Arts

Europe
6:52 am
Sun April 7, 2013

The River Thames, A Not-So-Secret Treasure Trove

Found objects from the Thames. Top row: a 1687 tin halfpenny, a Victorian clay pipe, a gold ring, a Victorian ring. Middle row: a decorated medieval button, a Victorian clay pipe, an 1830 George IV farthing, a Georgian military button. Bottom row: a Hooper Brewery stopper, a sailor's bag lock, a French Jacob pipe bowl and a child's toy clay pipe bowl. Note: objects not to scale.
Nick Stevens Thames and Field

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 3:45 pm

In the United Kingdom, British archaeologists have made a number of significant discoveries as of late, from the battered remains of King Richard III — found buried beneath a parking lot — to, more recently, a 14th-century burial ground for plague victims in London.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:52 am
Sun April 7, 2013

'The Interestings': An Epic, Post-Summer Camp Coming-Of-Age

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

Meg Wolitzer's new novel is an epic exploration of friendship, coming-of-age, talent and success. The Interestings follows six artistic friends who meet as teenagers one pivotal summer at a camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods. Over the next 40 years, they grow up to find some of their talents developing into grand success, while others don't.

Wolitzer joins NPR's Rachel Martin to talk about the convergence of talent and luck, envy-inducing gremlins and her own experiences at summer camp.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
6:06 am
Sun April 7, 2013

A Brand-New Word

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, given "laundry detergent" and "work in a magazine office," the answer would be "tide" and "edit."

Last week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?

Read more
Author Interviews
5:28 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Stories Of 'Outside The Wire' Give An Insider's View Of War

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

In some ways, it was like any other writing class: backpacks, books, rough drafts, discussions about literature. But instructor Christine Dumaine Leche and her students weren't sitting in a college classroom or a community center — they were on an air base in Afghanistan and the students usually came to class after long days in a war zone. Leche was teaching them to translate their experiences — the danger, the boredom, the painful separation from their families, the fear and the hatred — into prose.

Read more
Commentary
4:57 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Wrinkle Your Nose At Fermentation

Kimchi is a traditional pungent fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 1:08 pm

It's delicious, it's nutritious and it's basically rotten. Fermentation is a hot culinary trend, and, as Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf explains, the preservation process gives food a flavor unique to time and place.

People you know may intentionally be growing bacteria in their homes — on food, outside the refrigerator. And they are doing it to make food safe, and nutritious.

They are doing what cooks have always done: fermenting food.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:20 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

How Twitter Star Kelly Oxford Makes Everything 'Perfect'

Kelly Oxford is a little bit wicked and a whole lot wild and funny.

In no time, she went from being a housewife and mother of three in Calgary to Internet fame through her blog — and later, through Twitter, where her popularity exploded.

There, she shared zips like:

And:

Oxford's been retweeted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer, and even the late Roger Ebert — one of her earliest supporters. Her secret? "The simpler they are, the better they hit," she tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden.

Read more
Asia
4:55 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

The Extraordinary Lives Of Ordinary North Koreans

Amid a cascade of headline news from North Korea, often forgotten are the 24 million average citizens living under the most authoritarian regime in the world. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times on the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

Books
6:53 am
Sat April 6, 2013

'It's Pat' Creator Muses On Motherhood And Family Life

Julia Sweeney is a comedienne, writer and performer. She lives outside of Chicago.
Lauren Topel Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

Julia Sweeney is a figure of bicoastal sophistication. She's a comic actor who does one-woman shows about love, illness, faith and family. She's still remembered for creating the androgynous Pat on Saturday Night Live. She hobnobs with famously glamorous and witty people.

So how did it come to pass that she wound up in Wilmette, Il., driving a minivan and dreaming of solitude? Sweeney has put some of her musings on becoming a Midwestern mother — and keeping up her life in comedy — into a new book, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother.

Read more
Poetry
5:34 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Does Poetry Still Matter? Yes Indeed, Says NPR NewsPoet

Tracy K. Smith was NPR's first NewsPoet.
Tina Chang

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

April is the cruelest month, according to one of the most famous poems in the English language. Perhaps to take the edge off of April, the Academy of American Poets chose it as the month to draw attention to the art and legacy of poetry — and the achievement of American poets.

We're celebrating this month by hearing from young poets about how they chose — or were chosen by — poetry, and why poetry — one of the oldest human art forms — still matters.

Read more
Theater
4:33 am
Sat April 6, 2013

On Broadway, Old Shows And New Tricks

Willemjin Verkaik is the latest leading lady to play Elphaba, the misunderstood green girl who grows up to become the Wicked Witch of the West in Broadway's long-running Wicked. She has also played the role in Dutch and German in Europe.
Bankhoff-Mogenburg

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.

How quaint.

Read more

Pages