Arts

Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

'Life After Life,' The Many Deaths And Do-Overs Of Ursula Todd

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 10:34 am

One night in 1910, a little girl is born during a snowstorm in the English countryside. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck; she turns blue and gasps for life. The doctor can't make it through the snow, and the little girl dies.

That same little girl is born on another version of that night in 1910, but this time the doctor makes it through the storm, delivers the baby and stays for breakfast.

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Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

David Sheff On Addiction: Prevention, Treatment And Staying 'Clean'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 3:43 pm

David Sheff wrote a book in 2008 that became a kind of landmark. Beautiful Boy was a painful, personal story of the battle he tried to fight with and alongside his son, Nic, who was addicted to methamphetamines. The book became an international best-seller and made David Sheff one of the country's most prominent voices on addiction — not as a doctor, an addict or an academic expert, but as a father.

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Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sat March 30, 2013

The 'Unsinkable' Debbie Reynolds Looks Back On Life, Love And A Boozy Busby Berkeley

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 10:29 am

Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for more than 60 years — beginning as an ingenue chirping a novelty tune called "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in one of her first films, a Jane Powell/Ricardo Montalban vehicle called Two Weeks With Love. That was 1950. Today, she's indisputably a grand dame of show business, working with names like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.

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Theater
5:42 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

'Testament Of Mary': A Familiar Mother, In First Person

Fiona Shaw rehearses for her role as the Virgin Mary in The Testament of Mary. Irish novelist Colm Toibin's one-woman play opens April 22 at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theater.
Hugo Glendinning

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

How do you play a character who's been depicted more than nearly any other character in all of Western civilization?

That's the challenge currently facing Irish actress Fiona Shaw, who in the past has played such well-known fictional characters as Harry Potter's Petunia Dursley and Marnie Stonebrook on HBO's True Blood -- not to mention titanic classical roles from Euripides' Medea to Shakespeare's Richard II.

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Movie Reviews
5:29 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A Film So Sumptuous, 'Renoir' Himself Might Have Helped Out

Jean (Vincent Rottiers) assists his ailing father, the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), in his studio on the French Riviera.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

The year is 1915. A beautiful young woman bicycling through sun-dappled woods passes under an effigy of a German soldier and seems entirely unfazed. World War I is raging elsewhere in Europe, but here on the French Riviera life is serene.

The cyclist, Andree, is on her way to pose for an elderly Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), whom she somewhat startles by claiming to be an artist herself.

"An artist," wonders the great man.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:18 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

R&B Singer Aaron Neville Plays Not My Job

Courtesy of Aaron Neville

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 11:15 am

There might be a prettier voice in the world than Aaron Neville's, but if there is, it belongs to a bird, and there's no way that bird looks as good in a leather jacket. Neville has sung duets with Aretha Franklin, has a bridge in India named after him, and has had his voice prescribed by British social workers to help people with depression. He has a new album called My True Story.

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Architecture
4:36 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Self-Taught Architect Behind Brooklyn's 'Broken Angel' Faces Eviction

Over the past three decades, Arthur and Cynthia Wood turned their four-story home into a work of art. They purchased the brick tenement at the intersection of Downing and Quincy streets in 1979 for $2,100 in cash.
Courtesy of Chris Wood

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 7:55 pm

A New York landmark of sorts is in danger of being wiped off the map. The building now known as Broken Angel was an ordinary 19th-century brick structure until self-taught artist and sculptor Arthur Wood started building on top of it in the late 1970s. Now Wood faces eviction from his own masterpiece — a towering structure that looks like a cathedral built out of salvaged junk.

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Movie Reviews
1:48 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A Film So 'Wrong' It's Almost ... Um ... Wha???

The bewildered Dolph (Jack Plotnick) is just as baffled about the bizarro plot of Wrong as most of the audience will be. He's searching for his missing dog — or something like that.
Drafthouse Films

Writer-director Quentin Dupieux's last film came with its own viewing guide, a warning in the form of a to-the-camera prologue given by a flippant floppy-haired police officer: "All great films, without exception, contain an important element of no reason."

The cop's argument is too sweeping, and its examples too transparently nonsensical, to be taken seriously: Why is E.T. brown? For no reason. Why did the guy in The Pianist have to hide? For no reason!

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Food
12:39 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Spicing Up Your Easter Or Passover Meal

Penny de los Santos Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 12:02 am

Traditional Passover and Easter food is sacred to some. But for observers looking for something different than the same-old lamb or gefilte fish, chef Pati Jinich has some ideas to spice up your holiday table.

She's the author of a new cookbook, Pati's Mexican Table, and has a PBS show by the same name.

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Monkey See
12:20 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Moody Mysteries And More Punching Bags

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, Glen and I are joined not only by our producer Jess Gitner, but also by a new face for PCHH: NPR Books editor Petra Mayer, whom you may very well know as much of the voice of our books team on social media.

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