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Updated: 12 min 57 sec ago

In Bhutto's 'Crescent Moon,' Pakistan 'Demands A Sacrifice From Its People'

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 3:00am

Fatima Bhutto is a member of the one of the most famous families in Pakistan. Her novel, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, is about Pakistan's remote tribal regions, where loyalties are very divided.

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Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 3:32pm

Poet and author Margaret Howe Freydburg died last week at 107; she wrote and published well past her 100th birthday. Her friend Nancy Slonim Aronie has an appreciation of a remarkable woman.

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Artist Goes Outside The Lines With Coloring Books For Grown-Ups

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 3:32pm

When Johanna Basford first told her publisher she wanted to draw books for adults — well, she says, "You can imagine how quiet they were." Today, both of her books have become sell-out successes.

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New Frank Sinatra Documentary Charts His Professional Ups And Downs

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 1:50pm

Alex Gibney intersperses recently unearthed concert footage from 1971 with vintage and newly recorded interviews to make Sinatra: All or Nothing At All. It's illuminating and by no means a puff piece.

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From 'Banana' To 'Cucumber,' New Series Spans The Spectrum Of Sex

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 1:50pm

Cucumber tells the adventures of a middle-aged gay man; Banana is a series of short stories. Russell T. Davies, who made Queer As Folk, says the titles came from a scientific institute in Switzerland.

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A Filmmaker's Surreal Vision On The Page In 'Where The Bird Sings Best'

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 6:03am

The multitalented filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky turns to fiction (sort of) with Where the Bird Sings Best, a semi-autobiographical novel that critic Juan Vidal calls "brilliant, mad, unpredictable."

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Jon Ronson Has Nothing To Be Ashamed Of. But What About The Rest Of Us?

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 6:03am

Ronson's new So You've Been Publicly Shamed looks at the ways social media shaming affects both the targets and those doing the shaming. Critic Eric Weiner calls it sharp-eyed and often hilarious.

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Scott Simon: 'We Don't Fully Grow Up' Until We Lose Our Parents

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 2:52am

"There are some lessons that only grief and responsibility can teach us," says Weekend Edition host Scott Simon. His new memoir, Unforgettable, is about the life and death of his mother.

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The Revival Of Lamb Ham: A Colonial Tradition Renewed

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 1:52pm

British colonialists brought lamb ham to America, where a sugar-cured, smoked variety became popular. Easier-to-cure pork ham eventually took its place, but now two Virginians are bringing it back.

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The Ups And Downs Of 'Younger' Life

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:08pm

Sutton Foster stars in a new comedy about a woman who learns that there are a lot of ways to be hassled over your age.

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From A 'Dragon Tattoo' To The 'Spider's Web': Stieg Larsson's Hero Returns

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 9:15am

The late Stieg Larsson's Millennium series of novels is getting an addition, The Girl in the Spider's Web. The book, written by David Lagercrantz, just got its title and a U.S. release date: Sept. 1.

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'Little Washer Of Sorrows' Morphs The Mundane Into The Fantastic

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 9:03am

Katherine Fawcett's short story collection is comfortably domestic, full of quiet drama and unfussy detail. Until you read further and discover the mermaids, monsters and lonely planets (literally).

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A Ghostly Chorus Narrates 'The World Before Us'

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 6:03am

Aislinn Hunter's new novel tells two parallel tales of two young girls — both gone missing in the same place, a century apart. Reviewer Jean Zimmerman says the book's tough truths held her interest.

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'Publicly Shamed:' Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter?

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 3:58am

Host Steve Inskeep explores modern-day humiliation with writer Jon Ronson, whose new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed digs into the lives of people who've been raked over the coals on social media.

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'Wolf Hall' On Stage And TV Means More Makeovers For Henry VIII's 'Pit Bull'

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 3:58am

Hilary Mantel's popular novels breathed new life into Thomas Cromwell's legacy. Now, between a play and a miniseries, there seems to be no limit to the blacksmith's son's potential for reinvention.

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Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 3:46pm

Kenya will participate in the Venice Biennale, the prestigious art show that opens on May 9. But only two of the artists representing Kenya will be Kenyan. Most aren't even African — they're Chinese.

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Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:41pm

More than a dozen federal agencies play a part in keeping food from making Americans sick. Critics say the system has gaps, and we'd all be safer if federal food safety efforts were under one roof.

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Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:29pm

Clive James was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago. "There is a grief in all poetry," he writes in his latest book of essays. "Poetry holds itself together, and eventually we ourselves do not."

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How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 2:29pm

Kevin Kruse's book looks at how industrialists in the '30s and '40s recruited clergy to preach free enterprise. And under the Eisenhower administration, Christianity and capitalism moved center stage.

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Sandwich Monday: The Passover Sandwich

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:24am

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we introduce our non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch. Manischewitz rules this meal.

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