Arts & Life

It's been almost a year since since James Comey first learned that President Trump had fired him. The former FBI director was in Los Angeles visiting the field office for a diversity event when a ticker announcing his ouster scrolled across the bottom of a TV screen.

"I thought it was a scam," Comey says. "I went back to talking to the people who were gathered in front of me."

In a year that hasn't exactly been full of joyful tidings, Julian Barnes' latest novel struck me as one of the saddest books I've read in some time. Beautifully done, but heartrending. It isn't about belligerent politicians, refugees fleeing for their lives, or schoolchildren being gunned down, but it's a tragedy nonetheless — albeit on a much smaller scale. The Only Story concerns the pained recollections of an aging Englishman's life-changing only love.

Rufus Hale was just 11 years old when artist David Hockney painted his portrait. Rufus' mother was making a movie about the prolific, octogenarian artist, and brought her son with her to work one day. He was sketching in the corner of the studio when Hockney asked, "Why don't I paint you?"

Now Rufus' portrait is among 82 currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in an exhibit titled "82 Portraits and 1 Still-life."

Nearly a year after President Trump fired James Comey, the former FBI director is out with a new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, And Leadership. Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep and NPR Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson talked to Comey about his book, his role in shaping the outcome of the 2016 election and where the FBI's credibility stands. Here's the full transcript of their conversation.

When it's closing time at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, co-owner Michael Gustafson runs through a checklist that, for the most part, is pretty routine. First, make sure all the customers have gone, lock the doors and take out the garbage and the recycling. Shelve any stray books, adjust the tables, turn off the music.

Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET

Out of more than 2,400 submissions, distinguished projects in just 21 categories earned gold Monday as winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes.

Billy Mitchell has broken his silence.

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:

Call them the Mighty Marvel Movie MacGuffins. They're the glittery objects that drove the plots of several individual Marvel movies and that collectively shaped the direction the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe has been heading (almost) since its inception.

They are the Infinity Stones — immensely powerful gems that contain and channel elemental forces of the universe. They're what the villains crave and what the heroes protect. They can be used to destroy or create.

Mmmmmostly that first thing.

Can Poetry Be Translated?

Apr 15, 2018

Is it possible to translate poetry from one language into another without losing meaning?

To paraphrase Robert Frost — not really. "Poetry is what gets lost in translation," the American poet is often quoted as saying. In other words, the meaning the reader extracts from a poem can never be a replica of the writer's intent.

Then again, I'm just translating.

But poet and award-winning literary translator Aaron Coleman tells NPR's Michel Martin that the impossibility of translation shouldn't stop us from appreciating the art of the verse.

With the Syrian conflict now in its eighth year, many of the millions of Syrians living as refugees in Turkey have long since realized they're unlikely to make it home anytime soon. But a group of women is refusing to sit at home and wait for peace. Instead, these women are turning their knowledge of Syrian cooking into a business.

The "Women's Solidarity Kitchen," is a former Istanbul textile factory converted into a commercial kitchen. A knot of Syrian children plays in one corner, separated from the cooking area by a small fence.

The new Netflix movie Come Sunday stars the English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as an American leader of an evangelical megachurch who experiences a theological crisis — one that costs him his ministry.

In an interview, he said that his approach to adapting the real-life tale of Bishop Carlton Pearson came from "this idea of how one organizes one's thoughts in terms of a belief structure."

About 15 years ago, Carlton Pearson had what you might call a revelation.

It occurred to him that ideas that had informed his entire adult life — about heaven and hell, and what it takes to avoid one and enter the other — were just not true. What was a big deal for his personal faith became a much bigger one in his professional life, because Carlton Pearson presided over one of the country's biggest Pentecostal congregations in Tulsa, Okla., and his rejection of that theology for what he calls the "gospel of inclusion" would cost him just about everything he had.

