Lynn Neary

Lynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent and a frequent guest host often heard on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In her role on the Arts desk, Neary reports on an industry in transition as publishing moves into the digital age. As she covers books and publishing, she relishes the opportunity to interview many of her favorite authors from Barbara Kingsolver to Ian McEwan.

Arriving at NPR in 1982, Neary spent two years working as a newscaster during Morning Edition. Then, for the next eight years, Neary was the host of Weekend All Things Considered. In 1992, she joined the cultural desk to develop NPR's first religion beat. As religion correspondent, Neary covered the country's diverse religious landscape and the politics of the religious right.

Over the years Neary has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award, an Ohio State Award, an Association of Women in Radio and Television Award and the Gabriel award. For her reporting on the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform, Neary shared in NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

A Fordham University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Neary thinks she has the ideal job and suspects she is the envy of English majors everywhere.

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7:57am

Sun October 5, 2014
Book News & Features

For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 1:51 pm

Jane Smiley's previous books include The Man Who Invented the ComputerTen Days in the Hills and Private Life.
Michael Lionstar Couresty of Knopf

Author Jane Smiley has a fondness for dogs. She has a couple at her home in Carmel Valley, Calif., where she lives with her husband. One of those dogs, Fallon, has a special talent: He likes to sing. And Smiley likes to accompany him on a banjo she bought back in 1972 when she was living in Iowa.

Smiley spent 24 years in Iowa. She's been gone for a long time now, but something about the place still seems to pull on her imagination.

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4:01am

Wed September 24, 2014
Books

Too Graphic? 2014 Banned Books Week Celebrates Challenged Comics

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

Repeat Offender: Dav Pilkey created artwork for Banned Books Week featuring his frequently complained-about hero, Captain Underpants.
Dav Pilkey

Comics and graphic books are flourishing these days — writers and illustrators are taking on increasingly sophisticated topics and children's authors are finding just the right balance between naughty and nice. But a number of the books have come under fire from critics who would like to see them banned from schools and libraries. That's why comics and graphic books are the focus of this year's Banned Books Week, an annual event that calls attention to challenged titles.

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4:52pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Code Switch

To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Author Junot Diaz says the publishing industry must have uncomfortable conversations about diversity. The alternative, he believes, is "utter, agonizing silence."
Rick Reinhard Flickr

Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children's books. Writer Daniel José Older supports the campaign, but he doesn't think it goes far enough.

"We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too."

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4:05pm

Tue August 19, 2014
Code Switch

In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While 'Other'

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:46 pm

The Dey House, a 140-year-old mansion, is home to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the oldest MFA writing programs in the country. Director Lan Samantha Chang — who attended the workshop as a student — has made it a priority to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds to the program.
Linda Kahlbaugh AP

For many writers, a contract with one of the major publishing houses is the Holy Grail — and getting accepted to a prestigious Master of Fine Arts program may bring aspiring writers one step closer. But these elite writing programs have a history steeped in whiteness, and writers of color don't always feel welcome.

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4:35pm

Fri August 8, 2014
Book News & Features

Over 900 Authors Lend Their Names To A Letter Backing Hachette

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 6:57 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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3:29am

Tue July 15, 2014
Book Your Trip

Travel Disasters Bring Out The Best, The Worst ... And The Cannibalism

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:41 pm

"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff.
iStockphoto

Author Sarah Lotz is terrified of flying, so naturally every time she gets on a plane she imagines the worst. "I imagine how it's going to smell if things start burning," she says. "I imagine the thunk of luggage falling out of the compartments at the top. ... I imagine it all in absolutely horrible detail."

All those horrible imaginings came in handy when Lotz was writing her new book The Three — the story of three children who are the only survivors of four separate plane crashes that occur in different parts of the world on the same day.

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6:24pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Remembrances

Writer Nadine Gordimer Captured Apartheid's Contradictions

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:32 pm

In addition to her 15 novels, Nadine Gordimer authored several volumes of short stories and nonfiction.
Radu Sigheti Reuters /Landov

South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, died Sunday at the age of 90. Gordimer merged the personal and political to create a compelling portrait of the injustice of life under apartheid.

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4:11pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Book News & Features

In Dispute With Hachette, Amazon Aims New Volley At Authors

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:10 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. A fight between Amazon and the publishing company Hachette is getting nastier. Amazon suggested that while talks between the two companies continue, Hachette authors could get 100 percent of the sale price of their e-books. As NPR's Lynn Neary reports, it was an offer Hachette was quick to refuse.

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6:34pm

Thu July 3, 2014
The Two-Way

Authors Take Opposite Sides On Hachette, Amazon Spat

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 10:43 am

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

You might think that all writers would be of the same mind about the dispute between Amazon and Hachette Publishing Company over the price of ebooks. Think again. This week two different sets of authors sent open letters to their "readers" urging them to take one side or the other in the ongoing controversy.

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8:01am

Sun June 22, 2014
Music News

Almost Intermediate: Adults Learn Lessons In 'Late Starters Orchestra'

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:35 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

By our measure, Ari Goldman is a successful man. A former New York Times reporter turned college professor, he is deeply religious and a happily married husband and father. But for all of that, there was something missing in his life. Goldman yearned to play a musical instrument.

ARI GOLDMAN: The cello is sort of the music of my soul. It's the instrument that speaks most directly to me. I never thought that I would be able to play a cello.

(SOUNDBITE OF CELLO)

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