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Updated: 48 min 33 sec ago

Remembering 'Elephant Man' Actor John Hurt

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 2:13pm

The British actor, who died last week, became famous in the U.S. in the '70s for his starring role in the BBC series I, Claudius, and later appeared in the film Alien. Originally broadcast in 1989.

'The Salesman' Offers A Brilliant Portrayal Of Marriage And Vengeance

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 2:13pm

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's latest film is one of the five nominees for this year's foreign-language Academy Award. Critic David Edelstein says The Salesman is tense and powerful.

Bunny Chow: South Africa's Sweet-Sounding Dish Has A Not-So-Sweet Past

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:52am

The country's street-food staple is a fusion meal that has nothing to do with rabbits, and everything to do with the rise of immigrant Indian workers in the 19th century and the era of apartheid.

(Image credit: Alan Greenblatt for NPR)

Four Lives In Parallel Run Through Ambitious '4 3 2 1'

Wed, 02/01/2017 - 6:00am

Paul Auster's new novel is a departure for the author — 880 pages of flowing prose about four versions of one character, living four mostly-parallel lives. It's sometimes confusing, but never boring.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Ad For Nice Living: Discover Trees, Now With Chlorophyll

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 3:28pm

We hear one of the five selected listener suggestions for our updated Commercials for Nicer Living project: trees.

Jim Jarmusch On Iggy Pop, Hip-Hop And Finding Poetry In Mundane Things

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 12:39pm

Jarmusch's new movie, which was inspired by William Carlos Williams' epic poem Paterson, is about a bus driver who writes poetry. Jarmusch also made a documentary about Iggy and the Stooges.

'Six Wakes' Is A Nerve-Tingling Interstellar Murder Mystery

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 10:30am

In Mur Lafferty's latest, six crewmembers wake up to horror on a malfunctioning spaceship — the artificial gravity is gone, and blood floats in the air. It's up to them to find out what happened.

(Image credit: )

Critic Says This Year's Sundance Was The 'Most Fraught' He Can Recall

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 10:28am

Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang tells Fresh Air's Ann Marie Baldonado that politics sometimes overshadowed the films at this year's festival. Call Me By Your Name was one of his favorite films.

Fact Or Fiction? Even When It Comes To Food, It's Hard To Tell With Rasputin

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 6:00am

Worshipful female followers fought for the Mad Monk's leftover bread crusts. His infamous sweet tooth led to his death. Or did it? A century later, rumors about Russia's czarina whisperer still swirl.

(Image credit: RGALI/Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

'Breaking News' Artists Use Mass Media As Their Medium

Tue, 01/31/2017 - 3:56am

An exhibition in Los Angeles features some 200 works of news-inspired art, dating back to the 1960s. Many of the images are disturbing; "Art is more than a pretty picture," says curator Arpad Kovacs.

(Image credit: Wilson Centre for Photography/Masao Mochizuki, courtesy of Osiris)

Attention Must Be Paid To What 'The Salesman' Is Selling

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 3:37pm

A review of The Salesman, an Iranian film about a couple whose home life becomes unsettled while they're starring together in a production of Death of a Salesman.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Cohen Media Group)

'Perfect Little World' Imagines Family Drama Inside A Utopian Compound

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 1:28pm

Kevin Wilson's new novel is set on a state-of-the-art commune where children don't know who their biological parents are. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the book lives up to its title.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Doctor Considers The Pitfalls Of Extending Life And Prolonging Death

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 1:14pm

In Modern Death, Dr. Haider Warraich says a slow dying process, during which patients move in and out of hospitals or nursing homes, is a "very recent development in our history as a species."

(Image credit: Caiaimage/Sam Edwards/Getty Images)

'This Is How It Always Is' Was Inspired By Its Author's Transgender Child

Mon, 01/30/2017 - 3:33am

Still, Laurie Frankel says, her book is fiction. "The nice thing about my life is that it's pretty boring, which is really how you want your life to be — but not how you want your novel to be."

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Lost In Whimsy, 'Perfect Little World' Spins Off Course

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 9:00am

Kevin Wilson's new novel follows a pregnant teen who joins an experimental commune — but the characters in Perfect Little World never come alive, and the book suffers from an overdose of whimsy.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Kim Cattrall, More Than Just A Murder Victim In 'Witness For The Prosecution'

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 7:25am

Cattrall — best known for her role on Sex and the City — plays a murdered socialite in a new TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's play. She says she wanted to open up the character and understand her.

(Image credit: Robert Viglasky/Acorn TV)

'Caraval' Is A Dark Circus Where The Clowns Don't Like You

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 6:00am

Stephanie Garber's quasi-historical young adult novel is one part amusement park, one part Venice and one part game show — but the ending is marred by a muddled message that leaves the story hollow.

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Translating The Untranslatable: 'Between Dog And Wolf'

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 5:28pm

Russian author Sasha Sokolov wrote Between Dog and Wolf, which had been deemed untranslatable from the original Russian since 1980. Alexander Boguslawski translated the work to English in December.

Hip-Hop Duo Run The Jewels Plays Not My Job

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 10:38am

Sure they're known as Run the Jewels ... but what do they know about running the Jews? El-P and Killer Mike will answer three questions about rabbis.

(Image credit: Barry Brecheisen/Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP)

With A Bevy Of Ads, Students School Us On All The Little Joys In Life

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 9:13am

We asked listeners to write advertisements for all the wonderful things that can't be bought. Along the way, we discovered something delightful: Whole classrooms sent us their sales pitches.

(Image credit: LA Johnson/NPR)




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