Arts

3:56pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Kitchen Window

Chocolate: Out Of The Box, Into The Frying Pan

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:02 pm

Peter Ogburn for NPR

Chocolate is like sex or pizza: Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. There are those who prefer light, refreshing desserts after a big meal, but I think those people are crazy. I always gravitate to the most decadent dessert on the menu, which is usually laden with chocolate. And while I love the stuff, there is nothing sadder than giving or receiving a box of boring chocolates on Valentine's Day. Each year, men and women shamefully duck into grocery stores and pharmacies to grab a box of assorted chocolates. Because nothing says "I love you" quite like chocolate from a gas station.

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12:54pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Theater

Rebecca Luker Has 'Got Love' For Jerome Kern

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:39 pm

Soprano Rebecca Luker made her Broadway debut as an understudy to Sarah Brightman in Phantom of the Opera in 1988.
Leslie Van Stelten Derek Bishop

For her latest album, Broadway soprano Rebecca Luker brings her live show — featuring songs by legendary theater composer Jerome Kern, recorded at the Manhattan club 54 Below — to the recording studio. The album, I Got Love: Songs of Jerome Kern, features 14 tracks and classics ranging from "Bill/Can't Help Loving That Man" to "My Husband's First Wife."

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12:17pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Movie Interviews

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:39 pm

Jackie, Lynn and Sue — pictured here at age 7 — are three of the children featured in the landmark 1964 documentary 7 Up. The series returns this year with 56 Up, checking in with a group of 14 men and women whose lives have been documented since they were kids.
First Run Features

Every seven years since 1964, in what's known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.

The original idea behind the series was to examine the realities of the British class system at a time when the culture was experiencing extraordinary upheaval.

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10:28am

Tue February 5, 2013
Monkey See

Even Balzac Had To Intern

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:01 pm

Before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon, the young Honoré de Balzac was proofreading legal filings.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

A young man graduates from college. At his father's insistence, he begins interning at a law firm. But when it comes time to pursue the profession, he refuses: He wants to do something more meaningful. He wants to write.

Sound like your son/cousin/roommate/best friend? It was Honoré de Balzac.

That's right – before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon ("Do not suppose," an Italian count wrote to his wife, "that the ugliness of his face will protect you from his irresistible power"), the young Balzac was proofreading legal filings.

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7:54am

Tue February 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Mary Ingalls May Not Have Gone Blind From Scarlet Fever

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:30 pm

Mary Ingalls, the sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder, went blind from illness at age 14.
Wikimedia

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

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7:03am

Tue February 5, 2013
Book Reviews

Writing Well Is The Wronged Wife's Revenge In 'See Now Then'

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:42 am

Jamaica Kincaid, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, lives in Vermont.
Kenneth Noland Farrar, Straus and Giroux

On one level, See Now Then, Jamaica Kincaid's first novel in a decade, is a lyrical, interior meditation on time and memory by a devoted but no longer cherished wife and mother going about the daily business of taking care of her home and family in a small New England town. But it is also one of the most damning retaliations by a jilted wife since Nora Ephron's Heartburn. See Now Then reads as if Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf had collaborated on a heartbroken housewife's lament that reveals an impossible familiarity with Heartburn and Evan S.

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7:03am

Tue February 5, 2013
New In Paperback

Feb. 4-10: Werewolves, Nano-Horror And Apartheid's Aftermath

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 9:10 am

iStockphoto.com

Fiction and nonfiction softcover releases from Nadine Gordimer, Michael Crichton and Richard Preston, Anne Rice, Paul Krugman and Charles Murray.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:20am

Tue February 5, 2013
Books News & Features

Woody Guthrie's 'House Of Earth' Calls 'This Land' Home

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:51 pm

The cover of House of Earth is an oil painting that Guthrie made in 1936 called In El Rancho Grande.
Courtesy HarperCollins

Woody Guthrie wrote thousands of songs in his lifetime — but as far as anyone knows, he only wrote one novel. Recently discovered, House of Earth is the story of a young couple living in the Texas Panhandle in the 1930s. They dream of building a house that will withstand the bitter winds and ever-present dust that constantly threaten the flimsy wooden shack they call home.

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7:58pm

Mon February 4, 2013
World

In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre's Bolshoi Ballet, was nearly blinded by an attacker on Jan. 17.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting.

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1:19pm

Mon February 4, 2013
Author Interviews

A Barbados Family Tree With 'Sugar In The Blood'

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 1:44 pm

SPrada iStockphoto.com

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

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