The Marvel Universe is filled with people with who can crawl along walls and shoot beams from their eyes. But comic book writer G. Willow Wilson saw one thing that was missing: Muslims. So she created the new Ms. Marvel: Kamala Kahn. She's the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream series. Wilson talks to host Michel Martin about expanding the religious horizons of the Marvel Universe.
After years of working at a restaurant by day and performing improv comedy by night, Bobby Moynihan got the opportunity of a lifetime: an audition for Saturday Night Live. But as Moynihan recalls, actually getting his 'big break' on the show was much more difficult.
Jenny Offill's new book, Dept. of Speculation, uses anecdotes and bits of poetry to tell a nonlinear story of love, parenthood and infidelity. Offill tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her experiences as a mother inspired the book — but that her own marriage is far less dramatic than the one in her novel.
Roddy Doyle's new The Guts revisits the Commitments three decades later, grown up and dealing with life's blows. Mastermind Jimmy Rabbitte is out of the hospital after cancer surgery, and he's living life one day at a time. Critic Alan Cheuse says the dialogue-heavy novel is both foulmouthed and bursting with joie de vivre.
Novelists are famously prone to self-imposed exile and introspection; sometimes, they invent characters who are similarly solitary. Author Rachel Louise Snyder recommends three compelling books starring such loners. She says their isolation isn't what's compelling, but it's riveting to watch these recluses step back into the world of others.
Diane Johnson has spent much of her adult life living in France, writing novels like Le Divorce. But it was not until a visit home, to the Midwestern town of Moline, IL, that the Johnson discovered that her pioneer ancestors had lives worthy of writing about. Her new book, Flyover Lives reconstructs their stories.
Bite is a little shop in New York City where you can design your own lipstick. The lipstick is so natural, it's said to be good enough to eat. NPR's Jacki Lyden visits the "lip lab" and hears from Bite's manager, Melissa Colon, about how she picks the perfect color for her clients.