Why do love and war go so well together in novels? It isn't only because they're both naturally dramatic themes. Sometimes, in fact, each is so big and overwhelming that they can seem beyond the grasp of words. And so a writer who tries to show the struggle of two people with deep feelings for each other, "set against a backdrop of violence" (as a novel's flap copy might read), can just seem like he's overreaching. But Dinaw Mengestu uses love and war to powerfully explore a third, equally dramatic theme: identity.
There's news today about the 2016 presidential campaign that has nothing to do with the growing list of would-be candidates with White House aspirations.
It's about the big nominating conventions the Democrats and Republicans hold every four years. Legislation the president signed Thursday afternoon means those huge political extravaganzas will no longer receive millions of dollars in taxpayer support. It's not the only change that's likely for conventions.
With the Final Four happening this weekend, there's a lot of attention on young basketball players and the high schools that produced them. Some of the best athletes emerge from schools that never win state championships because they operate outside of state athletic associations. In the basketball world they are called prep schools.
Alexandra Starr takes us to one such school, Our Savior New American on Long Island.
Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee moved a step closer to publishing parts of a report about the torture of terrorism suspects after 9/11. Lawmakers voted to send the report on to the White House and to CIA. The CIA will determine how much of the five-year-long study can be declassified. And President Obama could be called upon to referee any dispute of how much of the report sees the light of day.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block in Dallas. Late this afternoon there was a shooting at Fort Hood military base here in Texas. One person is confirmed dead and 14 injured. Fort Hood is in Killeen, Texas. It's about two and a half hours from where we are here in Dallas. And it was the scene of a shooting rampage back in 2009, in which 13 people were killed, another 30 injured.
The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed this week that they're both investigating the world of high-frequency stock trading. They did so at a time when a new book on the subject, Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, is causing an uproar on Wall Street.
To read Lewis' book is to be reminded of how drastically the stock market has changed in a decade — and how opaque it remains. Lewis says this opacity serves to cover up some disturbing developments.
In Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a writer relates the long and twisting life story of a hotel owner. It's about youthful love and lifelong obsession, and while the story is original, there's a credit at the end that reads: "Inspired by the Writings of Stefan Zweig."
Texas is full of memorable town names — Blanket, Stagecoach, Domino and Paint Rock, to list just a few. Each has at least one tale behind it, and All Things Consideredhost Melissa Block has been telling some of them as part of the series Deep In the Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas.
On a recent day at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women, inmates in jumpsuits peek out of their cells to see three men with clipboards walk into the housing unit. These men are auditors doing a practice inspection. They're here to see if the facility complies with a federal law called the Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA.