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5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Lost And Found 'Wonder': Pearl S. Buck's Final Novel

Pearl Buck was born in West Virginia but spent much of her childhood in China, where her parents worked as missionaries.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Pearl S. Buck emerged into literary stardom in 1931 when she published a book called The Good Earth. That story of family life in a Chinese village won the novelist international acclaim, the Pulitzer and, eventually, a Nobel Prize. Her upbringing in China as the American daughter of missionaries served as inspiration for that novel and many others; by her death in 1973, Buck had written more than 100 books, including 43 novels.

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Author Interviews
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

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Theater
5:25 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

Keith Carradine (right) performs with the cast of Hands on a Hardbody during its spring 2013 run in New York.
Chad Batka

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:22 pm

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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From Our Listeners
7:08 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Three-Minute Fiction
7:06 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Geometry

iStockphoto.com

I found your journal in my car. A slim, Moleskin, six by ten centimeters, soft cover, blue, curving upwards at the edges like an incredibly shallow bowl, or a key dish. By the concavity in its form, the book seemed to be suggesting it was capable of carrying something. Something real. Not much. A few pennies. A handful of nails. One heavy pen cradled at that depression in the center, which had dropped out of the flatness of the book from riding around in the back pocket of your jeans.

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Three-Minute Fiction
7:05 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Snowflake

iStockPhoto.com

She found the photograph early in the day, while she was cleaning for spring, pulling a winter's collection of domestic detritus out from under the bed. Ticket stubs, grimy grocery notes, coffee-stained lined paper, and dead pens. Their life: movies, food, and books. She didn't like housecleaning, but the weather had changed, and something moved her to sweep around, put things in order, clean them up.

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The Salt
6:30 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gals Who Grill: What Will It Take For Women To Man The Q?

Ladies, why are we letting the menfolk dominate the grilling?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:36 am

There's a lot of innovation in grilling — everything from fancy briquettes to gadgets that help grill veggies to perfection.

But according to survey data from the NPD Group, one thing that's not changing is who's firing up the grill.

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StoryCorps
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Prepare For Takeoff With 'Cockpit Confidential'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

With summer travel season just over the horizon, millions of Americans are poised to take off for family vacations. But before they reach their destinations, they'll likely endure security lines, luggage fees, tiny bags of pretzels and unexplained delays.

Patrick Smith, an airline pilot and columnist, has written a new book for curious fliers. It's called Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers and Reflections.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England

Despite the change in policy, some gardens maintained a more traditional appearance this year, such as the East Village display.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

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