Nawaf Ashur Haskan says his brother always knew which family in their northern Iraqi village was making tashrib for the Yazidi New Year. He would arrive at that house at 11:30 a.m. knowing he would be urged to stay for lunch. Tashrib, a dish of long-simmered lamb, chickpeas and spices poured over flatbread, is served at holidays, weddings and funerals. Nawaf says it's also a great hangover cure.

Tattoos are no longer taboo. According to a Harris poll, about half of American Millennials say they have at least one, and so do a third of Gen Xers. Once you have one, data show, you'll get more.

First Aid for Pets

Apr 14, 2018
theopie [Flickr]

Knowing what to do for a pet in an emergency can make  a big difference.  For example, applying a splint may seem easy, but done incorrectly, it could do more harm than good.  Learn the basics for pet first aid so you can help your four-legged friend in need.

***************************

Laurie Metcalf is currently co-starring in the Broadway production of Edward Albee's Three Tall Women ... so we've invited her to play a game called "Three Short Men" — questions about Tom Cruise, Charlie Chaplin and a guy named Pete Conrad.

Metcalf also appears in the ABC sitcom Roseanne and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Lady Bird.

Click the audio link above to see how she does.

Is it spring yet? While we're impatiently waiting for warmer weather and sunnier skies, here are three romances that will provide a delightful way to pass the time inside.

In April 2016, former President Barack Obama singled out the "worst mistake" of his presidency: his administration's lack of planning for the aftermath of the 2011 military intervention in Libya.

When Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled, author Frederic Wehrey says, the country was initially seized by euphoria.

The White House sought to discredit James Comey ahead of the release of his memoir next week, lashing out at the former FBI director in deeply personal terms on Friday.

Calling Comey a "disgraced partisan hack," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that the American people would be able to see through the "lies" in Comey's book, which offers a scathing assessment of President Trump.

"This is nothing more than a poorly executed PR stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation," Sanders said at a briefing.

Imagine what it would be like to grow up in a library. For much of the 20th century, public libraries built by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie included apartments for the families of custodians — people like Sharon Washington's dad. Back in the 1960s, she and her family lived above the St. Agnes branch of the New York Public Library, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

It was well beyond fashionably late to begin. But models finally took to the runway on Thursday in Saudi Arabia's first-ever Arab Fashion Week.

The event is one of the new entertainment opportunities opening up recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

The fashion show hit significant delays, with logistical problems forcing it to open two weeks later than planned. Designers and models had trouble getting travel visas, and the organizers had to change venues to tents on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

SAG-AFTRA is calling for an end to auditions in private hotel rooms or residences, after a spate of sexual harassment allegations against powerful Hollywood figures.

"We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting," the union's president, Gabrielle Carteris, said in a statement.

StoryCorps

In 2008, Andrea Mills lost her sister Brooke to cancer. Brooke cut off contact with her family because of differing beliefs, but she and Andrea reunited once she became ill.Andrea sits down with StoryCorps facilitator Vera Carothers to discuss her sisters last days and how those last days have impacted her life...    

  

On a Fall day more than 8 years ago, physicist Marcelo Gleiser and I sat in a coffee shop in Dartmouth and dreamed a little dream.

What if there were a place in the popular media where scientists could talk about science and culture in the broadest terms?

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine: Muse Clues

Apr 13, 2018

Born to Ugandan immigrants and raised in an academically-minded household, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine stunned his parents when he told them he wanted to pursue acting. "I really took years off their lives when they heard that," he told host Ophira Eisenberg. "It was a shock to the system."

Which Came First?

Apr 13, 2018

MTV or PBS? Mickey Mouse or Mickey Mantle? Captain Kangaroo or Cap'n Crunch? With victory on the line, contestants must determine which came first. It's a question as old as chickens. Or eggs.

Heard on Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine: Muse Clues

Not What I Nintended

Apr 13, 2018

Blockbuster movies always get video game tie-ins, but sensitive art house films deserve cash-grab spinoffs too. We imagine what would happen if some unlikely movies were adapted into video games. See if you can identify the original movie, and, for a bonus point, program a fully-playable version for our office.

Heard on Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine: Muse Clues

Pages