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5:40am

Sun June 21, 2015
Author Interviews

After Years Of Blackouts, A Writer Remembers What She 'Drank To Forget'

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 1:34 pm

Emily Bogle Emily Bogle

When Sarah Hepola got her very first writing job at The Austin Chronicle, her editor-in-chief gave her an unlikely Christmas gift — a hat that could hold beers. "It was my top boss," Hepola recalls, who had drawn her name in a Secret Santa gift exchange. "He just threw it on my desk and said: 'So you can drink more at work.'"

Hepola's new memoir -- Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget -- is filled with such funny/tragic stories, about drinking until last call, blacking out, and then trying to piece it all together the following day.

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5:29pm

Sat June 20, 2015
Author Interviews

From Civilian To Spy: How An Average Guy Helped Bust A Russian Agent

Originally published on Mon June 22, 2015 1:28 pm

Lydia Thompson NPR

For years, Naveed Jamali gave secrets to the Russians, selling out his country for cash.

Or so the Russians thought. In fact, Jamali was working for the FBI by pretending to be a spy for the Russians: a real-life double agent.

Jamali chronicles his experiences in his new book, How To Catch A Russian Spy: The True Story of an American Civilian Turned Double Agent.

The story starts back when Jamali was a child. A well-dressed Russian man entered his parent's bookstore to buy some books.

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5:29pm

Sat June 20, 2015
Music Interviews

'Lester, You Changed Our Lives': Channeling Bangs In 'How To Be a Rock Critic'

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:42 pm

Erik Jensen portrays rock critic Lester Bangs in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.
Craig Schwartz

In his 33 years on earth, rock critic Lester Bangs left behind tens of thousands of pages of writing. He died of a drug overdose in 1982 — but this month, at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., Bangs and his ideas are coming to life on stage in the new one-man play How to Be a Rock Critic.

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5:52am

Sat June 20, 2015
Author Interviews

Survival Is Insufficient: 'Station Eleven' Preserves Art After The Apocalypse

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 10:40 am

Emily St. John Mandel's new novel, Station Eleven, opens with a vain actor — and is there really any other kind? — who dies of a heart attack onstage as he plays King Lear in Toronto. His co-stars can't remember if he had a family to notify. But soon, within minutes, the death of one man playing Lear disappears into the vast, mass death of a worldwide plague called the Georgia Flu.

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4:45pm

Fri June 19, 2015
Jazz Night In America

All In The Family: Father-Son Pairings In Jazz

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 8:13 pm

Saxophonist Joshua Redman (left) performs on stage during the "Jazz sous les pommiers" jazz festival on May 9, 2013 in Coutances, France. Dewey Redman (right) performs in St. Paul, Minn., in 2007.
Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images and Chris Felver Getty Images

Jazz is all about great collaborations, and in honor of Father's Day this weekend, composer and bassist Christian McBride, host of NPR's Jazz Night In America and a regular All Things Considered guest, stopped by for a conversation about fathers and sons.

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5:03am

Fri June 19, 2015
All Tech Considered

Q&A: Shigeru Miyamoto On The Origins Of Nintendo's Famous Characters

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 11:16 am

Shigeru Miyamoto plays the latest Mario game, called Super Mario Maker, at the Nintendo booth Wednesday at this year's E3 video game expo in Los Angeles.
Travis Larchuk NPR

Shigeru Miyamoto is the creator of many of Nintendo's iconic video game franchises, including Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. NPR's Laura Sydell interviewed the 62-year-old designer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles this week.

Miyamoto spoke, through an interpreter, about the origins of his famous characters, how his life experiences inspire his creations and why Nintendo's latest console, the Wii U, failed to take off.

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5:03am

Fri June 19, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 12:37 pm

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.
Disney/Pixar

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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6:03pm

Thu June 18, 2015
The Two-Way

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 8:44 pm

Charleston residents visit a makeshift memorial for victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Steet in Charleston, S.C.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

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4:31pm

Mon June 15, 2015
Author Interviews

From Dating Exhaustion To ... Flo Rida? Aziz Ansari Surveys 'Modern Romance'

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 7:07 pm

Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian and actor well-known for playing Tom Haverford in NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Ruvan Wijesooriy Courtesy of Penguin Press

In his stand-up, Aziz Ansari often talks about dating. And while he's now happily in a relationship, he's still fascinated with how people find each other — so fascinated, in fact, that he wrote a book about it called Modern Romance. The comic tells NPR's Audie Cornish, "I didn't want this book to be, you know, just for single people ... who are out there now, but I wanted to kind of do an overview of dating and relationships as a whole."

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6:27pm

Sun June 14, 2015
Author Interviews

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:06 pm

Lydia Thompson NPR

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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