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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

'Lucky You' Is A Perfect Balance Of Humor And Tragedy

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 6:00am

Erika Carter's intelligent, unpretentious debut follows an aimless group of friends in their 20s, whose lives spin out of control during a supposedly detoxifying trip to a remote house in the country.

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'Ghosts' In The Arctic: How The Long-Lost Franklin Expedition Was Found

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 3:48am

In the 1840s, two British crews vanished while seeking a passage through the ice at the top of the world. Paul Watson became "obsessed with the mystery" and tells the story in his new book Ice Ghosts.

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Robert Silvers, Longtime Editor Of 'The New York Review Of Books,' Dies At 87

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 5:10pm

Silvers co-founded the journal with Barbara Epstein in 1963. It quickly became a leading forum where authors and critics grappled with cultural issues — and with each other.

(Image credit: STUART RAMSON/AP)

In 'Confirmed Kills,' Iliza Shlesinger Cloaks Social Commentary In Comic Rants

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 3:31pm

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger's standup is physical. She contorts and snorts and stalks the stage as she becomes the characters in jokes that explore what it's like to be a woman in today's society.

(Image credit: Timothy Hiatt/Netflix)

Father Of 2 Sons With Schizophrenia Talks Of His Struggle To Save Them

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 12:13pm

"There is no greater ... feeling of helplessness than to watch two beloved sons deteriorate before [your] eyes," says Ron Powers. His new book is No One Cares About Crazy People.

(Image credit: Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Getty Images)

Let Them Eat Bread: The Theft That Helped Inspire 'Les Miserables'

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 9:52am

Anyone who has read or seen Victor Hugo's masterpiece knows the plot turns on the theft of a simple loaf of bread. There was no sharper barometer of economic status in 19th-century France than bread.

(Image credit: Minnie Phan for NPR)

Julia, A Muppet With Autism, Joins The Cast Of 'Sesame Street'

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 4:02am

Julia has bright red hair, big green eyes and she loves to draw. She can be a little shy, but Elmo and Abby Cadabby don't mind. She's voiced by Stacey Gordon, whose son is on the autism spectrum, too.

(Image credit: Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop)

Rum-Soaked, Bloody, Sprawling 'Heretics' Is A Romp Through Centuries

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 9:00am

Leonardo Padura returns to one of his favorite characters — broken-down Cuban gumshoe Mario Conde — and puts him on the trail of a missing Rembrandt in his gorgeously written new novel Heretics.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

In '2140,' New York May Be Underwater, But It's Still Home

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 6:00am

Kim Stanley Robinson envisions a future that's closer than we like to think in New York 2140. Sea levels 50 feet higher have swamped Manhattan, but there's a tiny thread of hope that we might float.

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Ashamed, Confused And In The Closet

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 7:15pm

Dear Sugar Radio is a podcast offering "radical empathy" and advice for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Today the hosts hear from a gay man who is married to a woman and doesn't know what to do.

(Image credit: Courtesy of WBUR)

Chuck Berry, Legend Of Rock 'N' Roll, Dies At 90

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 5:43pm

Berry was central to the development of rock 'n' roll, with indelible hits like "Maybelline," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode."

(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Not My Job: Band Leader Paul Shaffer Gets Quizzed On Sidekicks

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 11:49am

For more than 40 years, Paul Shaffer has been providing the soundtrack for late night TV. He was on the first generation of Saturday Night Live and appeared for 30 years with David Letterman.

(Image credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Ride of Fame)

Move Over, St. Patrick: St. Joseph's Feast Is When Italians Parade

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 7:00am

The wearing of the red honors the patron saint of Sicily. But the real celebrating centers around extravagant altars filled with traditional food, religious symbols and tributes to loved ones.

(Image credit: Courtesy of The Italian American St. Joseph Society)

From Striking Photos To Surprising Stained Glass, A Wide-Ranging Whitney Biennial

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 6:00am

There are 63 artists in this year's Biennial, including An-My Lê, whose photography touches on immigration, and Raúl de Nieves, who made a stained glass window with tape, paper, beads and more.

(Image credit: Matthew Carasella/Courtesy of The Whitney Museum)

Both Pointless And Playful, 'The Idiot' Is Like A Long Dream

Sat, 03/18/2017 - 6:00am

Elif Batuman has sung the praises of "long novels, pointless novels," and she puts her money where her mouth is with The Idiot, a tale of youthful confusion that can be both boring and beautiful.

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Netflix's 'Iron Fist' Stumbles In Depiction Of Asian Culture

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:30pm

Netflix releases another Marvel superhero series, Iron Fist. This one features a white martial arts expert who fights bad guys, most of whom are Asian. After successful shows like Jessica Jones, this one misses the mark.

Time Loops Back On Itself (Even Without Heroin) In 'T2 Trainspotting'

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 3:30pm

20 years ago, a low-budget film with a great soundtrack became a huge hit. Now, director Danny Boyle is getting the old (much older, in fact) Trainspotting gang back together for a sequel.

(Image credit: Jaap Buitendijk)

With 'T2: Trainspotting,' Director Danny Boyle Proves You can Go Home Again

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 2:25pm

More than 20 years after the release of the original film about a band of thieving Scottish junkies, Boyle returns to the same characters. Critic David Edelstein calls the new film "tremendous fun."

'Fresh Air' Marks The 90th Birthday Of Broadway Composer John Kander

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 2:25pm

Kander and his partner, Fred Ebb, wrote the songs for a number of musicals, including Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret. Kander spoke to Terry Gross in 1991 and 2015.

Louise Erdrich, Matthew Desmond Lead National Book Critics Circle Winners

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 12:05pm

The authors — who won awards in the fiction and nonfiction categories, respectively — were just two of the writers who emerged Thursday with one of the literary world's most renowned prizes.

(Image credit: diane555/Getty Images)

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