Arts & Life

The Salt
1:27 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Dalma Cartagena teaches a class on agricultural science to elementary-school students in Orocovis, Puerto Rico. "I'm preparing them to make good decisions when it comes to the environment and healthy foods," she says.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 6:55 pm

Although it's a tropical island, perhaps surprisingly, Puerto Rico produces very little of its own food. After decades of industrialization, the U.S. territory imports more than 80 percent of what's consumed on the island. There are signs, though, the trend is changing.

Read more
Television
12:34 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Meet The Power Couple Behind 'The Good Wife'

Julianna Marguiles plays attorney Alicia Florrick in the CBS drama The Good Wife.
CBS

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 8:31 am

The CBS drama series The Good Wife explores the behind-closed-doors drama of a smart female lawyer who stands by, silently supportive, as her husband admits to scandals both political and extramarital. Robert and Michelle King, the real-life husband and wife team who created the show, say that when it came to creating the series' main character, it was a question of art imitating life.

Read more
Television
11:49 am
Wed May 6, 2015

The Allure Of Gore: 'Walking Dead' Producer On Zombies And Mean Tweets

Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.
Frank Ockenfels 3 AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 8:31 am

The AMC series The Walking Dead, about a band of survivors in a zombie apocalypse, is known for killing off characters without much warning. But while the show's sudden plot twists keep viewers engaged, they can also create explosions of fan grief and rage on social media. Much of the audience's ire has landed on Scott M. Gimple, the series' executive producer and this season's showrunner.

Read more
Monkey See
10:01 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial

Front row (from left): Chris Gethard, Nick DiPaolo, Vincent Kartheiser. Back row (from left): Henry Zebrowski, Paul Giamatti.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 12:59 pm

On the fantastic advice podcast Judge John Hodgman, one of the things Hodgman always says in getting litigants to relay their stories is that "specificity is the soul of narrative." Specificity is also the soul of parody, as we saw Tuesday night on Inside Amy Schumer.

Read more
Book Reviews
9:03 am
Wed May 6, 2015

In 'Subprimes,' Swiftian Satire Hits Close To Home

Courtesy of Harper

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 10:56 am

In his new novel, The Subprimes, Karl Taro Greenfeld charges in where most of us would fear to tread. Carol Burnett could have warned him. "It's almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington," she once said, but Greenfeld tries his darnedest. He wants to skewer a certain political mindset, and he goes at it with anger, wicked humor and verve.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:09 am
Wed May 6, 2015

After 'Life,' 'A God In Ruins' Picks Up The Epic Tale Of The Todds

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 9:38 am

The moment in Kate Atkinson's A God In Ruins when protagonist Teddy Todd lies to his granddaughter about an old photograph isn't a grand climax. It happens in passing, in half a sentence: She asks about the stain on an image of Teddy and his long-dead wife Nancy. It's actually the blood of one of his World War II air crew, who died in his arms after their plane was shot down. But Teddy claims it's tea, "not because she wouldn't have been interested but because it was a private thing."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison's talking dolls were reportedly pretty robust, but their miniature phonographs were another story.
Collection of Robin and Joan Rolfs Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 11:47 am

Back in 1890, Thomas Edison gave us some of the world's first talking dolls. Today, the glassy-eyed cherubs that are still around stand about 2 feet tall; they have wooden limbs and a metal body; and they sound supercreepy. (If you're looking for a soundtrack to your nightmares, listen to the audio story above.) Edison built and sold about 500 of them back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing them possible for the first time in decades.

Read more
Book Reviews
12:41 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

'One Of Us' Examines The Damaged Inner Terrain Of Norwegian Mass Shooter

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:08 am

Columbine; Port Arthur, Australia; The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Newtown — the list goes on and on. And, by now, the elements of this type of massacre have become ritualized: usually one, but sometimes more than one, deeply disaffected person, almost always male, who is heavily armed with guns and/or explosives, targets the innocent. In the aftermath, which sometimes includes a trial, the crucial question of "Why?" is never really answered. Instead, most of us are left to wonder how any human being, however twisted, could be capable of such horror.

Read more
The Salt
12:20 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon

Author Barry Estabrook says pigs can be taught to play computer games and recognize themselves in a mirror.
W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 4:59 pm

Journalist Barry Estabrook knows how to enjoy a juicy heritage pork chop. He'll also be the first to tell you what intelligent, sensitive creatures pigs are. "I had no idea how smart they were until I got in the research," Estabrook tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more
Book Reviews
10:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

No Easy Answers In 'The Book Of Aron'

Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf

"My mother and father named me Aron, but my father said they should have named me What Have You Done, and my uncle told everyone they should have called me What Were You Thinking." These are the first words of Jim Shepard's Holocaust-themed novel The Book of Aron, the reader's first introduction to the book's chronically depressed and likely doomed protagonist. Aron Różycki is a young boy when the story begins; by the end, after the Germans have occupied Warsaw and forced the city's Jews into a ghetto, he's older in ways that time can't measure.

Read more
Book Reviews
9:03 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'Vorrh' Takes A Dizzying Trek Into The Dark Heart of Fantasy

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 12:36 pm

Before Brian Catling's debut novel, The Vorrh, was published in his native England in 2012, he'd already racked up an impressive list of credentials — just not as a fiction writer. His poetry, sculpture, paintings and performance-art pieces have been getting international acclaim for decades.

Read more
The 'Morning Edition' Book Club
4:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Join The 'Morning Edition' Book Club As We Read 'A God In Ruins'

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson is May's Morning Edition book club selection. We'll talk with Atkinson on June 16. Read along with us, and send us your questions and comments about the book. (Book guide by Veronica Erb/NPR)
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 11:17 am

Welcome to the second session of the Morning Edition book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Read more
Fine Art
4:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

At LA Museum, A Powerful And Provocative Look At 'Islamic Art Now'

In her 2008 work Reclining Odalisque, Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi shows a woman covered in calligraphy.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 12:48 pm

Art galleries are generally quiet, hushed spaces, but at the Los Angeles County Museum a show called Islamic Art Now is sparking some heated discussions as visitors ponder the photographs, paintings and neon sculptures on display.

Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi has covered every inch of a reclining odalisque with graceful Arabic calligraphy. The woman is staring right at us, and viewers wonder: Is the writing protection? A shield? Imprisonment?

Read more
Music Interviews
1:03 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 8:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

Read more
Book News & Features
3:31 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

Ruth Rendell won countless awards for her work, including the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award and the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.
Jerry Bauer

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:02 am

Famed British crime writer Ruth Rendell died this past weekend in London. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke in January.

Best known for her long-running Inspector Wexford series — which was adapted for television — she pioneered a psychological approach to thriller writing. She also wrote darker, more contemplative books as Barbara Vine. In her later years, she was made a baroness and took up Labour Party politics.

Read more

Pages