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Updated: 20 min 31 sec ago

'NeuroTribes' Examines The History — And Myths — Of The Autism Spectrum

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 12:48pm

Steve Silberman talks about how Nazi extermination plans and a discredited scientific paper about childhood vaccines shaped our current understanding of autism.

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Franzen's Latest Novel: An Ambitious But Tarnished 'Purity'

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:28am

Jonathan Franzen weaves together a cavalcade of stories and characters in his latest novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan says that despite its breadth, Purity fails to "emotionally move the reader."

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'Twelve Kings' Launches A Bold New Fantasy World

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 9:03am

12 immortal, iron-fisted god-kings rule over the desert metropolis of Sharakhai. No one can stand against them, until the gladiator Çeda begins hunting for the truth behind her mother's death.

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'The Shepherd's Crown' Tells Terry Pratchett's Fans How To Mourn Him

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 6:03am

The fantasy author's last novel opens with the death of one of his most beloved characters — and serves as an illustration of his thoughts on his own impending death and the inevitability of change.

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In New Neapolitan Novel, Fans Seek Clues About Mysterious Author's Past

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 3:29pm

Elena Ferrante is the pen name of an anonymous Italian author. Very little is known about her, but Ferrante's books — widely believed to be a thinly veiled autobiography — have achieved cult status.

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A Compelling Plot Gives Way To Farce In Franzen's Purity

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 3:29pm

The new novel reveals sharp observations and a great, sprawling story. But critic Roxane Gay says the book gets bogged down with absurdly-drawn characters and misfired critiques of modern life.

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For Centuries, People Have Searched For Answers In The Bottom Of A Tea Cup

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 1:18pm

The practice of reading tea leaves had its heyday during Victorian times, when fascination with the occult and self-analysis thrived. It was safer than other forms of divination, and persists today.

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Jonathan Franzen On Writing: It's An 'Escape From Everything'

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 12:56pm

The author of The Corrections and the new novel Purity likens writing to losing himself in a dream. "When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain," he says.

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Truth Is Strange And Fiction Is Charming In 'Girl Waits With Gun'

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 6:04am

Amy Stewart's new novel is inspired by the real-life tale of the Kopp sisters, three women who faced down a cruel factory owner after he crashed into their buggy and refused to pay restitution.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Sandra Day O'Connor, 'Sisters In Law'

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 4:01am

A new book details that the women were not personal friends, but they were strong allies on the Supreme Court bench, especially in the legal fight for women's equality.

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5-Hour Line Turns Barbecue Pilgrims Into Cash Cow For Locals

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 4:50pm

At Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, people start lining up at 5 a.m. to get a taste of world-famous brisket. The line has become such a fixture that it's become a business opportunity for locals.

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Are Women Better Tasters Than Men?

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 4:32pm

Many in the wine and beer industry claim women have a keener sense of smell, and thus taste, than do men. Sensory scientists who've tackled this question say there's something to this.

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Rest In Peace, Wes Craven — The Rest Of Us Sure Won't

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 3:33pm

Horror master Wes Craven has died; he disturbed the dreams of millions of moviegoers in A Nightmare on Elm Street, and helped revitalize horror in the 1990s by directing the Scream movies.

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Self-Help Author And Speaker Wayne Dyer Dies At 75

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 2:47pm

Many of his fans saw Dyer's own life story — he grew up an orphan in Detroit — as proof of the power of his ideas.

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Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist At The 'Intersection Of Fact And Fable'

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 1:09pm

The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with two interviews from 1985 and 2012.

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How Shows Like 'Will & Grace' And 'Black-ish' Can Change Your Brain

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 9:19am

Go ahead, use this article to justify binge-watching Orange Is The New Black all weekend.

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The Glimmering Sheen Of A Wide World Seen From Inside A Bubble

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 5:09pm

The teen heroine of Nicola Yoon's debut novel, Everything, Everything, has a disorder that bars her from leaving her house. Still, her world is vast, filled with writings, drawings — and new love.

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An Aerobatics Pilot Spins (And Rolls, And Loops) A Career From A Crash

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 4:09pm

Award-winning aviator Patty Wagstaff tackles the extreme, but she was inspired by a simple takeoff gone wrong. Crawling out of the plane, she looked at her pilot and thought, "I can do a lot better."

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Television 2015: The Future In Questions

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 11:49am

We've spent two weeks looking at the state of television, and now it's time to ask some questions about where it's going from here.

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Oliver Sacks, Renowned Neurologist And Author, Dies At 82

Sun, 08/30/2015 - 7:53am

His book Awakenings, about reviving patients from a catatonic state was turned into a 1990 film. He also wrote more than a dozen other books, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

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