San Miguel is the name of a treeless island off the coast of California where, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, a few nervy ranchers struggled to raise sheep. San Miguel is also the name of T. Coraghessan Boyle's chilling and beautiful new novel, which is loosely based on the memoirs of those ranchers.
Ursula Le Guin comes immediately to mind when you turn the pages of Kij Johnson's first book of short stories, her debut collection is that impressive. The title piece has that wonderful power we hope for in all fiction we read, the surprising imaginative leap that takes us to recognize the marvelous in the everyday.
And in one of the closest Senate races in the country, it looks like two politicians may be reversing their positions. Massachusetts Republican incumbent Scott Brown had maintained a slim lead in the polls for months, now suddenly he's trailing his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in four of the five most recent voter surveys. From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports it may be the result of an unusual convention bounce.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney promised to pursue a permanent fix for the country's "broken" immigration system during a Univision forum. Despite pointed questioning, Romney offered few details about how he would deal with millions of immigrants who are already in this country illegally.
And Chick-fil-A fast food restaurants became the focus a few weeks ago of protests and counter-protests, after the CEO of the restaurant chain said he opposed same-sex marriage. Now, after a change in policy the chain, a Chicago alderman says he will no longer stand in the way of Chick-fil-A opening in his neighborhood.
Apple and Samsung remained locked in their high stakes patent dispute. A Silicon Valley jury last month ordered Samsung to pay Apple more than $1 billion for infringing on its patents. Samsung is fighting in court and with a new aggressive marketing campaign for its Galaxy smartphones.
NPR's business news begins with good news for Google.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: The search giant is expected to be the top firm in online display advertising revenue this year, according to analysts at the industry news site eMarketer. If their prediction comes true - if - Google will unseat the reigning online ad champ Facebook, which would be a blow for Facebook, which only last year managed to beat back the previous top-earner, Yahoo.
We also have a correction for you this morning. Two reports in our air in recent days listed Americans who do not pay income taxes, and those lists included mentions of active duty-military service members. Those statements were too broad.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Military personnel do pay federal income tax. But there are exemptions for some, including those who are serving in designated combat zones.