Arts

Books News & Features
9:39 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Amid Dropping Test Scores, Teen Writers' Creativity Soars

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 10:58 am

NPR correspondent Joseph Shapiro and his daughter Eva spent the weekend at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Eva, 15, won the "Best in Grade" award, one of two for ninth-grade writers, for a short story. She takes writing classes with Writopia Lab in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Book News: Inmate Fights For His Right To Read Werewolf Erotica

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

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Book Reviews
7:04 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Reader Advisory: 'Shining Girls' Is Gruesome But Gripping

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:18 pm

Borrow from Stephen King a house with a wormhole that somehow allows for time travel, re-create the monstrous chilliness of scenes between a serial killer and his female victims in The Silence of the Lambs, and you could easily end up with a pretty derivative thriller. But talented Cape Town writer Lauren Beukes has managed to turn such borrowing and theft into a triumph in her new novel, The Shining Girls. It's her third book, and a marvelous narrative feat that spans the history of Chicago from the 1930s to the 1990s.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
7:04 am
Thu June 13, 2013

The Complete List: What NPR's Backseat Book Club Has Read So Far

Carina Jaffe, 3; Larissa Jaffe, 9; Denali Jaffe, 10; Zahra Jaffe, 6; and their friend Christina Tonnu, 8, read The Phantom Tollbooth together in Philadelphia.
Courtesy the Jaffe Family

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 4:22 pm

Ever since we launched NPR's Backseat Book Club in 2011, our young listeners have been busy reading — classics like The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth, and newer tales, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book. If you know a kid age 9-14 who's looking for a great read, look no further: Here are all the books we've read so far. (And here's the list in printable form.)

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Digital Life
4:33 am
Thu June 13, 2013

From Seinfeld, A Second Season Of 'Coffee' Talk

Jerry Seinfeld won a 2013 Webby Award for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Bryan Bedder Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 11:01 am

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is exactly what it sounds like — a show about three things Jerry Seinfeld loves.

Each individual episode of the stand-up comic's Web series features him talking to a fellow comedian while driving across town to get a cup of coffee.

While the premise is simple enough, and the celebrity interview as familiar as any late-night talk-show, the format of C3 allows for a more relaxed and personal tone than the typical sofa-chat format.

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Monkey See
4:27 am
Thu June 13, 2013

How To Introduce Kids To Tough Topics? Art And TV Can Help

Sue Glader wrote Nowhere Hair after finding many children's books about cancer that were too depressing or scary.
Courtesy Sue Glader

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 6:31 am

Parents steer their kids to media for all kinds of things: as a distraction so they can make dinner, to teach letters and numbers, and for pure entertainment. There are also times when parents rely on books, TV, museums and other media when they aren't quite sure how to approach a difficult topic by themselves.

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Movie Reviews
2:39 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

'This Is The End': The Apocalypse Is One Hot Party

James Franco (left), Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel are all playing themselves in Rogen's apocalypse comedy This Is the End.
Sony Pictures

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

So far, the summer's end-of-the-world movies (After Earth, Oblivion) have mostly been provoking unintended yuks, so it's kind of a relief that this week's offerings include one that actually means to be funny.

That This Is the End actually is funny — well, that's even better, especially as it's playing cleverly enough with form to keep your brain occupied, too.

It opens with actor Seth Rogen waiting at the L.A. airport for his comedian buddy Jay Baruchel. And the first thing you hear is a passerby saying "Hey Seth Rogen, what up?"

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Music Reviews
1:35 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

Fame Studio

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:57 am

Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.

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Movie Interviews
1:28 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

'20 Feet From' The Spotlight, There's Singing Worthy Of One

Singer Merry Clayton performs in Hollywood during a celebration of Carole King and her music.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 2:31 pm

The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which explores the world of rock 'n' roll's backup singers, opens to the soundtrack of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Reed sings half the refrain — "And the colored girls go, doo do doo do doo" — until a chorus of backup singers pick up the "Do doo" line. At first these women sound far away, but as the chorus progresses, their voices get louder, less produced and polished, more real and intimate.

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Art & Design
11:32 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Designer Ozwald Boateng On Being The 'Statesman of Cool'

Oswald Boateng has designed for the rich and famous.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 4:49 pm

Ozwald Boateng was the youngest and first black tailor to have a shop on London's prestigious Savile Row, a street renowned for its fine tailoring, where the world's royalty come for their attire.

Boateng also dresses athletic and Hollywood royalty. Actor Laurence Fishburne once said, "When you wear an Ozwald Boateng suit, you become a statesman of cool." Boateng is also a statesman for something else: the future development of Africa.

He joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to talk about style and diplomacy.

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