Arts & Life

Book Reviews
9:03 am
Wed February 25, 2015

'Darker Shade' Paints A Fantasy World Rich In Depth And Color

One of the most compelling things about V.E. Schwab's second adult novel, A Darker Shade Of Magic, is how long it takes to develop a plot. Once the main arc finally slips fully out of the shadows, it turns out to be fairly standard for a fantasy novel: Evil scheming magicians, cursed and forbidden item, dark magic ready to consume everything it touches.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed February 25, 2015

The 1970s, Warts (And More Warts) In 'Inner City Romance'

Courtesy of Fantagraphics

Leave it to good ol' Hunter S. Thompson to be one of the first people to put his finger on the swan-songy feeling that would dominate the 1970s. As usual, his language defied the malaise he described: "We are all wired into a survival trip now," he wrote in 1971's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "A generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody — or at least some force — is tending that Light at the end of the tunnel."

Read more
Arts & Life
5:24 am
Wed February 25, 2015

School Delays for Friday

The Alabama Public Radio newsroom has compiled this list of school closures. Again, for the most up-to-date information, call the front office of your child's school, or check their website. Pat D.

Alabama A&M University - Open at 10 am

Albertville City Schools - Closed.

Athens City Schools - 3 hour delay

Boaz City Schools - Closed.

Calhoun Community College - All campuses closed.

Cherokee County Schools - Closed.

Colbert County Schools - 2 hour delay

Cullman City Schools - 3 hour delay

Cullman County Schools - Closed.

Read more
Monkey See
10:03 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

'Parks And Recreation' Sets Off Into The Future

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:49 am

After seven seasons, NBC's gently acerbic, lovingly rendered Parks and Recreation ended its run Tuesday night with an extension of the final season's voyage to 2017. In further flashes to a few years or even decades later, we learned about April and Andy's kids, Garry's future as a beloved eternal mayor with an ageless wife, Tom's many hustles to come, Donna's educational foundation, the park Ron will run, Leslie's brilliant career and the true partnership of equals that is her marriage to Ben.

Read more
Arts & Life
5:52 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Tuscaloosa and its Gay Community celebrate Mardi Gras

"King Neptune" at Tuscaloosa's Bal Masque
APR

Mardi Gras is here. The festival along the gulf coast is a time for parades and costumes and party goers catching plastic beads and doubloons. This year’s celebration in Alabama follows a Valentine’s Day like no other. Same sex couples got married and that includes two in Tuscaloosa. This follows a federal court hearing in Mobile that resulted in an order that prompted county probate judges to start issuing marriage licenses. This change, combined with Mardi Gras, is giving Tuscaloosa’s gay community a unique chance to interact with their neighbors in conservative Alabama.

Read more
Television
3:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Amid Declining Ratings, Cable Networks Speed Up Reruns To Make Room For Ads

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
1:41 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Fair Warning: Watch One 'Foyle's War' Episode, And You'll Want To Watch Them All

Michael Kitchen stars as Foyle, a widowed police superintendent in the coastal city of Hastings in England. His sidekick is his driver, Samantha Stewart, a vicar's daughter played by Honeysuckle Weeks.
Acorn TV/ITV

The satisfying thing about TV crime shows is that they offer a sense of closure. The unsatisfying thing is how much of life they must leave out to do it. Like, history. Whether you're talking CSI or Sherlock, crime shows tend to take place in a weirdly hermetic universe where the characters may change — like in True Detective — yet the historical moment in which they live remains largely irrelevant background.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:36 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

After His Brother's Suicide, Writer Seeks Comfort In 'All The Wrong Places'

Philip Connors' first book Fire Season was about how he spent a few months every year for eight years as a fire lookout, living in a cabin and scanning the horizon with binoculars atop a 45-foot tower in a remote region of New Mexico.
Mark Ehling Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:35 pm

When writer Philip Connors was in his 20s, he received a call from his mother that later haunted him: "You know, I spoke to your brother and he's been having trouble with his girlfriend — he sounded really down ... you should really call him."

"And when I hung up the phone, I thought to myself: 'Yeah, yeah, kid brother and his silly troubles with women, I'll get around to calling him. I'll call him in a few days, or maybe next week,' " Connors tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue February 24, 2015

'Lucky Alan' Thumbs Its Nose At Convention

A handful of purist holdouts aside, most readers these days realize that "genre fiction" and "literary fiction" aren't mutually exclusive. That's not to say that every paperback on the supermarket shelf is high art, but the list of respected literary genre writers — Poe, Verne, Chandler, Le Guin, to name just a few — is a long one, and it's growing every year.

Read more
Fine Art
2:47 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Daughters Back An Artful End To The Rivera-Rockefeller Rivalry Story

Diego Rivera, seen here in 1933, works on a panel of his mural in the lobby of Rockefeller Center.
AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:48 am

It's been called one of the great rivalries of the art world — a clash between egos, riches and ideologies. In the spring of 1932, capitalist (and prolific collector of Mexican art) Nelson Rockefeller hired Mexican painter and staunch socialist Diego Rivera to paint a mural for the lobby of the newly erected Rockefeller Center in New York City. Sketches were drawn and approved, but when reporters leaked that Rivera had added an image of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, a battle began.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:43 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Family Secrets — And Mango Chutney — In 'Don't Let Him Know'

Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:56 pm

If you're a longtime Morning Edition listener, you've probably heard commentator Sandip Roy. For years he told stories about his life as an Indian immigrant in California, about trying to celebrate Indian holidays far from home, or the embarrassment of not doing yoga. Then he reported for us on Indian-Americans who were moving back to India — and a few months later, he did it himself.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:29 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

'After Birth' Author On 'Mommy Wars': 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'

After Birth by Elisa Albert
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 5:40 pm

Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

Read more
Book Reviews
2:09 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Victorian Romance Meets 'House Of Cards' In 'Mr. And Mrs. Disraeli'

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:11 pm

A climb "to the top of a greasy pole" are the immortal words coined by 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli to describe his rise to political power. Disraeli was two-time prime minister under Queen Victoria, as well as a novelist and famous wit whose way with a catchy phrase was rivaled in the 19th century only by his younger admirer, Oscar Wilde. But when he entered politics in the 1830s, Disraeli was burdened by debt and, even more seriously, by his Jewish parentage.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:09 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Prisoners Of War And Ojibwe Reservation Make Unlikely Neighbors In 'Prudence'

David Treuer is the author of three previous novels and two books of nonfiction, including Rez Life. He also teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California
Jean Luc Bertinin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

David Treuer's latest novel Prudence follows a young man who returns home to visit his family on an Ojibwe reservation before he joins the war as a bombardier. It's the 1940s and a prison camp for Germans captured during World War II has been set up across the river.

Treuer bases the camp on a real-life one that existed near the village of Bena, Minn., on the Leech Lake Reservation where he grew up. The camp was on the shores of Lake Winnibigoshish — the German prisoners used to cut down trees to make roads.

Read more
Michel Martin, Going There
8:48 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Becoming American: Immigrants Tweet Their Stories

Writer Edwidge Danticat at around 10 years-old with her brother Bob and cousin Nick in Haiti. She joined her parents in the U.S. a couple of years later. She describes it as a tough landing.
Edwidge Danticat

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 3:51 pm

Immigration is a subject of intense political debate but it is also the subject of great art. For centuries, American writers and performers of all backgrounds have grappled with what it means to cross land and water — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — to take up life in a new world.

On Feb. 24, I will be joined in Miami by some of the country's most exciting young writers and performers who have also made such journeys and who have taken up the vital task of telling us what it means.

Read more

Pages