Arts & Life

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Person You Become.

About Kaustav Dey's TED Talk

For Kaustav Dey, fashion can embolden us to express our unique identities. He describes how the clothes we wear can give us freedom to choose how we want to look and how we want to live.

About Kaustav Dey

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Person You Become.

About Jackson Bird's TED Talk

Jackson Bird was born female, but identified as male and transitioned in his twenties. He says compassion can help us become more comfortable talking about issues that affect transgender people.

About Jackson Bird

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Person You Become.

About Taiye Selasi's TED Talk

Rather than identify with a country, writer Taiye Selasi chooses to identify with localities — local places and cities where her diverse range of experiences have helped shape her many identities.

About Taiye Selasi

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Person You Become.

About Roxane Gay's TED Talk

Roxane Gay is a writer, a Haitian-American, a bisexual, and a feminist — albeit a self-proclaimed bad one. She says her journey to identify as a feminist has evolved over time.

About Roxane Gay

Moviegoers sitting down to see Incredibles 2 are in for a tasty treat in the form of an animated short called Bao. It tells the story of an empty nester who discovers joy — and sorrow — when a steamed bun she makes comes to life.

The story is pulled from the childhood of Domee Shi, who wrote and directed the Pixar film. Shi was born in China and raised in Toronto. She started working at Pixar as an intern in 2011, and now she's the first woman to direct a Pixar short.

Inflation was brutal in the '70s, so it's no surprise that everything in SuperFly — a glossy update of Gordon Parks, Jr.'s gritty 1972 blaxploitation landmark Super [spacebar] Fly — is exponentially bigger. The original was a cinéma vérité quickie; nothing else in it was as memorable as Curtis Mayfield's funky soundtrack, or the still-photo montage documenting mid-level drug dealer's Youngblood Priest's operation over Mayfield's song "Pusherman." For all its antihero's coke-spoon-on-a-gold-chain swagger, Super Fly was a humble affair.

With Judd Apatow's 2005 phenomenon The 40-Year-Old Virgin becoming a teenager later this summer, it's entirely fitting that its theme of arrested adolescence continues to dominate studio comedies, despite the third-act assurance in every one of them that, yes, it's perhaps time to grow up and put away childish things. And yet here comes Tag, a hit-or-miss goof about middle-aged men still engaged in a playground battle royale, clinging to their lost youth like a cached beer keg at the end of the night.

In July 2009 Gabriel Buchmann, a Brazilian student researching poverty in Africa, disappeared while on the last leg of a year-long backpacking trip through the continent. Gabriel and the Mountain, a docudrama made by his friend Fellipe Barbosa, lets us know right off the bat that Gabriel's body was found by local villagers in Malawi nineteen days after he'd vanished.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In 1960, a graduate student at Yerkes Observatory named Carl Sagan had a problem: The temperature on the planet Venus was too high. For decades, scientists had thought that Venus was covered in clouds because it was a watery world, possibly teeming with life, a slightly hotter version of Earth. Venus is nearly the same size as Earth, and a bit closer to the Sun, so it seemed reasonable to think it was just a somewhat balmier version of our own world.

A Place for Us, the debut novel by author Fatima Farheen Mirza, opens with a kind of homecoming. Amar, the youngest child of an Indian American Muslim family, has returned after a three-year absence to attend his oldest sister Hadia's wedding. Layla, the young man's mother, has been looking forward to finally seeing her son, but is worried about how Amar's father, Rafiq, will react: "The only men she had left in this world to love and neither of them knew how to be with one another."

A chat room for bird lovers. A summit on genocide. A superstore where someone's abandoned a baby. These are the settings for just a few of the short stories in A.M.Homes' new collection, Days of Awe — her first in more than 15 years. "I think there's a compression to short stories, and a kind of sense that there's something already happening by the time you get there," she says. "I describe it as, the train has already left the station, and the reader comes in, say, in Chicago.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Yes, About Betty's Boob is a graphic novel about boobs, breasts, gazungas — those fascinating masses that exert such a stubborn influence over the human psyche. It's also about the toll of cancer, the weightiest topic there is. But let's look at something not-so-substantial for a minute. Let's look at line.

Brad Bird's virtuosic 2004 animated movie The Incredibles is the best superhero film that has ever been made and is likely the best superhero film that ever will be made.

This is a fact — a cold, hard one. The massive, resolute, essential truth of this fact is abiding and irresistible and immovable; it possesses its own magnetic field, its own solar day.

