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'La La Land' Director Aimed To Make A Film Even Musical Skeptics Would Love

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 1:44pm

"Movies are kind of limited by what you see in front of the camera," says director Damien Chazelle. "Musicals find this wonderful way around that."

(Image credit: Dale Robinette)

Ads For Nicer Living: The Oddball Gems About What Brightens Our Lives

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 1:18pm

In 1972, NPR invited listeners to write ads for stuff money can't buy. We're doing it again this year. But first, to jog your thinking, here are a few examples of the more, well, unique ads back then.

(Image credit: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

Returning To A Beloved Series In 'The Heart Of What Was Lost'

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 6:00am

It's been 23 years since Tad Williams wrapped up his epic Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. Now, he returns to the land of Osten Ard in a brief gem of a story that sets up a fresh epic to follow.

(Image credit: Ariel Zambelich/NPR)

Blind Art Lovers Make The Most Of Museum Visits With 'InSight' Tours

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 3:58am

"Sight isn't the only pathway to understand art," says Carol Wilson of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There, specially trained docents lead tours using sound, description — and even touch.

(Image credit: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR)

San Francisco's 'Leaning Tower' Has Residents Fuming

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 5:07pm

A luxury high-rise in San Francisco is sinking. The Millennium Tower has sunk more than a foot since its completion in 2010. It's also tilting, which makes life difficult for residents on high floors.

(Image credit: Eric Risberg/AP)

Roxane Gay On Good Men, Bad Men And 'Difficult Women'

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 4:26pm

Gay's new short story collection explores women's lives and issues of race, class and sex. But she says the book could easily have been called Difficult Men.

(Image credit: Jay Grabiec/Grove Atlantic)

Amid Isolation, Two Cubans Develop Island's First Video Game

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 3:39pm

Video game enthusiasts in Cuba face big obstacles with limited access to the Internet. With the opening to the U.S., two young Cubans hope to release the first independent game produced on the island.

(Image credit: Greg Allen/NPR)

Titanic Documentary Suggests Engine Room Fire Led To Sinking

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 3:39pm

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Senan Molony about his documentary, which presents evidence that a fire in the engine room could have also led to the sinking of the ship and the loss of 1,500 lives.

Titantic Documentary Suggests Engine Room Fire Led To Sinking

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 3:39pm

NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Senan Molony about his documentary, which presents evidence that a fire in the engine room could have also led to the sinking of the Titanic and the loss of 1,500 lives.

A Diplomat Reflects On Moderate Islam In 'Letters To A Young Muslim'

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 12:58pm

Omar Saif Ghobash was 6 when an assassin killed his father, who was a diplomat from the United Arab Emirates. His new book is a collection of letters to his sons, urging them to reject extremism.

How Tattoo Artist Bang Bang Is Leaving His Mark On Celebrities

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 12:55pm

Tattoo artist Keith, "BANG BANG" McCurdy was a high school dropout who went from tattooing outside of a Delaware trailer park, to becoming the personal tattoo artist of supermodels and pop stars.

(Image credit: waiting to get credits )

'The Strays' Invites You To A Disturbing, Magical World

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 6:00am

Emily Bitto's new novel is set in the overheated avant-garde art scene of Depression-era Melbourne, where two girls — conventional Lily and sharp-tongued, exotic Eva — form a complicated bond.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

'Selection Day' Tells Tale Of Cricket Playing Brothers In Mumbai

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 3:32pm

The author Aravind Adiga has never glossed over the challenges facing people in India. His latest book, Selection Day, is about two brothers who grow up in a Mumbai slum being told that their only way out is through cricket.

'Bambi' Artist Tyrus Wong Dies At 106

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 3:32pm

The Hollywood artist and calligrapher who designed Disney's Bambi has died at age 106.

Lin-Manuel Miranda On Disney, Mixtapes And Why He Won't Try To Top 'Hamilton'

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 10:35am

Miranda says he doesn't feel the need to duplicate the success of Hamilton. "If you think in terms of topping, you're in the wrong business," he says.

(Image credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

How One Video Game Unflinchingly Tackles Racism With History And Raw Interactions

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 9:39am

Creators of Mafia III, set in a fictionalized Louisiana, took a documentary approach to confronting players with prejudice and bigotry of the 1960s South from the perspective of a black protagonist.

(Image credit: Courtesy of 2K Games)

Beautiful, Icy 'History Of Wolves' Transcends Genre

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 6:00am

Emily Fridlund's electrifying debut novel History of Wolves is a contemporary coming-of-age story about a young woman — but it avoids the familiar story arc so common to other novels in that genre.

(Image credit: )

Bigly Listicle Of Banished Words For 2017 Unveiled

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:23pm

Lake Superior State University has released its annual list of banished words for 2017. John R. Shibley, who curates the list, talks to NPR about the bete noires that made the bigly listicle of guesstimates.

New York's East Village Ushers In New Year With Feast Of Language

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 3:23pm

The Poetry Project celebrates its 50th year of supporting contemporary poets. For the 43rd time, it held a marathon poetry reading on New Year's Day at St. Mark's Church-In-The Bowery.

Having Thick Skin Is A 'Survival Technique,' Says Comic Jeff Ross

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 2:01pm

Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, NJ. He likens celebrity roasts to "a party where everybody goes and has a good time." Originally broadcast Sept. 13, 2016.

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