Before Twitter, radio, even electricity - in fact, going all the way back to pre-historic times, people gathered around fires to listen to stories. Even though the glow of computers has replaced the warmth of the campfire for most of us, some folks still hold fast to the tradition of oral storytelling.
As Missy Shelton reports, nearly 10,000 people have gathered this weekend for the National Storytelling Festival in northeast Tennessee to hear professional tellers weave some good yarns.
Photographer Edward Curtis started off his career at the tail end of the 19th century, making portraits of Seattle's wealthiest citizens. But a preoccupation with Native Americans and a chance encounter on a mountaintop triggered an idea: Curtis decided to chronicle the experience of the vanishing tribes — all of them. It was an unbelievably ambitious project that would define Curtis, his work and his legacy.
Housesitting is a delicate chore. It involves inhabiting someone else's home — their personal space, watching over their stuff — and sticking to the Boy Scouts' creed to leave no trace. That's pretty much the opposite of what happens in Will Wiles' debut novel, Care of Wooden Floors. It's the story of an already strained friendship pushed to the breaking point by a housesitting favor gone terribly, terribly wrong.
If you're a country music fan, the name Rayna Jaymes may not ring a bell. That's because Rayna Jaymes is a fictionalcharacter played by actress Connie Britton. Britton stars in the new TV series Nashville, which premieres this Wednesday on ABC.
TV fans will know Britton for her Emmy-nominated roles in American Horror Story and Friday Nights Lights, in which she played Tami Taylor, the wife of ahigh school football coach in a small Texas town.
On-air challenge: You'll be given a category, and you name something in the category starting with each of the letters in the word "Croat." For example, if the category were "boy's names," you might say Chris, Roger, Otto, Adam and Terry.
Last week's challenge: Think of a word in which the second letter is R. Change the R to an M, and rearrange the result. You'll get the opposite of the original word. What is it? (Hint: The two words start with the same letter.)
Round 9 of Three Minute Fiction is currently underway. Readers from more than a dozen graduate programs are plowing through the nearly 4,000 entries received. Host Guy Raz shares one of the favorite picks so far, The Generous Application of Grease by Stephen Fratus of Walnut Creek, Calif. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Ben Affleck's new film, Argo, jolts us back to 1979.
Iran is in revolution and protesters storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The American hostage crisis begins as all the U.S. diplomats inside the embassy are captured and blindfolded — except for six, who escape to the Canadian ambassador's residence and hide there.
When we get an early glimpse of Harry Copeland, he's falling in love in an instant, with a girl he sees on the Staten Island Ferry. Her hair "trapped the sun and seemed to radiate light," he writes, "and with New York in 1947, when it brimmed with color, light, drama and a babble of voices that reminded him of the world he fought to save as a paratrooper in World War II."