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Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago

'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Seeks To Upend Television With 'I Love Dick'

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45pm

I Love Dick tackles themes of gender, sexual obsession and artistic insecurity, all through a humorous lens. "Transparent was my origin story," Soloway says. "This is my story about finding my voice."

(Image credit: Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

'No One Can Pronounce My Name' Is A Charming Take On Loneliness And Connection

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:45pm

Set in an Indian-American community in suburban Cleveland, Rakesh Satyal's new novel uses intertwined plots to explore the comedy of everyday life. Critic Maureen Corrigan says readers will be amused.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

'House Of Names' Is A Violent Page-Turner, And A Surprising Departure

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 9:00am

Colm Tóibín ventures far afield — in time and place — for this heart-stopping take on the tragedy of Clytemnestra and her family, reanimated with suffering the ancient Greeks never imagined.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

'Priestdaddy' Shimmers With Wonderful, Obscene Life

Wed, 05/10/2017 - 6:00am

Patricia Lockwood's scabrous memoir of growing up with a married Catholic priest for a father is a little overreliant on quirky family details, but scorching in its approach to the Catholic Church.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

ABC Announces Plan To Revive 'American Idol'

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 3:36pm

It was a short death. American Idol is coming back to TV. The long-running Fox network singing competition was cancelled last year due to sagging ratings, but ABC announced Tuesday that there are plans in the works to revive it.

'Small Victories' Aims To Make Home Cooking Accessible To All

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:22pm

Cookbook author Julia Turshen says cooking should be flexible: "[Recipes] are kind of sold to people as prescriptions, these really precise things, ... but I think there's very rarely a wrong answer.

'As We Get Older, We Become More Ourselves,' Says Author Mary Gaitskill

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:22pm

Before she turned to writing, the National Book Award nominee ran away from home and worked as a stripper. Her new collection of personal essays is Somebody with a Little Hammer.

Thin But Fun, 'Off Rock' Is An Old-Fashioned Space Caper

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 9:31am

Kieran Shea's novel follows a grizzled galactic miner who stumbles across a vein of gold on a nearly tapped-out asteroid. He just has to get the gold off-rock without attracting anyone's attention.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Talking Black-ish With Star Yara Shahidi And Creator Kenya Barris

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 9:12am

Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby chat it up with Kenya Barris and Yara Shahidi — the creator and star of ABC's Black-ish.

(Image credit: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

'The United States Of Absurdity' Looks At Our Dark (And Hilarious) History

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 6:00am

A new book from the hosts of the history-comedy podcast The Dollop investigates the dark side of American history — and reminds us that our current upheavals are part of a grand national tradition.

(Image credit: Illustration by James Fosdike/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press)

Magic, Or Math? The Appeal Of Coincidences, And The Reality

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 8:00pm

This week on Hidden Brain: coincidences. Why they're not quite as magical as they seem, and the psychological reasons we can't help but search for meaning in them anyway.

(Image credit: Amy Sancetta/AP)

What's Next? Sixth Season Of 'Veep' Probes Post-Presidential Life

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 4:33pm

Julia Louis-Dreyfus says growing up in Washington, D.C., and later living in Los Angeles helped her prepare for her role in the HBO comedy. "You're selling a brand of yourself," she says.

(Image credit: Justin M. Lubin/HBO)

Beware The Twist! Bill Clinton Plans To Pen A Thriller With James Patterson

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 1:38pm

The former president and fiction titan foisted a surprise on readers Monday, announcing they'll be releasing a novel named The President Is Missing in June 2018.

(Image credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Actress Gabourey Sidibe On Anxiety, Phone Sex And Life After 'Precious'

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 1:35pm

As a young woman, Sidibe struggled to find work before landing the film role that would change her life. "This is my path, and I'm really grateful that I'm on it," Sidibe says of her acting career.

(Image credit: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

A Love Affair With Dates, The Fruit At The Cultural Heart Of Oman

Mon, 05/08/2017 - 10:34am

In this country at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, the nutrition-packed palm-tree treat is essential to tradition, sustenance and the economy — and has been for hundreds of years.

(Image credit: Amy E. Robertson for NPR)

World-Renowned Rock Climber On Constantly Pushing The Limits

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 10:54pm

NPR's Lakshmi Singh talks to Tommy Caldwell, the first to free climb a 3,000 foot "Dawn Wall" granite cliff, about his book The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk and Going Beyond Limits.

(Image credit: Jimmy Chin/Courtesy of Viking/Penguin)

Her Violin Stolen, A Prodigy's World Became 'Unstrung'

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 5:31pm

Min Kym had found her perfect partner in a 1696 Stradivarius — until it was snatched in a London cafe. She comes to terms with the loss in her new memoir, Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Min Kym/Crown)

When It Comes To Family Musicals, Kids' Opinions Matter More Than Critics'

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 5:31pm

Normally, critical reviews can kill a Broadway show, but not so for kid-focused musicals. Anastasia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are currently on Broadway, vying for the kid seal of approval.

(Image credit: Matthew Murphy/Polk & Co.)

An Old Soldier Is Back In Action In 'City Of Miracles'

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 9:00am

As Robert Jackson Bennett's Divine Cities series draws to a close, grizzled old enforcer Sigrud — in hiding, in a remote forest — returns to the city to avenge the murder of his friend and partner.

(Image credit: )

Paula Poundstone's 'Totally Unscientific' Search For The Secret Of Happiness

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 7:16am

Paula Poundstone had a great idea: Try fun stuff and get a publishing company to pay for it in the name of science. The result? The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)




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