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3:50 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Looks At The Physical Toll Of Being Black In America

Coates with his son Samori.
Random House

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:12 pm

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down at NPR's New York studios a few days ago, he got a little emotional.

It was the first time that Coates, who writes for The Atlantic, had held a copy of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.

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Goats and Soda
4:26 am
Thu July 9, 2015

He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

Daniel Majok Gai revisits the two-bedroom apartment in Denver where he lived with seven other Sudanese refugees in 2001.
Kevin Leahy NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 10:22 am

Daniel Majok Gai wants to go back to South Sudan.

He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.

Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.

Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.

He was 6 when a militia attacked his village.

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History
6:29 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. Many people chalk the phrase up to Shakespeare, but its origins likely date back much earlier than that --€” to medieval monks eager for a cop-out.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 10:11 pm

If you've been following the Greek financial crisis, you've certainly seen this old cliche in the headlines.

In USA Today, there was "If 'it's all Greek to you,' here's the skinny on debt crisis." The BBC says, "All Greek to you? Greece's debt jargon explained."

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Author Interviews
6:08 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

From Early Failures To New 'Trainwreck,' Judd Apatow Gets Serious

Director, writer and producer Judd Apatow has both a new memoir and a new movie right now. Trainwreck, which he directed, is in theaters starting July 17 and Sick in the Head was published in June.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 10:11 pm

It's a bit of an understatement to call Judd Apatow busy.

His new book, Sick in the Head, a 500-page collection of Apatow's conversations with some of the greatest minds in comedy, is on the New York Times best-seller list. Meanwhile, his film collaboration with the white-hot Amy Schumer, Trainwreck — his fifth movie as a director — is set for release within two weeks.

Oh, and he just wrapped up shooting another movie that's due out next year.

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Author Interviews
5:22 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

From Blueprints To Betrayal: The Daring, And Downfall, Of A Cold War Spy

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 6:19 pm

It was the middle of the Cold War and the CIA was having a difficult time getting information on what the Soviet Union was up to next.

The agency needed a spy — a Russian spy — who was willing to go the full way and betray his country.

It found one in Adolf Tolkachev, a Soviet aviation expert.

David Hoffman tells Tolkachev's story in his new book, The Billion Dollar Spy.

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The Salt
7:54 am
Sun July 5, 2015

What To Do With Weird Farmers Market Vegetables

Kohlrabi, peeled and sliced, is refreshing, but lightly poached is good too, says chef April Bloomfield.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 10:10 am

Walking through the farmers market this time of year is a wondrous thing: juicy tomatoes, rows of jewel-toned eggplants, fragrant basil and sweet yellow corn. But then, you see bunches of greens that look like weeds, stuff with names like kohlrabi and purslane, and suddenly, you feel intimidated. Other people know what to do with these greens, why don't I?

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Author Interviews
5:10 am
Sun July 5, 2015

In 'Playing Scared' Pianist Grows Less Frightened Of Stage Fright

Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 12:08 pm

Everyone has had the dream in one form or another. You are about to take a big test when you realize you don't know anything about the subject. You are on stage but you haven't memorized the lines. You have to make a speech but you haven't written it.

It's your basic performance anxiety nightmare.

But if you are a musician, performance anxiety, better known as stage fright, can ruin your career — maybe before it even gets started.

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Author Interviews
5:04 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

If Robots 'Speak,' Will We Listen? Novel Imagines A Future Changed By AI

Courtesy of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 6:42 pm

Louisa Hall was a nervous speaker when she was little. At school, kids teased her and said she talked like a robot.

"I think I was just so nervous that I kind of couldn't put any real animation in my voice," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "But ever since then I've kind of looked at robots or looked at machines and wondered whether they were just having trouble acting human."

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Author Interviews
9:40 am
Sat July 4, 2015

An Outsider In Buenos Aires Goes Incognito, For Love Of Tango

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 3:52 pm

In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina De Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

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Author Interviews
7:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Decades Of Politics And Partnership In Jimmy Carter's 'Full Life'

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 11:59 am

In just over 18 months, Barack Obama will join the ranks of ex-presidents. He'll be 55 when he leaves office, among the youngest to become a former president, alongside Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

President Carter remains a model of what an active, productive life can look like after leaving the White House. He looks back on that life in his new memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, beginning with growing up with black friends in the Jim Crow South.

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