police. Seeing his own life reflected in the death of a fellow artist, Basquiat went on to create Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), not only to commemorate the young man's death, but also to challenge the state-sanctioned brutality that men of color could face for pursuing their art in public spaces.

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Books News & Features
5:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

National Book Awards Look To Raise Profile ... And It's Not The First Time

The 2013 National Book Award long list for Young People's Literature was announced Monday. Click here to see the full list.
nationalbook.org

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 2:19 pm

You may be hearing a lot about the National Book Awards this week — at least that's what the National Book Foundation hopes. That's because they've made some changes to the awards that they hope will get more people talking about them. Over four days starting Monday, they will roll out their nominees in four different categories — beginning with Young People's Literature and ending Thursday with Fiction.

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Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Barnard President: Today's 'Wonder Women' Must Reframe Feminism

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Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:06 pm

There was a time when Debora Spar was used to being the only woman in the room. As a professor at Harvard Business School, she was surrounded by what she describes as "alpha men of the academic sort — men with big egos and big attitudes and an awful lot of testosterone."

Then, in 2008, she found herself in the opposite situation: She became the president of Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University, where "there was barely a male in sight."

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Introducing 'Miss Anne,' The White Women Of A Black Renaissance

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:16 pm

Ten years ago, literary scholar Carla Kaplan released an acclaimed edition of the letters of Zora Neale Hurston. In the course of researching Hurston's life, Kaplan became curious about the white women who were in Harlem in the same period as Hurston, women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the artistic and political movements of the Harlem Renaissance. Now, Kaplan has published a cultural history of those women called Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance.

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The Salt
1:36 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin

"Artist's" rendering.
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:41 pm

For the first two millennia of McDonald's Breakfast Menu, very little changed, but the past several months have brought startling reforms. The company introduced the Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 50 fewer calories and one fewer yellow spot than the regular McMuffin. They stopped slapping you in the face when you try to order the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. And now, they bring us the Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin.

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New In Paperback
11:37 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Sept. 16-22: Murder, Music And Lincoln's Trusted Rival

President Lincoln appointed William Henry Seward secretary of state in 1861. He served until 1869.
Henry Guttmann Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 2:15 pm

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:21 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Book News: Man Booker Prize To Be Opened To Americans

British authors such as Hilary Mantel will soon have some competition from across the pond, according to organizers of the Man Booker Prize.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 8:11 am

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

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