Thu August 30, 2012
Destination Art

Hannibal, Mo.: Art Abounds In Twain's Hometown

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 5:56 am

Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, pictured circa 1955, is now a museum.
Three Lions Getty Images

Samuel Clemens, who is said to have taken his pen name Mark Twain from the cries of riverboat crewmen, found the inspiration for his classic works while growing up in the river town of Hannibal, Mo. Today, more than 125 years after the first pressing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there's a new set of artistic characters in Twain's boyhood home.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Author Interviews

A Linguist's Serious Take On 'The A-Word'

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:04 pm

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg says he wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.
Nicole Katano

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.

"I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics — they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,' " Nunberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Author Interviews

Victor LaValle On Mental Illness, Monsters And Survival

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 1:58 pm

Victor LaValle is also the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, The Ecstatic and Big Machine.
E. Robateu Random House

In Victor LaValle's new novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night.

The plausibility of a monster roaming the hospital's halls made sense, says LaValle, who has a personal connection to the mentally ill.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Monkey See

Entirely Real Photos: Model Or Headless Disney Mascot?

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:49 pm

A model walks down the runway during the Maria Sofia Bahlner S/S 2013 Fashion Show from the Swedish School of Textiles during the Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

This is a model walking during a Maria Sofia Bahlner fashion show from what I am told is the "Swedish School Of Textiles," during Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.

This is undoubtedly an example of avant-garde design, fashion as art, exploration of textile possibilities ... I have no doubt, it is artistically driven.

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Wed August 29, 2012
The Picture Show

Portraits Of Holocaust Survivors

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:00 pm

Pan Kodicek at his apartment, Kolin, Czech Republic, July 2012
Dennis Darling

At age 108, Alice Herz-Sommer is the oldest known living Holocaust survivor. Today she lives in London, but she was born in Prague in 1903 to a musical Jewish family.

Herz-Sommer was already an accomplished pianist by the time she was deported to Terezin, the concentration camp, in her early 20s.

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Wed August 29, 2012

Brooklyn Mack, From Ball Player To Ballet Star

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:03 pm



I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as we've kicked off our coverage of the Republican National Convention this week, we've asked a number of our guests what a successful country looks like to them. I'll explain why I'm asking that in my Can I Just Tell You essay. And that's coming up in a few minutes.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Monkey See

The Eternal Leonard Maltin: The Movie Guide That Gives And Gives

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:00 pm

Seen here in 2010, film critic Leonard Maltin has been dishing out his reviews in capsule form since 1969.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for AFI

When I was a kid, I awaited the annual publication of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide with the awe and dread of a Parent/Teacher interview. Sure, film criticism is a subjective thing, but to my young eyes, the 16,000+ capsule reviews in Maltin's yearly reference book carried the weight of absolute truth. Each year, with the austerity of a poet and the precision of a diamond-cutter, Maltin and his army of cowriters pass swift, one-to-ten-paragraph judgment on hundreds of new films, and a small part of me will always believe the Guide is blessed with objectivity.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Kitchen Window

Zucchini You Actually Can't Resist

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 11:56 am

T. Susan Chang for NPR

"Ugh," my sister exclaimed one evening as we were making dinner. It was supposed to be an easy poached chicken with a ginger-scallion sauce, eaten with cold cucumber wedges, and we had just discovered that what we had bought at the store was not cucumber, but zucchini. It was an easy mistake to make — they were the precise same shade of green. But where the zucchini's skin was mostly smooth, the cucumber's was lumpy. We were not happy.

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Wed August 29, 2012
Book Reviews

Martin Amis' 'State of England': Anomie In The U.K.

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Too much is made of literature's ennobling qualities. There are those of us who come to books for the debasement and danger, for Hannibal and Humbert. For Faulkner's Popeye and Hedda Gabler. We want to meet the monsters.

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Wed August 29, 2012
First Reads

Exclusive First Read: Zadie Smith's 'NW'

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:26 pm

Zadie Smith is the author of White Teeth and On Beauty, among other books." href="/post/exclusive-first-read-zadie-smiths-nw" class="noexit lightbox">
Zadie Smith is the author of White Teeth and On Beauty, among other books.
Dominique Nabokob
  • Listen to this selection from 'NW'

The title of Zadie Smith's newest novel might be enigmatic for Americans. NW is short for northwest London — an area of particular racial and class diversity. It's the birthplace of the novel's two main characters, Leah Hanwell and Keisha Blake.

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