Filmmaker Paul Schrader grew up in a religious Christian household but he swore he'd never make a film about faith. Instead, he went on to work on the screenplays for the seminal 1970s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

"I was intoxicated by action and empathy, sex and violence," Schrader says of his early work. These themes, he felt, were "not in the transcendental tool kit."

StoryCorps

Cudjoe Kazoola Lewis was the longest-living survivor of the Clotilda. the last-recorded slave ship to land in the United States in Mobile Bay. In the 1860s, Lewis founded Africatown with a group of other Clotilda survivors – just three miles north of downtown Mobile. Many of Lewis’ descendants still live in Africatown today.

April Livingston is an artist and resident of Mobile. In 2016, she created a bust of Lewis for Africatown’s Union Missionary Baptist Church. In this StoryCorps interview, April tells her boyfriend Andrew about the time she spent on this project and how it has led to her personal growth.

*The original monument was carved by Henry Williams in 1959 and was stolen from the courtyard in front of the Union Baptist Church of Plateau outside of Mobile in 2002...


In Kerala, a tropical slice of a state that runs along India's southwestern coast, people use every part of the coconut tree. The bark is used as firewood. The leaves and husks become mats and rope. The fruit, of course, features heavily in curries, chutneys and stews. The sweet sap can be used to make palm sugar. Or, left to ferment, it can be transformed into a special, mildly alcoholic brew called toddy.

The personal is most definitely political in Rosalie Knecht's crisp, lively and subversive second novel, Who Is Vera Kelly? The author has sly, intelligent fun with the idea that the mindset necessary to live as a closeted queer woman transfers seamlessly to high-stakes espionage work; a spy and a not-yet-out lesbian are both undercover, in a sense — both are accustomed to subverting identity, using coded language, and seeking out covert action.

Editor's note: The poll is now closed! Thanks for voting.

This year's summer poll has me hiding under the bed — whether or not there's a monster there — because, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, we're celebrating horror. And I, your faithful correspondent, was scarred for life by a battered copy of Cujo I found in a summer house when I was a kid — so I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I'm making here to bring you the best of everything creepy, chilling and downright terrifying.

Outlaws. That's what they were considered when they spray-painted walls and bombed subway cars with modern-day hieroglyphics. They worked in alleys and train yards, bridges and tunnels. Now, many of them are being celebrated in a massive warehouse near Los Angeles' Chinatown.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

As a science columnist for The New York Times, Carl Zimmer had reported extensively about genetics and the role gene mutations play in various ailments. After a while, he got to wondering about what secrets his own genetic code holds.

"I wanted to know if there was anything I needed to worry about," Zimmer says. "We all think back to our relatives who got sick and then wonder, 'Is that in me?' "

The Tony Awards felt a little different this year than they have recently. It was a year without a Hamilton or a Dear Evan Hansen; there was no one original, out-of-nowhere show that came into the Tony Awards as a pop phenomenon. In fact, all four of the four nominated musicals were adaptations of existing properties: SpongeBob SquarePants, Disney's Frozen and the non-musical films Mean Girls and The Band's Visit.

"FOR OUR FANS"

That's the phrase that appears on the screen at the close of Sense8's series finale. And, man: truer words.

Updated 3:35 p.m. ET

The largest actors' union in the U.S. has reached a tentative agreement with four television networks to try to eliminate the so-called casting couch, and prevent sexual harassment and assault. SAG-AFTRA struck a new deal with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, which limits private meetings in off-site locations, including hotel rooms and private residences.

Azka Mahmood wakes up at 4 in the morning for Suhoor, the meal Muslims eat before starting their fast. From the fridge, she grabs the barley porridge that she prepared the night before, and wolfs it down with her husband, Tariq. They offer their prayers, then go back to sleep before waking again to get their children ready for school.

Remember A Chorus Line? The immensely popular 1975 musical looked at the stories of some of the people who often work completely anonymously on Broadway.

Tonight, the 2018 Tony Awards — Broadway's highest honors — will be handed out in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Lead and featured actors in plays and musicals will win prizes.

A Chorus Line was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in 1976, and won nine. But the performers in real-life choruses aren't even eligible to win.

What does it take to become an American? In 2015, This American Life told the story of a Somali refugee who was finally issued a visa to come and live in the United States. "This big smile was on my face. I've never had such a big smile," Abdi Nor Iftin said at the time.

Pages