Arts

Author Interviews
7:41 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Finding A Childhood Bully, And So Much More, In 'Whipping Boy'

Allen Kurzweil's previous books include The Grand Complication and A Case of Curiosities.
Ferrante Ferranti

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:27 pm

In 1971, 10-year-old Allen Kurzweil was a new student — the youngest — at a boarding school in Switzerland. He had a problem. A problem named Cesar Augustus.

"Almost at once, he dominated my life," Kurzweil says.

Augustus was Kurzweil's 12-year-old-bully. Kurzweil says Augustus started tormenting him emotionally and physically soon after they met. It culminated in one particularly brutal incident.

"He tied me up to a bed post, and whipped me to a song in Jesus Christ Superstar," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

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Book Reviews
5:52 am
Sun January 18, 2015

It's A Chump's Life In 'Amnesia'

"I worked as a journalist in a country where the flow of information was controlled by three corporations. Their ability to manipulate the truth made the right to vote largely meaningless, but I was a journalist ... I was overweight and out of breath but I was proud to be sued, reviled, scorned, to be called a loser by the rewriters of press releases."

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Author Interviews
9:11 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

'Wallander' Author Henning Mankell On The Catastrophe Of Cancer

A year after his cancer diagnosis, Henning Mankell is working on a new novel, and he just directed Shakespeare's Hamlet in his adopted country of Mozambique.
Pep Bonet NOOR/Redux

Henning Mankell stands on the patio of his house, hands in his pockets, enjoying the view. The writer lives on a hillside village about 40 minutes' drive south of Gothenburg. The view across the sea is breathtaking, even on this cloudy fall day. In the evening Mankell can see the lights of the ships going from Oslo to Copenhagen, he says. In spring, he sat here for hours, listening to the song of a blackbird.

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Movies
5:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

London Project Aims To Increase Diversity Of Filmmakers

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 6:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Almost as soon as the Oscar nominations were announced this week, many people were pointing out an uncomfortable fact. Every director nominated is a white male. All the nominees for lead and supporting actor are white.

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Movie Interviews
5:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

'Blackhat': A Classic Detective Story For A Brave New World

Chris Hemsworth plays hacker and furloughed convict Nicholas Hathaway in Blackhat.
Frank Connor Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:07 pm

Screenwriter, producer and director Michael Mann is a master of the crime story. From his work on Miami Vice in the '80s to films like Heat, The Insider and Public Enemies, it seems he's drawn to plots that revolve around illicit activity.

"I like dramatic conflict. I like things in high relief," Mann tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I like people who are faced with important questions and have to make critical decisions."

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Author Interviews
5:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Illustrated Memoir Recalls Marching In Selma At Just 15

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 6:59 pm

At age 15, Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest person to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Lowery, who still lives in Selma today, has written a book for young readers about her experience: Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, an illustrated memoir.

"I would like for young people to know that each day of your life is a journey into history," Lowery tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You have the ability to change something each day of your life. Believe it or not, people, it can't happen without you."

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Code Switch
2:03 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Iranian-American Filmmaker Breaks Out Of Boxes, Into The Box Office

Desiree Akhavan plays Shirin in Appropriate Behavior. Akhavan says she chose the name Shirin because it means sweet in Farsi. "Even though she's insane, she has a sweetness," says Akhavan.
Desiree Akhavan

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 4:25 pm

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Author Interviews
11:28 am
Sat January 17, 2015

'Gateway To Freedom': Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:35 am

Until 2007, when it was unearthed by a Columbia University undergraduate, few scholars were aware of the record of fugitive slaves written by Sydney Howard Gay. Gay was a key Underground Railroad operative from the mid-1840s until the eve of the Civil War. He was also the editor of the weekly newspaper the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
10:15 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Not My Job: Dame Edna Everage Gets Quizzed On Farewell Tours

Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 11:14 am

Housewife and superstar Dame Edna Everage is the creation of Australian comedian Barry Humphries. Blazing out of Moonee Ponds, a Melbourne suburb, Dame Edna has conquered stage, screen, television, bookshops and more over the last 60 years.

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Movies
10:13 am
Sat January 17, 2015

And The Oscar Goes To ... Wait, Who Hasn't Had One In A While?

Robert Duvall (right) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Judge, which also starred Robert Downey Jr. The nomination left many critics scratching their heads.
Claire Folger AP

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:59 pm

"The right actors win Oscars, but for the wrong roles," Katharine Hepburn once said.

The Motion Picture Academy has a history of rewarding stars for less-than-celestial performances, and this week's Oscar nomination announcements left a lot of people scratching their heads — over the snubs for Selma, for example, and the nomination of Robert Duvall for best supporting actor in The Judge.

"I think most people hadn't even heard of The Judge before that nomination," says Alyssa Rosenberg, culture columnist for The Washington Post.

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