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Updated: 36 min 29 sec ago

'Balm' Looks At Civil War After The Battles, Outside The South

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 4:15pm

In her new novel, Dolen Perkins-Valdez wanted to look beyond the traditional frame for Civil War stories. Her book is set in Chicago, and opens as the nation is struggling to heal.

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Not My Job: Producer Brian Grazer Gets Quizzed On Cattle

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 7:14am

Grazer is responsible for many movies and TV shows including Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, 24, Empire, and more. We'll ask him three questions about actual grazers.

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A New Judy Blume Novel For Adults Is Always An 'Event'

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 6:34am

In the Unlikely Event is beloved YA author Judy Blume's first novel for adults in 17 years — it's centered around a series of plane crashes that really happened in her home town in the early 1950s.

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Biker Bars And Holy Rollers Smolder In 'Freedom's Child'

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 6:34am

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Jax Miller about her debut thriller, Freedom's Child. Miller found inspiration for the title character in her own battle with drug addiction.

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Roy Andersson: From Mordant Ad Director To Philosophical Filmmaker

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 6:34am

Andersson spent decades directing funny commercials in Sweden. Later, the money he made helped paved the way for his return to cinema. His new film is A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.

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In 'History,' Money Makes The World Go 'Round

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 6:03am

Argentinian novelist Alan Pauls' latest kicks off as so many good stories do: With a dead body and a disappearing briefcase full of cash. Critic Juan Vidal calls Pauls a "master builder" of fiction.

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Behind The Camera: How Vanity Fair Got Its 'Call Me Caitlyn' Cover

Sat, 06/06/2015 - 4:19am

The issue of Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner on the cover has many people talking and it hasn't even hit newsstands yet. Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter says the story took months of secret planning.

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Floating Eyeballs, Trained Bees: History's Most Cringeworthy Crusaders

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 3:42pm

The new book The League Of Regrettable Superheroes lovingly recounts the deeply goofy world of weird crusaders that popped up and, just as quickly, disappeared.

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In 'Spy,' Melissa McCarthy Receives Top-Billing. Finally.

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 12:55pm

NPR film critic Bob Mondello says Spy is a generous, smart, sexy comedy, surrounding a generous, smart, sexy star. It was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.

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'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 12:10pm

Musician Michael Feinstein chronicles his experience working as an archivist and cataloger for legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin. Originally broadcast Oct. 17, 2012.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Romance Novel Special

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 10:21am

This week, we dive deeply into the world of romance novels with our special guest, Sarah Wendell of the web site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

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How Can Listening Transform An Entire Community?

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 7:46am

During the 80's, Rev. Jeffrey Brown watched his neighborhood get overrun with drugs and violence. He decided to listen to the young people in the community, not preach to them, to bring about change.

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How Do We Change When We Really Listen To The People We Love?

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 7:46am

Dave Isay started StoryCorps with a booth in Grand Central Station and an open invitation for people to interview one another. Since then, it's turned into a massive archive of humanity.

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How Do We Listen When We're Unable to Hear?

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 7:46am

Percussionist and recording artist Evelyn Glennie is almost completely deaf, which means she listens to music with her body, not her ears.

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What Happens When People Are Given A Voice?

Fri, 06/05/2015 - 7:46am

Over 20 years ago, Dave Isay's radio documentary Ghetto Life 101 was broadcast. It presented voices many listeners hardly ever hear, setting a standard for storytellers everywhere.

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Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 4:11pm

NPR's Melissa Block talks with Bill Pohlad, director of the film Love & Mercy, about creating an intimate portrait of Wilson — in both The Beach Boys' heyday and the troubled years that followed.

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A Satisfying 'Spy' Proves There's Life In The Secret Agent Send-Up

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 4:01pm

Melissa McCarthy reunites with director Paul Feig (of Bridesmaids and The Heat) and ascends to a solo lead role as a skilled operative struggling to be taken seriously.

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A Strong Central Performance Elevates A Pacifist's Story

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 4:01pm

A new adaptation of Vera Brittain's memoir Testament Of Youth isn't really necessary, but a strong turn from actress Alicia Vikander is a highlight.

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A Simplified Brian Wilson In 'Love And Mercy'

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 4:01pm

Played at different stages of his life by Paul Dano and John Cusack, the Brian Wilson who emerges from this film is a less engaging and complex creator than the real Beach Boy.

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'Finders Keepers' Is A Simple Book About Complicated Ideas

Thu, 06/04/2015 - 6:03am

Stephen King wields many pens; in Finders Keepers he's examining the role of authors and the masks they wear for the public. Critic Bethanne Patrick says the action zooms after a sluggish start.

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