NPR News

Pages

Author Interviews
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

A Spy's Son Grapples With A Lifetime Of Secrets

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 7:13 am

When Scott Johnson was a kid, he wasn't really sure what his dad did; he was either a teacher, a diplomat or a foreign service officer.

But one morning, when Johnson was 14, his father decided to tell him his real job: He was a spy for the CIA.

At first it was exciting, but as Johnson grew older, he began to wonder just how much his father was keeping from him. He tells the story of their complicated relationship in a new memoir called The Wolf and the Watchman.

Read more
The Salt
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Picnicking Through The Ages

An illustration of noblemen enjoying a picnic, from a French edition of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus, 15th century.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 3:56 pm

Whether a shepherd, an explorer, a hunter or a fairgoer, people have been eating outside since the beginning of time.

"The dictionaries confirm the word 'picnic' first surfaced in the 18th century, so we were picnicking before we had the term," says research librarian and food historian Lynne Olver, who runs the Food Timeline website.

Read more
Music Interviews
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Marshall Chapman: A Lifelong Rocker Reared In The Shadow Of Elvis

Marshall Chapman's latest album, her 13th, is called Blaze of Glory.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 3:11 pm

When Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's former guitar player, tells you check out the music of Marshall Chapman, maybe you should give it a listen.

Moore is just one of many to sing Chapman's praises, but it's especially fitting that a member of the King's entourage should endorse her. Chapman says it was a 1956 Elvis concert that convinced her, at 7 years old, to make music.

"They mark time like A.D. and B.C., right?" she says. "For me, it's sort of B.E. and A.E. It was a life-changing event."

Read more
History
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

'Orphaned' By World War II, Children Salute Fallen Fathers

Paratrooper William John McLean II died on his son's second birthday. William McLean III is now 70.
Courtesy of William McLean III

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 7:48 pm

Memorial Day commemorates those who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. For some Americans, the day revives their few and fading memories of their fallen fathers. Those who lost a father in World War II are considered "war orphans." These are the stories of three of those children who have lived nearly all their lives without their dads.

A Voice From Heaven

Geraldine Conway Morenski holds onto a few distant memories of her dad: picking her up out of her crib, laughing, playing with her in the backyard.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Indianapolis Speedway Needs Boost, But With Taxpayer Funds?

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has approved $100 million in bonds to repair the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 1:24 pm

Sunday is the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, which draws hundreds of thousands of fans to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While it's an economic boon for the area, the 104-year-old track needs renovations — and just how it's getting the money is rubbing some Hoosiers the wrong way.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:39 am
Sun May 26, 2013

Rebuilding Storm-Damaged New Jersey, One Boardwalk At A Time

People walk on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., on Friday. The Jersey Shore beaches officially opened for the summer, after rebuilding following the destruction left behind by Superstorm Sandy last fall. The storm caused $37 billion of damage in the state.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 2:00 pm

When Hurricane Sandy swept through New Jersey last year, it destroyed many homes and businesses. It also obliterated the boardwalks that are the center of social and economic life in the towns.

In the months since, many of these towns have rushed to rebuild their boardwalks, but not everyone thinks the money has been well spent.

Read more
Code Switch
5:48 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Job Searching While Black: What's Behind The Unemployment Gap?

A man interviews for a job in Detroit. The unemployment rate for black Americans in Michigan was 18.7 percent in 2012, more that twice the rate for whites in the state.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:04 pm

In the classic American story, opportunity is always in front of you. You finish school, find a job, buy a home and start a family; it's a rosy dreamscape.

But that world is one-dimensional. Income inequality is just about as American as baseball and apple pie. And though the economy has improved in the past few years, the unemployment rate for black Americans, now 13.2 percent, is about double that for white Americans.

Read more
Books News & Features
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Lost And Found 'Wonder': Pearl S. Buck's Final Novel

Pearl Buck was born in West Virginia but spent much of her childhood in China, where her parents worked as missionaries.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Pearl S. Buck emerged into literary stardom in 1931 when she published a book called The Good Earth. That story of family life in a Chinese village won the novelist international acclaim, the Pulitzer and, eventually, a Nobel Prize. Her upbringing in China as the American daughter of missionaries served as inspiration for that novel and many others; by her death in 1973, Buck had written more than 100 books, including 43 novels.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

Read more
Theater
5:25 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

Keith Carradine (right) performs with the cast of Hands on a Hardbody during its spring 2013 run in New York.
Chad Batka

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:22 pm

The Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody wasn't your typical Broadway musical; it was about a group of Texans trying to win a new truck at a local dealership.

Actor Keith Carradine played JD Drew, one of the contestants. Though the show closed in April after just 56 performances, Carradine received rave reviews and a Tony nomination for best actor.

Read more

Pages