Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:53 am
By Colin Dwyer
Listen. It's a command that Maud Casey's quick to utter, and it's one she repeats often in her new novel. With good reason: If you're listening closely enough, you might just hear her pull off a feat as graceful as it is clever. Out of the clanging of church bells, the ticking of watches, the snatches of overheard phrases, even the two clashing voices at the heart of her book — out of this hectic mess of sounds, she manages to create a delicate harmony.
Sometimes there just isn't enough time to get it all done. Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte has certainly felt that way. "I was working all the time and yet never very good at what I was doing," she tells NPR's David Greene. " ... I felt all this pressure that I was a working mom and so I was always so guilty, and I didn't want to ruin their childhood. So I was up at 2 in the morning to bake cupcakes for the Valentine's party."
Spring 1958, the poet Edward Estlin Cummings, or E.E. Cummings as most of us know him, was a passenger in writer John Cheever's car. Cummings had just spoken at the school of Cheever's teenage daughter and she was sitting in the back seat. Well, that day kicked off a fascination that led to Susan Cheever's recent biography "E.E. Cummings: A Life." Alan Cheuse reviews the book and shares the origins of his own fascination with Cummings.
Rebecca Weld of Potsdam, N.Y., makes her living as an architect. But during her free time, she's hunched over the kitchen counter, like an alchemist, dripping food coloring drop by drop into icing to achieve the perfect color.
"I use rich colors for that dated, antique feel," Weld says.
Antique? Perhaps. But certainly not old school. Weld's cookie designs are astonishingly intricate — including a scene from an Adirondacks lake that looks like you could dive right into it.
Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:08 pm
Portable Eggs Benedict is a real blow to the already-suffering fork industry.
Making foods portable has long been a focus of food engineers. Gogurt did it for Yogurt, the McLeash made it easier to drag all your favorite McDonald's foods along with you. And now, by turning the open-faced sandwich closed and upping the viscosity of its Hollandaise, Dunkin' Donuts has brought portability to Eggs Benedict.
Miles: The full name is Eggs Benedict Arnold, because this sandwich is a traitor to everything breakfast should stand for.
Let's say you meet a Rockefeller — Clark Rockefeller — and suddenly you have this connection to a world of wealth and privilege. Or so you think, because one day you find out he's an imposter. And not just an imposter — a murderer.
That's what happened to Walter Kirn, and Kirn's a smart guy — he's a journalist and the author of two novels that have been adapted into films, Up In The Air and Thumbsucker. How he was deceived, and what the consequences were, is the subject of Kirn's new memoir, Blood Will Out.
Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:41 pm
The icy winter is just what's needed for tasty ice cider.
Credit Herb Swanson / for NPR
If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold. It's enough to drive you to drink.
Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus. Ice cider was invented in Quebec in the 1990s.
This time of year, it's fermenting on the other side of the border as well, as a few snowy states try to tap into the locavore market and turn perishables into profits.
Martin Luther King Jr., shown here with Stokely Carmichael during a voter registration march in Mississippi in 1966, regarded the younger Carmichael as one of the civil rights movement's most promising leaders.
Before he became famous — and infamous — for calling on black power for black people, Stokely Carmichael was better known as a rising young community organizer in the civil rights movement. The tall, handsome philosophy major from Howard University spent summers in the South, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC, to get African-Americans in Alabama and Mississippi registered to vote in the face of tremendous, often violent resistance from segregationists.