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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Earthy 'Lotus' Is A Fascinating Flower

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 6:00am

Lijia Zhang's debut novel — about a young woman in China who fights her way out of the sex trade to become a teacher — is sensitively drawn, full of folk wisdom and concise, touching imagery.

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Immigration And Infertility Bring Two Mothers Together Over One 'Lucky Boy'

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 3:36pm

Shanthi Sekaran's new novel tells the story of a Mexican woman who has entered the U.S. without papers and an Indian-American chef struggling to have a baby.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

What Is Driving The 'Unbanking Of America'?

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 12:39pm

Author Lisa Servon says a growing number of Americans are giving up on traditional banks and relying instead on alternatives, including prepaid debit cards, check-cashing centers and payday lenders.

'I Was Trying' Is Sneaky, Enigmatic, Obscure — And That's A Good Thing

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 6:00am

Noy Holland's new collection brings together several decades worth of difficult-to-describe stories — some only a few paragraphs long, and all of them hallucinatory and maddening in the best way.

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Why It's Literally Not Wrong To Say "Literally"

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 11:01pm

Young people have always used language in new ways, and it has always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says all the LOLs are part of an inevitable evolution of language.

(Image credit: Renee Klahr)

Encore: 'La La Land' Invokes Nostalgia For 1930s Hollywood

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 3:33pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to director Damien Chazelle about his latest film, La La Land, which is a modern version of 1930s Hollywood musicals.

Father Argues Against Radicalism In 'Letters to a Young Muslim'

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 3:33pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks to author Omar Saif Ghobash, who wrote the book, Letters to a Young Muslim.

Clothes Don't Make A First Lady, But They Can Make A Statement

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 3:33pm

Michelle Obama is known for wearing affordable clothing, while Melania Trump is often seen in luxury brands. One critic describes Trump's look as polished and glamorous, but not very personal.

(Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP)

Jeff Bridges Abides By His Actor Dad's Example: Bring Joy To The Set

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:54pm

"He really wanted all his kids to go into acting because he loved it so much," Bridges says of his father. In Hell or High Water, Bridges plays an aging Texas ranger tracking two bank robbers.

(Image credit: Lorey Sebastian/Lionsgate)

Betty Fussell Doesn't Mince Words In The Frank, Funny 'Eat, Live, Love, Die'

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:54pm

A new collection of some of Fussell's most celebrated essays showcases the food and travel writer's tough-girl philosophy. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Eat, Live, Love, Die an inspiring work.

(Image credit: Counterpoint )

Small Batch Edition: The Golden Globes

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 12:39pm

In this brief edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour, we talk about speeches, awards, Donald Glover's suit, Jimmy Fallon's monologue, and lots more.

(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

'La La Land' Dominates Golden Globe Awards

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 11:29pm

La La Land captured seven awards, including best motion picture, comedy or musical. The night's final award went to Barry Jenkins' tender coming of age drama Moonlight.

(Image credit: Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Actress Sigourney Weaver Talks About Redefining The Leading Lady Role

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00pm

Weaver talks about her new film, A Monster Calls, which tells the story of an adolescent boy who seeks solace in his imagination from the sadness and anger of losing his mother to a terminal illness.

'Hidden Figures' A Hit With Young Women Of Color Interested in STEM

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00pm

The film Hidden Figures is inspiring a new generation of young female coders of color. NPR checks in with some teenagers who like the movie.

Actress Octavia Spencer Says 'Hidden Figures' Is A Movie Anyone Can Get Behind

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00pm

NPR's Michel Martin talks with Octavia Spencer about her latest film, Hidden Figures. It tells the story of the black, female mathematicians who helped launch the first American astronauts into space.

Actor Om Puri Had Roles In More Than 300 Movies During His Life

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00pm

The acclaimed Indian actor died at home on Jan. 6 after an apparent heart attack. He was 66 years old. Puri acted in some 300 movies, including Gandhi, Charlie Wilson's War, and East is East.

What We Can Learn From 'Washington's Farewell'

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 5:00pm

The tradition of giving a goodbye address goes all the way back to the nation's first president. Author John Avlon says George Washington's farewell was remarkably prescient and prophetic.

(Image credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

How Tattoo Artist Bang Bang Is Leaving His Mark On Celebrities

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 1:00pm

High school dropout Keith McCurdy went from tattooing outside of a Delaware trailer park to inking supermodels and stars. Above all, it's his readiness that's helped him turn his passion into success.

(Image credit: Courtesy Bang Bang/Bang Bang)

From New Zealand To The Netherlands — What's In A Family?

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

What should a happy family look like? Writer Dan Kois is embarking on a year-long trip around the world with his family — to investigate how families in other cultures live.

'What Doesn't Kill Us' ... Invites Practical Medical Benefits

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 7:35am

Author Scott Carney talks about his new book, "What Doesn't Kill Us." Looking at case studies, Carney investigates how the body uses its environment to build resistance to normally extreme conditions.

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