Arts

Book Reviews
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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The Salt
3:53 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Fried Peanut Butter And Banana

Melissa approaches with caution.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:58 pm

It's strange to find a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich, famous as Elvis Presley's favorite, on a restaurant menu, given its effect on Elvis. It's like finding a store selling an Isadora Duncan commemorative scarf.

Nonetheless, freelance radio producer Melissa LaCasse and I decided to try the one offered by The Breslin in New York, listed as "fried peanut butter & banana sandwich with bourbon & vanilla."

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Television
1:54 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Linney Mines 'The Big C' For Serious Laughs

Laura Linney and Alan Alda star in The Big C, now in its fourth season on Showtime. Linney took on the role not long before her own father died of cancer.
Showtime

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

From a young age, Laura Linney knew what she wanted to do with her life: act. There was no question.

She was a drama nerd in high school, and went onto Juilliard to study theater. But film acting was never the dream, and movie stardom definitely wasn't the goal.

"I was always completely intimidated by film," she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I was not the sort of person who grew up thinking, 'Oh, I want to be in the movies.' I loved movies; I just didn't think I particularly belonged there."

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Book Reviews
12:56 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Gail Godwin, whose latest novel is Flora, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and a Guggenheim fellow.
David Hermon Bloomsbury Press

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:20 pm

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.

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Monkey See
11:55 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Entirely Real Photos: Greetings From These ABBA Puppets

Puppets of the ABBA members await you at what is, believe it or not, the world's first permanent ABBA museum.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Of all the museums opening tomorrow that are devoted to supergroups of the 1970s, surely none is more hotly anticipated than ABBA The Museum.

You can dance. You can jive. You can visit the gift shop.

And you can see these puppets, which also appeared in a video in which you can see them in action. Are these more or less creepy than wax museum figures? It's a toss-up.

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New In Paperback
11:19 am
Mon May 6, 2013

May 6-12: An Apocalypse, A Trip To Malawi And Anne Boleyn

Cover of The Lower River

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Books
11:17 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Wendy Williams Dishes Her Own Dirt

Karl Giant

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:35 pm

Daytime television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebs. She got her start over 20 years ago, as a radio DJ and host. Williams quickly became known in New York as a "shock jockette" who never bit her tongue.

Her quick humor has made The Wendy Williams Show one of the most popular in daytime talk. But Wendy's road to stardom had its bumps.

On Drug Use

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Monkey See
9:53 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Shut The Door, Have A Suite: 'Mad Men' Steps It Up

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]

It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.

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Monkey See
8:10 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Armor And Anxiety: Tony Stark Is The New Captain America

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
Marvel/Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 10:37 am

Meet Tony Stark at the opening of Iron Man 3: insanely wealthy, possessed of every toy, and traumatized by an attack on New York that has left him restless, anxious, belligerent, and given to both hunker-down security measures and fate-tempting swagger. He declares his total lack of fear, then builds the fortress walls higher.

Let's step back.

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The Two-Way
7:24 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Book News: Harper Lee Says Literary Agent Exploited Her Health

Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

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

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