Arts

6:30am

Sun May 26, 2013
Sunday Puzzle

Investigating The Crime Scene

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 3:21 pm

NPR Graphic

On-air challenge: Today's theme is "C.S.I." — as in the name of the long-running TV show. You're given three words starting with the letters C, S and I. For each set, give a fourth word that can follow each of the original words to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

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6:11am

Sun May 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

Spy Novel Meets Game In Flawed (But Beautiful) New E-book

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 6:58 am

The Thirty-Nine Steps, the spy thriller that introduces the valiant, veld-trained Richard Hannay, has been reborn as an interactive. The new e-book/game is a production of The Story Mechanics.
Courtesy The Story Mechanics

This is the first in an occasional series of e-book reviews, co-produced by NPR Books and All Tech Considered, focusing on creative combinations of technology and literature.

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5:39am

Sun May 26, 2013
The Salt

Picnicking Through The Ages

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 3:56 pm

An illustration of noblemen enjoying a picnic, from a French edition of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus, 15th century.
Wikimedia Commons

Whether a shepherd, an explorer, a hunter or a fairgoer, people have been eating outside since the beginning of time.

"The dictionaries confirm the word 'picnic' first surfaced in the 18th century, so we were picnicking before we had the term," says research librarian and food historian Lynne Olver, who runs the Food Timeline website.

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5:39am

Sun May 26, 2013
Author Interviews

A Spy's Son Grapples With A Lifetime Of Secrets

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 7:13 am

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When Scott Johnson was a kid, he wasn't really sure what his dad did; he was either a teacher, a diplomat or a foreign service officer.

But one morning, when Johnson was 14, his father decided to tell him his real job: He was a spy for the CIA.

At first it was exciting, but as Johnson grew older, he began to wonder just how much his father was keeping from him. He tells the story of their complicated relationship in a new memoir called The Wolf and the Watchman.

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6:10pm

Sat May 25, 2013
Books News & Features

A Lost And Found 'Wonder': Pearl S. Buck's Final Novel

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:15 pm

Pearl Buck was born in West Virginia but spent much of her childhood in China, where her parents worked as missionaries.
Keystone Getty Images

Pearl S. Buck emerged into literary stardom in 1931 when she published a book called The Good Earth. That story of family life in a Chinese village won the novelist international acclaim, the Pulitzer and, eventually, a Nobel Prize. Her upbringing in China as the American daughter of missionaries served as inspiration for that novel and many others; by her death in 1973, Buck had written more than 100 books, including 43 novels.

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5:31pm

Sat May 25, 2013
Author Interviews

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

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5:31pm

Sat May 25, 2013
Theater

Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:22 pm

Keith Carradine (right) performs with the cast of Hands on a Hardbody during its spring 2013 run in New York.
Chad Batka

The Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody wasn't your typical Broadway musical; it was about a group of Texans trying to win a new truck at a local dealership.

Actor Keith Carradine played JD Drew, one of the contestants. Though the show closed in April after just 56 performances, Carradine received rave reviews and a Tony nomination for best actor.

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12:40pm

Sat May 25, 2013
The Salt

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

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7:08am

Sat May 25, 2013
From Our Listeners

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

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NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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7:06am

Sat May 25, 2013
Three-Minute Fiction

Geometry

iStockphoto.com

I found your journal in my car. A slim, Moleskin, six by ten centimeters, soft cover, blue, curving upwards at the edges like an incredibly shallow bowl, or a key dish. By the concavity in its form, the book seemed to be suggesting it was capable of carrying something. Something real. Not much. A few pennies. A handful of nails. One heavy pen cradled at that depression in the center, which had dropped out of the flatness of the book from riding around in the back pocket of your jeans.

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