Mon September 9, 2013
Author Interviews

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 3:01 pm

Jonathan Lethem's other books include The Ecstasy of Influence, Chronic City and Girl in Landscape.
John Lucas Courtesy Doubleday

People who don't believe in God but have an almost religious belief in causes are at the center of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, Dissident Gardens. The novel opens in 1955 Queens, N.Y., when Rose Zimmer, a secular Jew and Communist, is expelled from the party, ostensibly because the local committee disapproves of her affair with a black police officer.

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Mon September 9, 2013
Music Interviews

Blitz The Ambassador: Fighting Against Invisibility

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:06 pm

Quazi King Blitz the Ambassador


Mon September 9, 2013
The Two-Way

'New' Van Gogh Painting Identified; Was In A Norwegian Attic

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 11:15 am

Alex Ruger, director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, at the unveiling Monday of Vincent Van Gogh's Sunset at Montmajour.
Olaf Kraak AFP/Getty Images

A painting that had earlier been thought to be a fake and had been stored for decades in the attic of a Norwegian home has now been identified as a long-lost work by Vincent Van Gogh.

Sunset at Montmajour has been authenticated thanks to "extensive research into [its] style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance," Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Ruger says in a statement posted Monday by the Amsterdam museum.

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Mon September 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Why Batwoman Can't Get Married

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:18 am

In this illustration released by DC Comics, Batwoman is shown as a 5-foot-10 superhero with flowing red hair, knee-high red boots with spiked heels, and a form-fitting black outfit.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Mon September 9, 2013
Monkey See

Toronto International Film Festival, Days Three And Four: '12 Years' And 'Gravity'

Chiwetel Ejiofor (right) plays Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave. Benedict Cumberbatch plays one of the slaveowners who claim ownership of him.
Jaap Buitendijk Toronto International Film Festival

The weekend brings some higher-profile screenings, and my schedule on Saturday and Sunday reflects that. If some of the Thursday/Friday films were an opportunity to see what you may never hear about again, some of the Saturday/Sunday films are a chance to get a jump on the next four or five months of chatter.

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Sun September 8, 2013

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

Members of S. A. Andrée's 1897 journey survey their downed vessel. This photo was recovered from a camera when their remains were found 33 years later.
Courtesy of Grenna Museum, Andréexpeditionen Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography/National Geographic

Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.

She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.

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Sun September 8, 2013
Book Reviews

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:26 pm

An aerial view of Memorial Medical Center surrounded by floodwaters on Sept. 9, 2005.
Kathy Anderson The Times-Picayune/Landov

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

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Sun September 8, 2013
Pop Culture

Arsenio Hall Returns To Late Night

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm




This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In the late 1980s and early '90s, success in the competitive world of late-night television sounded like this.


MARTIN: That, of course, was the signature shout out from "The Arsenio Hall Show." Arsenio interviewed everyone from Muhammad Ali to Madonna and, of course, there was that seminal pop culture moment when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio stage.

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Sun September 8, 2013
Author Interviews

10 Years, One Book: Norman Rush Brews A Literary Distillation

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 6:46 pm

On the surface, Norman Rush's new novel is about a middle-aged man, Ned, who reunites with a group of college friends after one member of the group dies unexpectedly. But what transpires over the next few days ahead of the memorial service is less about Ned's relationship with these men and the heady, self-absorbed days of yore, and more about how Ned sees himself.

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Sun September 8, 2013
Sunday Puzzle

Close, But No Cigar

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 2:09 pm


On-air challenge: Each of the following answers is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the two words are homophones, and both words start with the letter C.

Last week's challenge from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn: Think of a well-known celebrity who goes by a single name — the last two letters of which are alphabetically separated by only one letter (like A and C, or B and D). Replace this pair of letters with the one that separates them, and you'll have a common, everyday word. What is it?

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