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Updated: 1 hour 48 min ago

Nothing Is Quite What It Seems In Surreal, Unsettling 'Twenty Days'

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 6:00am

Giorgio De Maria's cult novel was first published in Italy in 1977. It's a spooky piece of magical realism that captures a chaotic time in Italian history, starting gently and getting seriously weird.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero)

Raise Your (He)art Rate With A Workout At The Met

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 3:50am

Seeing a great work of art might quicken your pulse, but the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hoping you'll break a sweat, too. A dance company is offering literally breathtaking tours of the museum.

(Image credit: Paula Lobo/The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

At 79, David Hockney Isn't Keen On Parties, But Still Paints Every Day

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 3:50am

A major retrospective at Tate Britain showcases more than 60 years of Hockney's work. NPR's Susan Stamberg visited the contemporary artist in his studio, high, high up in the Hollywood Hills.

(Image credit: Arne Dedert/AFP/Getty Images)

The Stylish FX Series 'Legion' Suffers From A Split Personality

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 3:35am

Noah Hawley, writer-director of the FX series Fargo, has created a promising and visually striking series set in the X-Men universe that seems oddly reluctant to embrace its pulpy, superheroic roots.

(Image credit: Chris Large/FX)

What's The Next Big Dystopian Novel? Margaret Atwood Has Some Ideas

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 6:00pm

Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale landed on top of Amazon's best-seller lists this week, following other classics like 1984 and It Can't Happen Here. She has some thoughts on our next great dystopia.

(Image credit: Jean Malek)

Famously Eccentric Comedian Irwin Corey Dies At 102

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 3:29pm

"The World's Foremost Authority" has died at age 102. Professor Irwin Corey was a staple on late-night TV. In his 90s, he was panhandling for social causes in Manhattan.

Margaret Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' Soars To Top Of Amazon Bestseller List

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 3:29pm

Margaret Atwood's feminist classic, The Handmaid's Tale, is the latest dystopian novel to hit the Amazon bestseller lists, following 1984 and It Can't Happen Here.

Joyce Carol Oates' New Novel Begins With An Abortion Doctor's Murder

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 3:29pm

A Book of American Martyrs is told, in part, from the perspective of the murderer, a man who feels he's been called by God.

(Image credit: Dustin Cohen/Courtesy of Ecco)

In Mexico, The Crowd Loves To Hate Pro Wrestler Who Plays Trump Supporter

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 1:43pm

For Sam Polinsky, a Pittsburgh wrestler who performs as a loud Trump supporter, the enraged reaction his character elicits from Mexican audiences is exhilarating. He aspires to be Mexico's Hulk Hogan.

(Image credit: James Fredrick for NPR)

'Black Edge' Recounts The Biggest Insider-Trading Scandal In History

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:22pm

Sheelah Kolhatkar discusses the investigation of billionaire hedge-fund trader Steven A. Cohen. She says the ways Wall Street elites accumulate wealth often negatively affect the rest of the country.

'Legion' Is A Fun, Fast-Paced TV Adaptation Of The Marvel Comic

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 12:22pm

Noah Hawley's FX new series centers on a man who doesn't yet realize he's a superhero. TV critic David Bianculli calls Legion an "impressive, unpredictable trip."

(Image credit: Chris Large/FX)

It Was The Best Of Fries, It Was The Worst Of Fries: Charles Dickens, Food Scribe

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 11:33am

Charles Dickens, born Feb. 7, 1812, was likely inspired by his own hunger to write some of the finest descriptions of Victorian food and cooking that have ever been recorded in literature.

(Image credit: Alex Reynolds/NPR)

The World's Foremost Authority Has Died: Prof. Irwin Corey Was 102

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 9:18am

Who else could have appeared in the 1976 film Car Wash — and also accept a National Book Award on behalf of the reclusive Thomas Pynchon?

(Image credit: ABC/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Culture Clash, Survival And Hope In 'Pachinko'

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 6:00am

Min Jin Lee's sprawling family epic spans decades and two clashing cultures — Korea and Japan. It's honest, unadorned writing that acknowledges horror but ultimately carries a message of hope.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

In 'Universal Harvester,' Mountain Goats Lyricist Reaps A Creepy Crop

Tue, 02/07/2017 - 4:05am

John Darnielle used some tricks of the horror trade to write his latest novel, which is set in 1990s Iowa and involves some cornfields. What's scary about cornfields? Mostly, the unknown.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

If America's No.1, Who's No. 2? European Nations Compete For The, Uh, Honor

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 4:15pm

"We totally understand it's going to be America First," a Dutch show said two weeks ago. "But can we just say The Netherlands Second?" Now they've got competition, as other countries join the fray.

(Image credit: zondag met lubach/Screenshot by NPR)

1 Character, 4 Different Lives In Paul Auster's '4 3 2 1'

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 3:30pm

One character, four different lives. That's the idea behind Paul Auster's new novel, 4 3 2 1. From the day Archie Ferguson is born in 1947, he follows four separate fictional paths. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Auster about the book.

'Glass House' Chronicles The Sharp Decline Of An All-American Factory Town

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 1:35pm

Once a bustling town, Lancaster, Ohio, is now beset by unemployment, low wages and drug abuse. Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, Glass House.

(Image credit: Shelly Metcalf)

Remembering Bharati Mukherjee, An Indian-Born American Writer

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 1:35pm

Mukherjee, who died Saturday in Manhattan, grew up in India, Switzerland and England. Her work explores the thoughts and experiences of immigrants from many countries. Originally broadcast in 2002.

Super Bowl Thoughts, From 'Overdog' Tom Brady To Sparkly Lady Gaga

Mon, 02/06/2017 - 11:26am

Super Bowl LI, won by the New England Patriots with a huge fourth-quarter push, also featured a high-flying halftime show from Lady Gaga, who mixed traditional Americana with doing her own thing.

(Image credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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