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'Eileen' Is Dark, Damaged Fun

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 6:03am

Ottessa Moshfegh's new novel follows a defiantly, triumphantly off-putting young woman who dreams of escaping her grim New England existence. Critic Jean Zimmerman calls it "pleasingly perverse."

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In WWII, Millions Of Indians Fought For A Britain They Abhored

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 8:30am

As Indians struggled to break free of Britain, more than 2 million signed up to fight with the Allies, the largest volunteer force in the world. Raghu Karnad unearths the story in The Farthest Field.

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Everyone's Likely To Be Sad At This Year's Hugos

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 6:03am

The Hugo Awards celebrate the best in science fiction and fantasy, but this year they're fraught with controversy after a self-identified conservative coalition organized to dominate the nominations.

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This Is Not A Parody: An NPR Story About Homemade Vegetable Broth

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 5:08am

Yeah, we know, it sounds like a joke. But Cuban-born chef Bren Hererra's method totally won us over. Her secret? Don't throw anything out.

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Ballet Programs Look For More Boys To Step Up To The Barre

Sat, 08/22/2015 - 4:26am

It takes two to dance a pas de deux, but demand for the male half of the duex far outstrips supply. Many schools and ballet programs offer special classes and steep discounts to male students.

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Mom And Toddler Put Sleep-Inducing 'Rabbit' Book To The Test

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 4:12pm

Psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin designed his best-selling (and self-published) story The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep to help kids doze off. We visited a local naptime to see if it works.

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Novelist Kamel Daoud, Finding Dignity In The Absurd

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 3:14pm

Daoud's new novel, The Meursault Investigation, rework's Albert Camus' The Stranger from the point of view of the murdered Arab's brother. He says Camus' vision of the absurd gave him back his dignity

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A Radio Romance: A Host And Her Listener Find Love Over The Air

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 3:14pm

Anne Levine and Michael Hill had a real-life Sleepless in Seattle romance. She has a radio show on Cape Cod; he was listening online in Seattle, when he fell in love with her voice.

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Climbing Documentary 'Meru' Is A Hair-Raising 'Peak Experience'

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 1:27pm

A new documentary charts the attempts of a trio of American climbers to be the first to scale Mount Meru, a 21,000-foot Himalayan peak. Critic David Edelstein says Meru is "cunning" — and terrifying.

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Banksy's 'Dismaland' Living Up To Its Name With Ticket Debacle

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 12:31pm

The graffiti artist's darkly themed art show in England spurred wild demand for tickets, causing the website to crash. Now people are wondering if the confusion is all part of the show.

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Television 2015: Hammering On The Door Of Diversity

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 8:14am

Network executives repeatedly affirm their commitment to more diverse programming. Progress, particularly with regard to producers, is spotty. So what now?

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With Its 100th Episode, Larry Wilmore's 'Nightly Show' Has Found Its Voice

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 7:24pm

The self-deprecating host of Comedy Central's The Nightly Show says it took a few months to get comfortable in his new role. "People are holding your feet to the fire immediately," he says.

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For Summer Reading Lists, Some Schools Take A More Modern Approach

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 4:16pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Kathryn VanArendonk, who teaches developmental reading and writing at Union County College, about how some schools are including contemporary books on summer lists.

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'She's Funny That Way': Old-School Comedy With An Old-School Premise

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 4:03pm

The new film from director Peter Bogdanovich returns to familiar patterns about young women and older men, but it breathes some life into even its apparent cliches.

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'Learning To Drive' On Well-Traveled Roads

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 4:03pm

A charming performance from Patricia Clarkson can't overcome the conventional notes of a story about a privileged woman and a struggling immigrant.

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A Stoner Film Goes Up In Smoke In 'American Ultra'

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 4:03pm

The action comedy almost makes it through on the easy chemistry of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, but it loses its way in a series of pointless, unmotivated shootouts.

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10 Years After Katrina, New Orleans' Brass Bands March On

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 3:32pm

One of New Orleans' signature traditions is the second line — the weekly brass band parades. But after Hurricane Katrina, a lot of people worried the tradition would become history.

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'Fear The Walking Dead' And 'Documentary Now!' Riff On Familiar Themes

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 1:01pm

Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli reviews two very different new television projects – IFC's spoof show, Documentary Now!, and AMC's prequel series, Fear the Walking Dead.

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How Close Are We Really To A Robot-Run Society?

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 12:42pm

From self-driving cars to automated warehouses, humans are being pushed out of the equation. Soon, robots will "do a million other things we can't even conceive of," author John Markoff says.

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At Farm To Ballet, Watch Vermont's Cows And Tomatoes Do Arabesques

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 10:11am

A dance troupe is performing the story of a Vermont farm from spring to fall, told through reinterpretations of classical choreography.

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