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Updated: 52 min 41 sec ago

The Pleasures Of Story Get Lost In This 'Forest Dark'

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 6:00am

In Nicole Krauss' new novel, two characters move to Israel in search of fresh starts. But this strained tale of midlife crisis takes some odd turns and never quite coheres.

(Image credit: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR)

Picking Pop Culture's People We're Pulling For

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 5:00am

A comedian, a TV mogul, a wonderfully eccentric author and a deeply dry character actor all get Pop Culture Happy Hour's stamp of approval.

(Image credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

'Survivor Cafe' Explores How To Preserve The Legacy Of Horrific Events

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 3:31pm

How do we carry the stories of horrific events forward? That's one of the questions Elizabeth Rosner tries to answer in her book, Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory.

Adolescent Friendship Fades Away In Claire Messud's Gothic 'Burning Girl'

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:50pm

Messud's novel centers on best friends from different class backgrounds who begin to drift apart in 7th grade. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls The Burning Girl a story of "betrayal and isolation."

(Image credit: Ulf Andersen/Ulf Andersen)

Reporter Katy Tur Shares Her 'Front-Row' View Of The Trump Campaign

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:12pm

Tur was at a rally in South Carolina when Trump called her name and pointed at her from the podium. Then, she says, "The entire place turns and they roar as one ... like a giant, unchained animal."

(Image credit: Elena Seibert/Harper Collins)

In 'Damascus,' A Chilling Mystery With A Personal Connection

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:21am

Deborah Campbell's A Disappearance in Damascus is both a taut detective story and an intimate account of friendship during war — and that's before our reviewer discovered her own part in the story.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

Director Peter Hall, A Champion Of British Theater, Dies At 86

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 6:59am

Hall ran two of the most important theater companies in England — the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He directed Waiting for Godot and Amadeus, among dozens of plays, old and new.

(Image credit: AP)

Who Is 'What Happened' For? Maybe Hillary Clinton Most Of All

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:40pm

Danielle Kurtzleben says Clinton's tale of her losing 2016 campaign reads like the unburdening of a woman relieved to finally, without interruption, tell her side of a tale everyone already knows.

(Image credit: Adrienne Grunwald for NPR)

Hillary Clinton Is 'Done,' But Not Going Away

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:01pm

In interviews with NPR, Clinton discusses her life since the election she didn't expect to lose, why she lost, and offers scathing criticism of President Trump.

(Image credit: Adrienne Grunwald for NPR)

'World Without Mind': How Tech Companies Pose An Existential Threat

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 5:31pm

From Facebook's algorithms to our reliance on phones instead of our memories, tech giants are taking us to a future that's either utopian or dystopian, author Franklin Foer says.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

Len Wein, Co-Creator Of Wolverine And Storm Comics, Dies At 69

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 3:33pm

Len Wein, co-creator of iconic comic book characters such as Wolverine and Storm, has died. He was 69 years old.

'Gorbachev' Is A Gripping, Sympathetic And Detailed Portrait

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 6:00am

In Gorbachev: His Life and Times, biographer William Taubman makes a convincing case that the former Soviet leader's decency — the word appears throughout the book — is key to understanding him.

(Image credit: )

Make It So-So: Fox's 'The Orville'

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 5:00am

Unable to fix on a tone, the series "is trying so hard not to be so many things, it isn't fully any one thing," says critic Eric Deggans, who calls it "the strangest misfire of the fall TV season."

(Image credit: FOX)

'OMG' Turns 100

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 4:36pm

"OMG" might be used by younger people, but the story behind the abbreviation has a long, rich history. NPR's Michel Martin speaks with linguist Ben Zimmer about the abbreviation turning 100 years old.

Not My Job: We Quiz Arcade Fire's Win Butler On Odd Arcade Games

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 1:03pm

The band's fifth album, Everything Now, was released in July. We'll ask Butler about a game from the 1980s, a rather surprising game from Japan, and The Last Barfighter — a game with a twist.

(Image credit: Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

Take A Dip Into The Glittering Past Of 'The Riviera Set'

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 9:00am

The fabulously louche social scene of the mid-century French Riviera — where socialites and stars mixed with the likes of Winston Churchill — comes alive again in Mary S. Lovell's The Riviera Set.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

Virtual Reality Project Captures Experience Of Crossing The Border

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 7:06am

Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu tackles a new medium with "Carne Y Arena," a virtual reality project that explores what it's like to cross the U.S./Mexico border.

In 'Frankenstein Dreams,' Everything Is Possible — And Also Terrifying

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 6:00am

Michael Sims' anthology of Victorian science fiction explores the way Mary Shelley's classic novel Frankenstein fit the nervous energy of the 19th century, and shaped the genre that came after it.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

In 'The Deuce,' Sex Isn't Titillating — It's Business

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 4:13pm

David Simon's gritty new drama follows pornography's transition from back-alley pursuit to billion-dollar industry. The sex scenes are transactional, but also explicit, with equal opportunity nudity.

(Image credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

As Boy Peers Curiously Over Border Wall, His Artist Asks: 'What Is He Thinking?'

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 3:17pm

JR, a French street artist, hasn't answered that question — and that's the point. His massive artwork on the border, which coincided with the decision to rescind DACA, is the "start of a discussion."

(Image credit: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images)

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