Arts

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed April 9, 2014

'Astonish Me' Is An Artful, Elegant Dance

Maggie Shipstead is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the author of Seating Arrangements.
Alisha & Brook

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 9:46 am

"Etonnez-moi," Sergei Diaghilev, the founder of the Ballets Russes, used to say to his dancers. Astonish me. Maggie Shipstead's book of the same name does not astonish; rather, it charms. It is full of the kind of prose you want to curl up and nest in like a cat: seamless and full of small elegances.

Read more
Food
12:18 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Some Appetizing Nibbles For Pre-Seder Snacking

A spread of Passover snacks
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 2:38 pm

The Passover Seder is usually described as a ceremonial meal: Participants sit down to a set of ritualized foods and tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. But more than just tell it, Jews are bidden to relive it. We engage in ritual and discussion and debate, until each of us feels that we've made a journey ourselves. It's a singular, time-stopping evening. But it can take a very long time.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

In This 'Almanac,' Fiction Makes The Best Time Machine

Courtesy of Tor

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

From Back to the Future to The Twilight Zone and Doctor Who, the theme of time travel is timeless on the screen and on the page. What is it about time travel that's so darn appealing?

"We all have this idea in our heads that, if only I had said this, if only I had done that — we all want to go back and do something," says Ann VanderMeer. She and her husband Jeff are the editors of the new Time Traveler's Almanac, a giant compilation of time travel stories ranging from classic to very, very modern.

Read more
Code Switch
2:45 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Coming Out In Basketball: How Brittney Griner Found 'A Place Of Peace'

Brittney Griner puts up a shot against Japan during a 2013 preseason WNBA game in Phoenix.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:24 am

Brittney Griner is 23 years old, 6 feet 8 inches tall and one of the best female basketball players in the world. She was the WNBA top draft pick last year, and in college she set records for the most blocked shots in a season and the most career blocks in history — for male and female players. She's so good that the owner of a men's team — the Dallas Mavericks — has said he'd recruit her.

Now, Griner is also an author. She's co-written a new memoir, In My Skin, in which she describes being bullied and taunted as a kid for her height and athleticism.

Read more
Television
2:06 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

'Parenthood' Is Hard, But NBC Gets This Family Drama Right

Family dramas have always been one of television's most difficult genres to do properly, without getting too sweet, too overwrought, or too predictable — but NBC's Parenthood finds the right balance. Above, Ray Romano as Hank, Mae Whitman as Amber, and Lauren Graham as Sarah.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:41 pm

During a recent Fresh Air review of the CBS series The Good Wife, I referred to it as one of my "go-to" shows whenever anyone asks me to name a drama series on broadcast TV that's as good as the ones on cable these days. Ever since, I've wanted to give equal time to my other go-to choice. That show, now winding up its fifth season, is NBC's Parenthood.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

A Nonbeliever Tries To Make Sense Of The Visions She Had As A Teen

In her memoir Living With a Wild God, Barbara Ehrenreich describes the mystical visions she had as a teenager.
Courtesy of Twelve/Hachette Book Group

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 2:35 pm

Barbara Ehrenreich is known for her books and essays about politics, social welfare, class, women's health and other women's issues. Her best-seller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, explored the difficulties faced by low-wage workers. So fans of Ehrenreich's writing may be surprised at the subject of her new memoir — the mystical visions she had as a teenager.

Read more
Code Switch
1:23 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

For Poetry Month, We're Taking To Twitter — And We Want Your Help

According to iStockphoto, these floating letters "symbolize the idea of literature." Sure. We'll just roll with that.
iStockphoto

Help us make poetry!

April is National Poetry Month: 30 days set aside for the celebration of all things verse. Many of us here at Code Switch love poetry every month of the year, but we can't always make space for it in our coverage.

So this month, we're taking advantage of the national celebration and highlighting great poets and poems that address issues of race, ethnicity and culture.

Read more
The Salt
1:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Roshen is a premium brand but some say it tastes "less refined" than Western European chocolate.
Bodo Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 4:21 pm

In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate.

That's because the current front-runner in Ukraine's presidential race is Petro Poroshenko, known as "the Chocolate King." His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories.

Read more
My Big Break
12:30 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Ken Jeong, Leaving Medicine For Movies

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 12:49 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You might have heard that some of our listeners actually joined Twitter just to participate in our Twitter poetry series. You might call it their big break into poetry. Well, our colleagues at All Things Considered have been hearing stories from a number of people about the moment when their careers in other fields took off.

Read more
#TMMPoetry: Muses and Metaphor
12:30 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Creating An Ecosystem In 140 Characters

Dennis Macdonald Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 2:36 pm

For Tell Me More's second week of Muses and Metpahor poet Holly Bass stopped by to talk about her teen writing initiative at a Washington, D.C. detention center. Bass has been working with her students to create poems that are 140-characters or less. She shared how she inspires them to navigate the sometimes difficult limitation.

"I tell them to just write a whole poem and then you can take one line or two lines from that poem and turn that into your Twitter poem" Bass told Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

Read more

Pages