NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":


Between Pride And Despair: 'Three Strong Women'

Aug 15, 2012

Few French writers can rival the success of Marie NDiaye, whose acclaim as a novelist and playwright is matched by her massive commercial success. At just 45, she has a quarter-century of best-selling books behind her, and in 2009 she became the first black woman to win the Prix Goncourt, France's top gong for literature, for the passionate and unsettling novel Three Strong Women.

Yet for all her achievement, she remains nearly unknown in the United States. Just one of her previous books has made it to this country, published by a small university press. (A play of NDiaye's was produced in New York in 2005, but Americans' best chance to see her work thus far has been onscreen. NDiaye co-wrote the script for White Material, Claire Denis' spectacular 2009 film, starring Isabelle Huppert as a coffee plantation owner in a nameless, war-ravaged postcolony.) So if it took a giant prize and a deceptive, airport-bookstore-friendly title to bring NDiaye's new novel to America, so be it. Three Strong Women is a major work of world literature, and one that deserves a readership in English as well as in French.

The book opens in Dakar, where Norah, a lawyer, has been summoned from Paris to see her odious father. A once successful property magnate grown old and embittered, he incites in Norah a whole flood of contradictory emotions: residual affection constantly gives way to anger at "this unfeeling man, incomplete, detached." He has no affection for her, nor for her young half-sisters who live in semi-abandonment elsewhere in the house. And to a degree, she's past caring. What she craves is to see her younger brother Sony, whom her father abducted at age 5, destroying the life of their mother in the process. But Sony, once the pride of the family, is now in prison — and as Norah struggles to understand what he has done, her longstanding grievances with her father finally come to a head.

Before we can see the outcome of Norah's story, however, the narrative suddenly shifts: We are in France, in the Gironde. We briefly see Fanta, a teacher who met her French husband, Rudy, in Dakar and has joined him in the French countryside. Aha, we think: Strong Woman No. 2. (The title is actually ironic: the original Trois femmes puissantes might be better translated as "Three Powerful Women," yet each of the female protagonists is to some degree powerless.)

But NDiaye's book is hardly the modish "interlocking narratives" novel it first appears to be. The author shows Norah from all angles — as a woman, a daughter, a lover, a sister — but our second strong woman is in fact largely absent. Instead, the author follows her impulsive and paranoid husband over the course of an epically horrible day; as he endures humiliations at work and at home, we see his guilt at having dragged Fanta to France, where she can't find work, as well as the earlier cruelties of his colonist father in Senegal that haunt him still. "If he couldn't manage to assuage his own conscience," Rudy wonders, "how could he calm down and become a proper father? How could he get people to love him again?" The answer is: He won't. Fanta, who appears only in Rudy's crazed imaginings, seems to have abandoned him for her own grief; she may also be preparing to leave him for his boss, or perhaps that, too, is one of Rudy's neurotic illusions.

The final and most intense section, back in Dakar, belongs to Khady, whom we briefly glimpsed working as a servant in Norah's father's house. If Norah and Fanta suffer from familial and romantic neglect, Khady's troubles are graver: A young widow turned out of her late husband's house, she tries to flee to Europe and endures such unspeakable horrors that she feels she is "walking towards her death." In the book's final pages, at the limbo zone between Africa and the EU border, she demonstrates a resilience she has in common with both Norah and Fanta — but under far more harrowing circumstances, and with a far grimmer outcome.

NDiaye's prose, rendered into mostly supple English by John Fletcher, luxuriates in paragraph-long introspection and occasionally dips into the supernatural. Birds fly in out of nowhere in all three sections, auguries of change or death; Norah's frail father keeps appearing somehow in the branches of a drooping poinciana tree, from which he sometimes descends on "tired, heavy wings." Her rich, sensuous style takes some getting used to. But give it time. Three Strong Women is a rare novel, capturing the grand scope of migration, from Africa to Europe and back, and the inner lives of very different people caught between pride and despair. And NDiaye is a rare novelist, whose arrival in America is long overdue.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit