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Updated: 24 min 52 sec ago

'The Heart Goes Last' Is A Swiftian Satire Of Imbeciles In The Apocalypse

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 6:03am

Margaret Atwood's new novel started life as a digital serial about a young couple who join a strange prison-based planned community. But their hapless shallowness makes the book deeply frustrating.

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When Facebook Crashes, The Police Get Called

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 4:55am

In both Britain and the U.S., police say they get calls from the public when Facebook goes down.

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A Model In A Hijab Talks About Her Faith And Fashion

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 3:58am

Fashion retailer H&M featured non-fashion types in its latest video ad, including a London woman wearing a hijab. Mariah Idrissi, 23, talks about why she chooses to wear the head scarf.

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From Syria To South Africa, A Passion For Wine Flows Bottle By Bottle

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:58pm

A wine writer travels the world to uncover the stories behind 12 bottles of wine. Each bottle offers insight into politics, environment, economics and community.

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How 'The Martian' Became A Science Love Story

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:25pm

The movie about a stranded astronaut is being hailed for its scientific realism. Andy Weir, who wrote the book the film is based on, is a longtime computer programmer who sees romance in numbers.

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Jazz Saxophonist Phil Woods Dies At 83

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:25pm

Jazz saxophonist Phil Woods was a disciple of Charlie Parker, one of the pioneers of bebop. But Woods reached millions of ears through his playing on pop songs by Paul Simon, Billy Joel and others. Woods died Tuesday at the age of 83.

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'Uniquely Nasty' Remembers The U.S. Ban On Gay Federal Workers

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:25pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Michael Isikoff and Charles Francis about their documentary Uniquely Nasty, which explores the government's campaign against gay workers starting in the 1950s.

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Now Is Not The Time For Realistic Fiction, Says Margaret Atwood

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 3:25pm

The celebrated Canadian author has a new book out, The Heart Goes Last, that began as an experimental digital serial. It's a wacky dystopian satire on economic decline and the private prison industry.

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Journalist Discusses The Rise Of ISIS And Its Future In Syria And Iraq

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 12:34pm

Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags, traces the Islamic State's development from an al-Qaida-related insurgency in Iraq to a successful jihadist movement that now holds territory in Syria and Iraq.

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'Zeroes' Is A Superhero Story — About Teenage Losers

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 9:03am

In this new collaborative YA novel, three authors — Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti — each take charge of two characters, teenagers with offbeat and troublesome superpowers.

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In Sophomore Year, Kirkus Prize Features An Eclectic Mix Of Finalists

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 7:33am

The literary award, launched last year by Kirkus Reviews, lists Ta-Nehisi Coates, Helen Macdonald and Hanya Yanigihara among 18 finalists across three categories. The prize carries a purse of $50,000.

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'Gold Fame Citrus' Holds Fear In A Handful Of Dust

Wed, 09/30/2015 - 6:03am

Claire Vaye Watkins' first novel is a frighteningly believable near-future dystopia; drought has ruined the West, and two holdouts among the wreckage find their lives changed by a strange child.

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Michelle Dorrance: 'I Just Knew I Would Never Stop Tap Dancing'

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 4:56pm

Dorrance was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship on Tuesday. For her, tap dance is the ultimate art form; "To be able to be a dancer and a musician at the same time — there's nothing like it," she says.

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Both In Headlines And Quiet, 2 Agencies Fuel American Arts For Decades

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 3:00pm

The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, two federal grant-making agencies aimed at investing in American culture, turn 50 on Tuesday. There will be a yearlong celebration commemorating the agencies' history — and future.

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How A Pair Of Pretty Boys Got Their Groove Back

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 3:00pm

Two new comedies debut on Fox on Tuesday night: Grandfathered and The Grinder, both of which feature TV pretty boys Jon Stamos and Rob Lowe amping up their images. NPR's TV critic, Eric Deggans, offers a review.

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With Her Camera, MacArthur 'Genius' Tells An African-American Rust Belt Story

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 3:00pm

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier is the third generation of her family to grow up in Braddock, Pa. For years, she says, African-American contributions to the town have been "overlooked and ignored."

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New Host Trevor Noah Puts His Own Spin On 'The Daily Show'

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:43pm

Last night, seven weeks after Jon Stewart stepped down as the host of The Daily Show, the new host debuted. Critic David Bianculli says Trevor Noah "gave viewers plenty of reasons to tune in again."

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House Calls To The Homeless: A Doctor Treats Boston's Most Isolated Patients

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:35pm

James O'Connell refers to himself as a "street doctor." Since 1985, he has cared for homeless patients, sometimes making visits on park benches or in alleys. His memoir is Stories from the Shadows.

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Exclusive First Read: Anthony Marra's 'The Tsar Of Love And Techno'

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 1:03pm

Read an exclusive excerpt of Anthony Marra's The Tsar of Love and Techno, a collection of nine interconnected stories about the journey of a mysterious painting through modern Russian history.

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'Last Song' Is A Beautifully Orchestrated Fantasy Debut

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 6:03am

Ilana C. Myers creates a lush, shadowed fantasy world in Last Song Before Night, with a sprawling cast and an epic quest to restore the long-lost magic once summoned by music.

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