What happens to underground artists after they step, blinking, into the harsh, flat light of the upper world? If they are Robert and Aline Crumb, not a whole hell of a lot — at least, not in their approach to their art. As amply demonstrated in Drawn Together, which collects comics the two cartoonists have created together since the late '70s, their specific subjects may change, but how they go about depicting those subjects — their shared impulse for autobiographical, self-deprecating logorrhea — remains constant.
Dellarobia Turnbow, the smart-mouthed heroine of Barbara Kingsolver'sFlight Behavior, is frustrated by her marriage to Cub, the boy who got her pregnant in high school, and by the grinding privation of life on her in-laws' failing farm. Kingsolver mixes a story of personal awakening with themes of environmental stewardship and climate change as a freak natural phenomenon begins to transform Dellarobia's life. This exclusive excerpt exhibits one of the book's pleasures — Kingsolver's closely observed depictions of rural life — as it introduces the main characters.
Two weeks ago, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was seen as the clear winner of that debate. A very different President Obama showed up for the second debate. He went hard after his Republican opponent from the very start.
Steve Inskeep talks to two commentators from either side of the political divide about Tuesday night's presidential debate. Liberal Jonathan Chait is with New York Magazine and conservative Jonah Goldberg is editor at large for National Review Online.
A team of NPR correspondents joins Renee Montagne to give Tuesday night's presidential debate a Close Read. The second meeting was a town hall-style debate and covered a wide range of issues. The reporters include: John Ydstie, Julie Rovner, Michele Kelemen, Jeff Brady and Ted Robbins.
Here in the United States, the corn harvest is nearly complete. It was earlier and much smaller than in recent years, which means stockpiles are lower and prices will likely be higher. Now, while this summer's drought is largely to blame, the dry weather did offer perfect conditions to test drought-resistant corn. As Iowa Public Radio's Amy Mayer reports, seed companies and farmers are now crunching the yield numbers to see what these new varieties could mean in coming years.
And today's last word in business is: Are you ready?
(SOUNDBITE OF TARGET COMMERCIAL)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The holidays are coming, and they're going to be big.
MONTAGNE: Target has aired its first holiday ad of the season.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Let me just get my face out of my palm here. That's right. Forget planning your Halloween costume or picking out a turkey. Target is making its mark early - six weeks before Thanksgiving, in fact. It had a lot of people double-checking their calendar.
After controlling the comings and goings of its citizens for 50 years, Cuba is relaxing its grip. The government announced it would eliminate the exit visa requirements. That announcement has been welcomed by many there, but as Nick Miroff reports from Havana, not all Cubans will be treated equally when the new immigration rules take effect in January.
NICK MIROFF, BYLINE: Cuban broadcasters read the announcement word-for-word on state television, just in case there were some who wouldn't have believed it otherwise.