Arts

Theater
11:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. An Ordinary Guy?

The Mountaintop is an award-winning play about the night Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. died. But some critics don't love playwright Katori Hall's portrayal of the civil rights icon as a regular guy. Hall tells host Michel Martin why she found it important to focus on the man, not the myth.

Books
11:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Hotel Magnate Bill Marriott On Life's Lessons

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 3:36 pm

In the 1920s, a man passing through Washington, D.C., noticed something about the city in September: It was sweltering, and there were few places to seek relief. He figured you could make a lot of money selling ice-cold drinks.

That first business venture set J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. on a road to riches.

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Arts & Life
11:40 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Listener Muses About Tobacco, Parcheesi, and Espresso Cups

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we have the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your poetic tweets. Poems at 140 characters or less that you send us on Twitter.

Today's poem comes from Chris Johnston of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He writes and tweets under the name Boinkaz. Our series curator Holly Bass says she likes this one because it reminds her of her first trip to Istanbul, Turkey earlier this year. Here's the tweet.

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Monkey See
9:10 am
Thu April 11, 2013

The Downside Of Flexibility: A Plea For Must-See TV At A Must-Watch Time

In a scene from Friends' eighth season, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) react to Rachel's pending pregnancy. The birth of the baby was a major plot point of the Emmy-winning season of the series.
Warner Bros. Televison

I remember riding the bus to school in the early 2000s, listening as the older kids argued passionately about was going to happen on that night's episode of Friends. In the background, radio ads on the local Top 40 pop station dramatically intoned that maybe Rachel was finally going to admit she really loved Joey and not Ross, but you wouldn't know unless you tuned in to NBC at 8:00 on the dot.

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Books
8:03 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Oil, Chavez And Telenovelas: The Rise Of The Venezuelan Novel

Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Edwin Karmiol Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:55 am

Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.

For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Book News: NYC To Pay Occupy Wall Street For Destroyed Books

Books from the Occupy Wall Street library damaged in the November 15 eviction of Zuccotti Park and recovered from a New York city sanitation depot.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
6:53 am
Thu April 11, 2013

A Poet Grapples With Faith And Death In The 'Abyss'

Image of a human figure before a bright light
iStockphoto.com

Christian Wiman has "a cancer that is as rare as it is unpredictable." A poet and the former editor of Poetry, Wiman has found himself, when overwhelmed by the painful disease and pain-inducing treatments, praying not to God or for language to express his condition, but to the pain itself: "That it ease up ever so little, that it let me breathe. That it not — but I know it will — get worse."

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
6:52 am
Thu April 11, 2013

May Kids' Book Club Pick: 'Lunch Lady And The Cyborg Substitute'

Jarrett J. Krosoczka Studio JJK

She yanks on her elbow-length rubber gloves and snaps the string of her apron into a knot — but this is no ordinary lunch lady. Not only does she serve food, she also serves justice.

The Lunch Lady in question is the star of NPR's Backseat Book Club's latest pick, The Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka.

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Movies
3:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Painting 'Renoir' In Finely Detailed Strokes

In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic Renoir, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

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Monkey See
3:19 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

A Foolish Inconsistency: The Saga of 'Saga'

The cover of Saga, issue #12.
Image Comics

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 8:10 pm

"Comics," a wise newspaper features editor once opined, back when the Earth had not yet cooled and icthyosaurs swam the turbid seas, "Aren't Just For Kids Anymore."

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