Every New York story ever written or filmed falls into one of two categories. The first — like Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, or the musical On the Town — regards New York as the representativeAmerican city, a jam-packed distillation of the country's dreams and nightmares.The second group views New York as a foreign place — a city off the coast of the U.S. mainland that somehow drifted away from Paris or Mars. Think every Manhattan movie ever made by Woody Allen.
Author Michael Lewis made a radical request to the White House that he says he was almost certain would be denied: He wanted to write a piece about President Obama that would put the reader in the president's shoes.
To do this, the Vanity Fair contributing editor would need inside access. So what did he propose?
We turn now to the world of books, particularly biographies. You may not know the name Arnold Rampersad, but the people whose stories he's told changed the course of American history in letters, sports and culture. He is the author of prize winning biographies of poet Langston Hughes, baseball great Jackie Robinson, scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and tennis great Arthur Ashe.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 11:15 am
Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange has a lot of responsibility. In a world that's rapidly losing its magic, she's the acting director of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, riding herd on a crowd of cranky wizards who've been reduced to doing magical odd jobs to make ends meet. But change is afoot in this charming comic adventure for younger readers: Seers throughout the land have been having powerful visions of the death of the very last dragon at the hands of a destined Dragonslayer and the return of Big Magic.
In his satirical horror novel Breed, Chase Novak has hit upon the perfect blend of terrifying real-life topics: genetic engineering and the mating habits of New York's wealthy 1 percent. The story of two rich but barren Manhattanites, the novel begins as a snarky tour of fertility treatment chic among the city's moneyed classes. But it quickly gets a lot weirder.
Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:01 am
Credit Rina Rapuano for NPR
Growing up in a household with predominantly New England and Italian cooking, I didn't have a whole lot of exposure to sorghum syrup, the molasseslike sweetener that maintains a following in the South and in some Midwest states. To be honest, I had never even heard of it or tried it until it started popping up on Washington, D.C., restaurant menus about a year ago. I've seen sorghum chili glaze on duck at one restaurant and sorghum syrup in cocktails and desserts at another. When I noticed sorghum seed incorporated into a salad, I knew sorghum was having a moment.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth."
This month, Brown shares reading recommendations related to the changing role of women, including a book about when the women of Newsweek sued their bosses, an article about a wife becoming the primary breadwinner and another about how a woman's Facebook photo reflects her sense of identity.
Thinking of going to a nice restaurant? Before you decide, you probably go online and read reviews of the place from other customers (or you listen to these actors read them to you). Online reviews of restaurants, travel deals, apps and just about anything you want to buy have become a powerful driver of consumer behavior. Unsurprisingly, they have also created a powerful incentive to cheat.
The eyes of Hollywood are focused north of the border right now on the Toronto International Film Festival. More than 300 movies from 60 countries are on offer. Many of those titles are headed to theaters and possible Oscar bids later this year. Our film critic, Bob Mondello, is in Toronto, trying to see as many of them as he can. And, Bob, apparently, I'm hearing this is your first festival in almost 20 years. Please tell me how a film critic has managed to avoid film festivals.
If you're a horror fan, you're probably familiar with the trope of the demon child — you know, the sweet little kid who undergoes a horrible transformation and terrorizes everyone in his or her path (or is just born evil, like Rosemary's titular baby).