Country and culture used to serve as the cornerstones of identity, but what does "home" mean to someone who comes from many places? Writer Pico Iyer talks about the meaning of home in a world where the old boundaries of nation-states no longer apply.
What is it like to raise a child whose very identity is fundamentally different than yours? Writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents and how the experience shaped the identities of both parent and child.
Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.
Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:
In an old house in Paris That was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
Before seeing Paul Greengrass' nerve-wracking, based-on-fact thriller Captain Phillips, I'd never been able to get my head around the logistics of Somali piracy. Enormous commercial freighters, captured and held for ransom by tiny bands of pirates — often teenagers — who always seem to overtake the freighters on the high seas in fishing skiffs smaller than the freighters' lifeboats.
I mean, you wonder: How on earth could four or five teenagers capture a freighter, subduing a far larger crew and extracting millions of dollars in ransom?
And finally this hour, we celebrate the 110th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro. She is the 13th woman to win the award. The Canadian writer was hailed by the Swedish academy as a master of the contemporary short story. Over her career, Munro has written 14 story collections and one novel. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Munro began writing as a child in rural Western Ontario, raised in a family of tough Scottish Presbyterians.
Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.
Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.