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5:16 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

'Little House,' Big Demand: Never Underestimate Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder entertained generations of children with her Little House series, which was loosely based on her family's pioneering life. Her memoir, Pioneer Girl, was published in 2014.
South Dakota State Historical Society

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 7:35 am

In 2014, the South Dakota State Historical Society published the annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books. Her memoir, titled Pioneer Girl, sold like hotcakes. The initial print run of 15,000 was snapped up in just a few weeks. So was an additional run of 15,000 more copies. Now, the historical society is waiting on a third run of 45,000 books β€” enough to fill current demand and have some leftovers.

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Parallels
3:34 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

After Father's Death, A Writer Learns How 'The Japanese Say Goodbye'

Marie Mutsuki Mockett says the Japanese tradition of Tōrō nagashi β€” lighting floating paper lanterns in honor of loved ones β€” reminded her that she was not alone in her grief.
Alberto Carrasco Casado Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 5:30 pm

Several years ago, when her father died unexpectedly, writer Marie Mutsuki Mockett became unmoored. Lost in a deep depression, Mockett turned to Japan's rituals of mourning for a way forward.

Mockett's mother's family owns and runs a temple just 25 miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The plant melted down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Mockett begged her cousin, the temple's priest, to leave, but he refused β€” he said he needed to stay to care for the souls of the ancestors.

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Movies
2:39 am
Tue January 27, 2015

'Stronger Than Ever' Sundance Docs Tackle Scientology, Campus Rape

Alex Gibney's Going Clear is based on a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright.
Sam Painter Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 10:27 am

Over in Park City, Utah, the Sundance Film Festival is in full swing. Critic Kenneth Turan tells NPR's Renee Montagne about some of the festival's must-see films, including documentaries about Scientology, rape on college campuses and Nina Simone, and a romantic drama based on a novel by Colm TΓ³ibΓ­n.


Interview Highlights

On the festival's stand-out documentaries

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Code Switch
4:46 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Black Doll Show Inspires With Wakandan Heroes And Jazz Superstars

For the past 34 years, the William Grant Still Arts Center has held a Black Doll Show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country.
Priska Neely NPR

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 5:38 pm

At The William Grant Still Arts Center in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, jazz superstars and comic book superheroes are gathered together β€” in miniature, as part of the Black Doll Show.

For the past 34 years, the center has held a doll show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country. This year's theme is A League Supreme: Jazz Superheroes.

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My Big Break
4:24 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

After moving back home, Tom Toro didn't know what to do with his life. But a stack of magazines at a used book sale gave him an idea. "There they were," Toro says. "Cartoons in among the articles."
Courtesy of Tom Toro

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:43 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Tom Toro didn't always dream of becoming a cartoonist at The New Yorker. Sure, he drew cartoons in college, but he didn't see that as a career path. Instead, he went to film school at NYU.

Then he came to the sudden realization that he was in the wrong field β€” and he had no idea what he was going to do.

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Author Interviews
4:24 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

In 'Fatherland,' A Daughter Outlines Her Dad's Radicalization

Courtesy of Liveright Publishing

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:12 am

How's this for a sweet post-World War II love story?

A man, far from his home country, places a personal ad in a newspaper back home for a pen pal. A pretty girl starts writing back. They fall in love. She moves overseas to be with him. They have three beautiful children and a charming house in Canada.

Then she finds out he's part of a Serbian nationalist terrorist organization preparing to bomb targets around North America.

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Movie Interviews
7:00 am
Sun January 25, 2015

At Its Core, Warped Family Drama 'Mommy' Is 'A Story Of Love'

Antoine-Olivier Pilon plays 15-year-old Steve in Xavier Dolan's Mommy.
Shayne Laverdière Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 8:59 am

French-Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan's new film, Mommy, won the Jury Prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival β€” an achievement for any director, let alone one who's just 25 years old.

The "mommy" in the movie is the fast-talking, hard-drinking widow Diane, or "Die" for short. She's trying to get back on her feet when her teenage son, Steve, is kicked out of yet another psychiatric institution. He moves back home, leaving both Die and the audience on edge, waiting for his next uncontrollable β€” and usually violent β€” emotional eruption.

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Poetry
5:29 am
Sun January 25, 2015

In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain'

Atria Books

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 8:56 am

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Research News
5:14 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Study Says Creativity Can Flow From Political Correctness

As the U.S. workforce continues to become more diverse, researchers are now more than ever examining diversity and bias in the work place.
iStockphoto

There is a common belief that requiring the use of "politically correct" language in the workplace stifles creativity.

Michelle Duguid, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, tells NPR's Arun Rath that, intuitively, that assumption makes sense.

"People should be able to freely think, throw any crazy ideas, and any constraint would actually dampen creativity," Duguid says.

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Code Switch
4:20 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Between The Laughs, South African Comedian Hopes To Educate

Comedian Trevor Noah was born in South Africa during apartheid β€” "born a crime," as he says.
Byron Keulemans

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 6:15 pm

On Thursday, South African comedian Trevor Noah made his second appearance as a senior international correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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Author Interviews
4:02 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was a Republican presidential hopeful in the 2008 election. He writes that he wants his book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy to introduce Americans to life in "flyover country."
Justin Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 9:41 pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is currently considering jumping into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But if you're looking for a clear sign of his intentions, you won't find it in his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.

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Author Interviews
7:44 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 11:15 am

In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."

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Author Interviews
6:59 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

Esther Freud is the author of Hideous Kinky, The Sea House, and other novels.
Courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 10:49 am

Thomas Maggs is a lonely little boy. When Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac And Me opens, he is 13 years old. His brothers have died, his father, who runs a bar, drinks too much of his own stock and beats his son. Thomas dreams of sailing away – and then World War I descends on his small English sea coast town. Tours stop coming, blackout curtains go up, village boys enlist and go off to war.

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Author Interviews
3:35 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Frank Sinatra captured by photographer William "PoPsie" Randolph during a 1943 concert. Author Ben Yagoda points to Sinatra as one of the interpreters who helped revive the Great American Songbook.
William "PoPsie" Randolph Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 8:00 am

Writer Ben Yagoda has set out to explain a shift in American popular culture, one that happened in the early 1950s. Before then, songwriters like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern wrote popular songs that achieved a notable artistry, both in lyrics and music.

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Movie Interviews
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

'Red Army' Explores How The Cold War Played Out On Ice

The documentary Red Army profiles Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov β€” one of the most decorated athletes in Soviet history.
Slava Fetisov Slava Fetisov/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 9:14 am

When the U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Soviet Union in 1980's "Miracle on Ice," President Jimmy Carter called coach Herb Brooks to congratulate him on the win.

"Tell the whole team that we're extremely proud of them," Carter said. "I think it just proves that our way of life is the proper way to continue on."

The other way of life, the Soviet way β€” which produced some of the best hockey players in the world β€” only went on for another decade or so.

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