Arts

Book Reviews
7:02 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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Author Interviews
4:50 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Memoir Traces How Cartoonist Lost Her 'Marbles'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:45 am

When you think of mental illness, you don't often think of comics; but for cartoonist Ellen Forney, the two came crashing together just before her 30th birthday. That's when she found out she has bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that finally explained her super-charged highs and debilitating lows.

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The Salt
4:49 am
Mon November 26, 2012

No Innocent Spice: The Secret Story Of Nutmeg, Life And Death

This copper engraving from approximately 1700 depicts the condition of the English prisoners at the hands of the Dutch. In the 1660s, Cornell University's Eric Tagliacozzo says, the conflict and competition for the spice trade came to a head. "The Dutch decapitated a number of English merchants who were also in the Spice Islands trying to profit from the trade."
WikiCommons

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:42 pm

Ah, nutmeg! Whether it's sprinkled on eggnog, baked into spice cake or blended into a latte, this pungent spice can evoke memories of holidays past. We tend to link it to celebratory times.

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Author Interviews
4:08 pm
Sun November 25, 2012

Uncovered Letters Reveal A New Side Of William Styron

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 5:00 pm

William Styron was one of the flamboyant literary figures of the 20th Century. He was a Southerner whose novel Lie Down in Darkness received immense acclaim when he was just 26 years old. He would go on to write the Confessions of Nat Turner, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968.

But for the last 27 years of his life, Styron did not write a novel. He battled depression, and wrote a seminal work about it, Darkness Visible, in 1990.

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Author Interviews
7:33 am
Sun November 25, 2012

'The Missing Ink' And The Intimacy Of Writing

When Philip Hensher realized he didn't know what his best friend's handwriting looked like, he decided to write a book. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Hensher about that book, The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting.

The Salt
6:31 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Real Chefs Grind It With A Mortar And Pestle

The mortar and pestle can be found in kitchens around the world, including Thailand. In the United States, chef Tanasapamon Rohman uses the tool to grind up chili paste and pulverize rice at her Thai restaurant.
Jessical Spengler Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 8:44 am

Chefs these days stock all sorts of high-tech tools, from liquid nitrogen to $500 blenders. But in kitchens throughout the world, there's one piece of technology that's been the same since the Stone Age: the mortar and pestle.

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Author Interviews
6:11 am
Sun November 25, 2012

Old Newspapers, New Perspectives On The American Revolution

Courtesy of Sourcebooks

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:33 am

Time has a way of condensing major historical events into a few key moments, with one-dimensional, legendary figures at the forefront. In his new book, author and archivist Todd Andrlik gives life and depth to one such event — the American Revolution. He uses newspaper reporting from that era to provide a sense of the Revolution as it actually unfolded.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:03 am
Sun November 25, 2012

A Puzzle More Delicious Than A Chard Shard

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:33 am

On-air challenge: Every answer consists of a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word starts with CH, and the second word is pronounced the same as the first except with an SH sound. (The spelling may or may not change.) For example, given the clue "some Central African fish," the answer would be "Chad shad."

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Performing Arts
5:05 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

Princess Marty Is A Smarty If She's At A Child's Party

Mary Alice LeGrow, otherwise known as "Princess Marty," hugs a young girl during a birthday party in a Philadelphia suburb. A graphic artist and "cosplay" (costume play) fanatic, LeGrow became a full-time professional party princess to make ends meet during the economic downturn.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 7:55 am

Princess Marty says the most important thing a princess has to do is smile and be in character — always.

"You can never ruin it for a child, even if you're coming home from work ... and you're in your big dress," she says. "If a child sees you, you have to be a princess for them. You can't say, 'Sorry kid, I'm off the clock.' "

Her highness — known outside the big dress as Mary Alice LeGrow — is a professional party princess. She uses her best princess voice and dresses up in full regalia to charm children.

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Author Interviews
4:57 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

A White Face With A Forgotten African Family

Free Press

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 6:26 pm

Growing up blond-haired and blue-eyed in Southern California, Joe Mozingo always thought his family name was Italian.

But as an adult, Mozingo became skeptical of that theory when friends and co-workers began to ask him about his unusual-sounding last name.

The journey to discover the truth about the Mozingo name took him from the libraries of Los Angeles to the courthouses and plantations of Virginia and, finally, to Africa.

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