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Updated: 49 min 35 sec ago

Oscar Pistorius' Sentencing And The Classic True Crime Novel

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:33pm

Oscar Pistorius, superstar athlete, was back in court this week for his sentencing hearing, after a culpable homicide conviction. Journalist Mandy Wiener says his case reminds her of a favorite book.

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Email Just Can't Compete With Heartfelt 'Letters Of Note'

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 4:43pm

The art of letter writing is also an act of preserving history. The correspondences gathered in the book Letters Of Note tell stories of delight, hope and loss — and the nature of human connection.

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Out Of The Lockerbie Bombing, A Bond And A 'Letter Of Note'

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 3:25pm

Audie Cornish speaks with Frank Ciulla about a poignant letter cherished by his family. It was written after his father was killed in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.

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The Brutalities Of War Bring Surprising Angles To 'Fury'

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:51pm

Brad Pitt stars in a war movie that contemplates the horrors of war, but also the horrors that the men who fight it may commit.

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'Birdman' Follows A Film Actor Frantic To Prove Himself Onstage

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:48pm

The choreography by Alejandro Iñárritu, who directed 21 Grams and Babel, will wow you. But the story about a washed-up actor about to bring off his Broadway debut is an "empty masterwork."

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield Brings Lessons From Space Down To Earth

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:48pm

The former International Space Station commander achieved Internet stardom with his in-space rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." His new book is An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.

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At London's Tincan, Eating Canned Fish Is The Height Of Luxury

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 12:44pm

One of the city's newest restaurants aims to elevate canned fish to an object of desire. There's no kitchen and no chef. The owners argue that tinned goods can be a greener gourmet choice.

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'Accidental Highwayman' Stands And Delivers

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:03am

Ben Tripp's young adult debut is a charming romp through a thoroughly theatrical 18th-century England populated by swashbuckling highwaymen, fairies and circus performers.

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'Birdman' Tracks A Comeback In (Seemingly) One Long Take

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:24am

NPR film critic Bob Mondello says Birdman is an entertainingly complicated jigsaw puzzle — in both storytelling and technique.

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In 'Listen Up Philip,' Literary Arrogance Stubbornly Refuses To Change

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:08am

In the new film starring Jonathan Pryce, Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss, two male writers prove far less clear-minded about their own behavior than the filmmaker is.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Transparent' And Pop Culture Debuts

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:39am

On this week's show, NPR's Ari Shapiro joins us to chat about the Amazon show Transparent and about lots of different pop culture debuts.

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Book News: John Grisham Backs Down From Comments On Child Pornography

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:24am

After meeting backlash, the author apologized for lamenting the long prison sentences handed to some users of child pornography. Also: Stirrings are afoot in the worlds of Harry Potter and Twin Peaks.

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Poetry In Motion: Prima Ballerina Retires After 3-Decade Career

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 2:18am

Wendy Whelan, 47, will give her final performance with the New York City Ballet on Saturday. NPR spent time with the dancer as she prepared for her goodbye.

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Michael Keaton: As An Actor You Must Lock In And Let Go

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 2:17am

"I've got to stay 100 percent present," Keaton says. He's is currently starring in Birdman, a dark comedy about an aging movie star who once played a superhero — a role he can't quite get over.

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'The Golden Era' Follows A Path From Northern China To Tokyo

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 4:03pm

The biographical drama tells the story of a Chinese novelist and poet who spent her brief life in so-called "interesting times."

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Beauty And Loss In 'The Tale Of Princess Kaguya'

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 4:03pm

The latest film from the celebrated Studio Ghibli follows a girl far from home who must inevitably return there.

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'Dear White People' Is A Satire Addressed To Everyone

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 1:35pm

Justin Simien's film is funny, but it pushes viewers to think seriously about race and stereotypes in their own lives. Tongue-in-cheek title aside, he says the film speaks to the "human experience."

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The Jacket Designer's Challenge: To Capture A Book By Its Cover

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 12:25pm

Peter Mendelsund has designed hundreds of book covers, including two new ones of his own: Cover and What We See When We Read. He talks about his process and why "dead authors get the best" covers.

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With Few Stages Left To Conquer, Neil Patrick Harris Goes To The Oscars

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:57am

It seems like Neil Patrick Harris has always hosted everything, but in fact, his February 2015 outing hosting the Oscars will be his first time in that particular job.

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Book News: The 'Dickens Of Detroit' Leaves His Collection To South Carolina

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 6:44am

Before his death, crime novelist Elmore Leonard chose to host his archives at the University of South Carolina. Now, the school is unveiling the first of these items. Also: McSweeney's goes nonprofit.

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