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Updated: 38 min 25 sec ago

The Dilemma With Dong From 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 6:34am

Dong's character in the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has raised eyebrows. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to NPR's Kat Chow about whether his character pushes against stereotypes, or reinforces them.

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Brattling After The Pacifire: 'That Should Be A Word'

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 6:34am

Kinnovator, Fidgital, Bangst. This isn't gibberish. It's the language of Lizzie Skurnick. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Skurnick about her new book, That Should Be a Word.

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Drinking With 'Mad Men:' Cocktail Culture And The Myth Of Don Draper

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 6:03am

The culture of retro cocktails that the show helped reignite is intriguing, considering how much of Mad Men is actually about excessive — even abusive — drinking.

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Florida Teen, War Criminal: The Life Of An 'American Warlord'

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 4:27pm

Johnny Dwyer's new book explores the life of Chuckie Taylor: the son of Liberia's former president, a leader in the Liberian Civil War and the only American ever convicted of torture committed abroad.

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Salad Ties And Breadsticks: Star Chef Started At The Olive Garden

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 4:17pm

Stephanie Izard is the chef behind Chicago's award-winning Girl and the Goat restaurant — and the first woman to win on Bravo's Top Chef. But her food career began in the land of unlimited salad.

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Movies Explore The Intersection Of Religion And Violence

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 6:59am

There has been a spate of religious movies and documentaries from Killing Jesus to Going Clear. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Rev. Gary Hall of the National Cathedral in Washington.

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'So That Happened:' Confessions Of A Duck-Man

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 6:59am

Actor Jon Cryer's new memoir details his life in show business, including, of course, co-star Charlie Sheen's meltdown. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says Cryer's a smart guy who's often been overlooked.

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'Lulu Anew' Is No Lifetime Movie

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 6:03am

Étienne Davodeau's new graphic novel sounds like it could be laden with chick-flick schmaltz, but critic Etelka Lehoczky says this tale of female self-discovery is fresh, funny and unexpected.

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Just 'Between You & Me,' Here Are Some Handy Grammar Tips

Sat, 04/04/2015 - 4:13am

Mary Norris has been a copy editor at The New Yorker since 1978. She dispenses some of the collected grammatical wisdom of those decades in a new book, Between You & Me (and it is "me," not "I").

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Michelle Obama's 'Evolution Of Mom Dancing' Is Back With Part 2

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 2:47pm

On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and first lady Michelle Obama dug out their cardigans to dance the "This Ol' Thing? I Got It At Talbots."

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The PBS Version Of 'Wolf Hall' Unfolds Like A Real-Life House Of Cards

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 2:13pm

The show, based on Hilary Mantel's acclaimed novel, stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's chief minister. Critic John Powers says it's darkly lit, finely acted and thoroughly compelling.

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Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 2:13pm

Hilary Mantel is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and also for its 2012 sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. She discusses the books with Terry Gross.

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You'll Get No Alcoholic Kick From Champagne-Flavored Jelly Beans

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 1:21pm

Champagne is the newest flavor of the classic Easter candy that's consumed at a rate of 16 billion a year in the U.S. alone. But the origins of the popular confection are "lost in the mists of time."

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Questions For David Levithan, Author Of 'Hold Me Closer'

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 6:03am

Tiny Cooper, the breakout star of the 2010 novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, steps center stage in its companion novel — a fully realized version of an epic musical Tiny's written about his own life.

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same As 'Mad Men' Winds Down

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 4:05am

AMC's award-winning drama Mad Men returns for its final seven episodes Sunday. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says these last few installments explore how little people change, even in tumultuous times.

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Mourning The Matzo: Iconic N.Y. Factory To Leave Former Jewish Hub

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 4:47pm

It's the end of an era: After nearly a century, the Streit's matzo factory is leaving Manhattan's Lower East Side. This Passover will be its last there. Streit's plans to move to a new factory.

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'New Yorker' Cartoonist And TV Producer Writes 'Honest Portrait' Of His Parents

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 1:32pm

Bruce Eric Kaplan's illustrated memoir I Was A Child describes his life in Maplewood, N.J., in the '60s and '70s. He says it's a way of keeping his parents alive, "not just for me, but for the world."

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Jokes, Fights And Controversy In A Frictionless Void

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 12:11pm

The way conversation works in the age of Twitter, it's hard to figure out where to pause and put a controversy in perspective once it's underway.

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Born To Run And Fail

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 9:50am

A rewritten Bruce Springsteen classic--growled to perfection by They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh--recounts candidates who ran for President, and lost. "Champs like us, Joey we were born to run!"

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Measure For Measure

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 9:50am

Go the distance for this final round, where all the answers contain some form of measurement. For example, the nickname for London's Metropolitan Police Service is "Scotland Yard."

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