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'I Am Big Bird' Finds An Artist Under The Feathers

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 12:25pm

A new documentary looks at the mechanics and the humanity behind the work of puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who's been Big Bird and Oscar for years.

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Flexible, Fluid 'Revision' Bounces From Rom-Com To Sci-Fi

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 9:03am

What if you could rewrite reality? Andrea Phillips' debut novel follows an unambitious barista whose life is turned upside down when she discovers a website that lets her change lives with a click.

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'The Argonauts' Is A Voyage Through Parenting, Partnership And Transition

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 6:03am

Maggie Nelson's philosophical memoir uses her pregnancy — and her partner Harry's gender transition — to explore larger questions about the changing ways we approach marriage and motherhood.

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A Long Way From Wax Cylinders, Library Of Congress Slowly Joins The Digital Age

Thu, 05/07/2015 - 4:01am

Through the library's website, you listen to the recording of a former slave and millions of other items. But critics say the library needs to move more aggressively to adjust to the digital age.

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Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 1:27pm

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.

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The Husband And Wife Power Couple Behind CBS's 'The Good Wife'

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:34pm

Robert and Michelle King, the real-life husband and wife team who created the show, say that when it came to creating the series' main character, it was a question of art imitating life.

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The Allure Of Gore: 'Walking Dead' Producer On Zombies And Mean Tweets

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 11:49am

The AMC series' habit of killing off characters without warning has led to explosions of fan grief and rage on social media. Much of the audience's ire has landed on Scott M. Gimple.

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Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 10:01am

On Tuesday's Inside Amy Schumer, an episode-long parody of 12 Angry Men asked the question: Is Amy Schumer hot enough to be on television?

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In 'Subprimes,' Swiftian Satire Hits Close To Home

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 9:03am

Karl Taro Greenfeld's new book imagines a near-future America where credit scores determine your fate, and a new generation of Okies travel the country in dilapidated SUVs, searching for prosperity.

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After 'Life,' 'A God In Ruins' Picks Up The Epic Tale Of The Todds

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 6:03am

Kate Atkinson's 2013 best-seller, Life After Life, depicted the century-spanning lives of Ursula Todd; her new book takes a more constrained approach to Ursula's brother, Royal Air Force pilot Teddy.

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After 'Life,' 'A God In Ruins' Picks Up The Epic Tale Of The Todds

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 6:00am

Kate Atkinson's 2013 bestseller Life After Life chronicled the multiple, century-spanning lives of Ursula Todd; her new book takes a more constrained approach to Ursula's brother, RAF pilot Teddy.

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Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 4:02pm

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)

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'One Of Us' Examines The Damaged Inner Terrain Of Norwegian Mass Shooter

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:19pm

Journalist Asne Seierstad chronicles the 2011 shooting massacre in her country in her latest book. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the work "engrossing, important and undeniably difficult to read."

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'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 12:15pm

Journalist Barry Estabrook wanted to know more about the animal and its journey from the farm to his plate. In a new book, he explores the dichotomies of the industry that's raising our pork chops.

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'Vorrh' Is A Dizzying Trek Into The Dark Heart of Fantasy

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 9:03am

British artist Brian Catling makes his fiction debut with The Vorrh, about a mysterious forest in an alternate-universe Africa. Reviewer Jason Heller calls it an "eye-gouging, mind-bending spectacle."

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No Easy Answers In 'The Book Of Aron'

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 6:03am

Jim Shepard's new novel follows a depressed and probably doomed young boy in the Warsaw Jewish ghetto during World War II. Critic Michael Schaub calls it a "rewarding, shocking and beautiful book."

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Join The 'Morning Edition' Book Club As We Read 'A God In Ruins'

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 4:00am

Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, who selected the book, tells NPR's David Greene that Kate Atkinson is "one of those writers that really can make you weep on one page and laugh on the next."

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At LA Museum, A Powerful And Provocative Look At 'Islamic Art Now'

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 3:28am

The dramatic images at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art linger in the mind. Curator Linda Komaroff says she hopes the collection challenges an American audience to rethink preconceptions.

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Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 1:03am

The Red-Headed Stranger has a new memoir out, titled It's A Long Story. On a tour bus in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson explains to NPR's David Greene why no one can tell him what to do.

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Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 3:31pm

British mystery writer Ruth Rendell has died; she was known for her Inspector Wexford series and in her later years became active in Labour Party politics. NPR's Petra Mayer has this remembrance.

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