Arts & Life

Book Reviews
6:02 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Coming Of Age Amid Upheaval In 'We Need New Names'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 4:38 pm

In 2011, NoViolet Bulawayo was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story "Hitting Budapest." In this raw, fierce tale of a gang of near-feral children on the hunt for guavas, the young writer delivered one of the most powerful works of fiction to come out of Zimbabwe in recent years — a clear-eyed indictment of a government whose policies, in the decades since independence, have left many of its citizens destitute.

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Dance
2:03 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Modern Movement: How The Ballets Russes Revolutionized Dance

Vaslav Nijinsky as the faun at the premiere of the Ballets Russes' production of Afternoon of the Faun at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in May 1912. Click here to see the full costume.
Edward Gooch Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 9:30 am

If your idea of ballet is a flurry of tutus and toeshoes, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington will expand your vision. "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes" shows the revolutionary impact a group of dancers, composers, artists and choreographers made on classical dance at the start of the 20th century.

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Monkey See
2:00 am
Thu May 30, 2013

As Trailers Eat Up Movie Time, Theaters And Studios Squabble Over Shortening Them

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 1:18 am

Here's a question: If you go to the movies and the scheduled showtime is, say, 7:30, when do you actually expect the movie to start? If you said 7:30, you go to very unusual screenings. If you said 7:45, you're closer to what many experience. If you said 7:50, you're still in range: There's often some advertising other than trailers, the limit for trailer length is 2 1/2 minutes, and theaters sometimes run seven or eight trailers. Eight would add up to 20 minutes.

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Reporter's Notebook
4:11 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Midcentury Furniture + Grandkid Nostalgia = Modern Trend

NPR's Andrea Hsu paid $75 for her midcentury modern table and chairs, shown here in a 1963 Drexel Declaration catalog. She quickly realized it was a steal.
Courtesy Drexel Heritage

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

Open a design magazine or turn on a home decorating show these days, and it's clear: Midcentury modern is hot. It first showed up in the 1950s and '60s — think low-slung sofas, egg-shaped chairs and the set of Mad Men. My first midcentury modern find was a dining set I bought on Craigslist for $75. There was something about the clean lines and gentle curves of the wooden chairs that got me.

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Books
3:30 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

How OxyContin's Pain Relief Built 'A World Of Hurt'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:40 am

Prescription painkillers are among the most widely used drugs in America. In the decade since New York Times reporter Barry Meier began investigating their use and abuse, he says he has seen the number of people dying from overdoses quadruple — an increase Meier calls "staggering."

"The current statistic is that about 16,000 people a year die of overdoses involving prescription narcotics. ... It's a huge problem. The number of people dying from these drugs is second only to the number of people that die in car accidents," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Arts & Life
3:16 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Biloxi prepares to unveil new minor league ballpark

istockphoto

The Salt
2:40 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Cooking With Cicadas: No Weirder Than Eating Cheese?

Cicada: It's what's for dinner?
Sean Bush AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

You knew this one was coming.

Earlier this month, we told you about a U.N. report that makes the case for insects to improve global food security: They're cheap, plentiful and environmentally sustainable. Now, the coming of the 17-year cicadas provides East Coast Americans, for whom bug eating is considered novel at best, with an opportunity to try local insect cuisine.

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Monkey See
1:23 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Kerfuffle Politics: The Statement Adam Levine Shouldn't Need To Make

Adam Levine made a very unnecessary statement after Tuesday night's The Voice.
Trae Patton NBC

Tuesday night on The Voice, Adam Levine — who's the lead singer of Maroon 5 when he's not judging reality television — had two of the singers on his team eliminated. To understand this, just know that each of the four judge-coaches (Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton) starts out with a team of singers they're mentoring, and as they go through the competition, the coaches get pretty attached to the folks on their team and try to help them win. If one of your singers wins, you're sort of the "winning" coach for that season.

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Movie Interviews
1:12 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

From Boos To Bravos: A Recap Of Cannes

French film Blue Is the Warmest Colour, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of a teenager named Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) who falls in love with a blue-haired art student named Emma (Lea Seydoux).
Wild Bunch

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 3:30 pm

"It was the film of the festival," critic John Powers tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about Blue Is the Warmest Color, this year's Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival. When Powers says "film of the festival" he means "it was the film that people loved the most, some hated the most, and everyone talked about the most."

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Asia
1:08 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

For China's Youth, A Life Of 'Darkness Outside The Night'

A small, child-like creature in a cone hat peers into a toy shop, happy at the sight of a snow globe, in a vignette called "Tininess" in Darkness Outside the Night, a graphic novel illustrated by Xie Peng. Find out what happens in the excerpt below.
Xie Peng and Duncan Jepson, with permission to reproduce the panels from Tabella Publishing LLP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 3:48 pm

Xie Peng, a 36-year-old Chinese graphic novelist, spent six years working on his first book, Darkness Outside the Night. It's been praised by China's first Nobel laureate for literature, Mo Yan, as inspiring people on how to deal with life.

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Arts & Life
1:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Cartoonist Lynda Barry Helps College Students Tap Innate Creativity

Angela Richardson

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:50 am

Like most of her work, cartoonist Lynda Barry's class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is unorthodox. "No artistic talent required," the course description states. The course is described as a "writing and picture-making class with focus on the basic physical structure of the brain."

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Monkey See
11:19 am
Wed May 29, 2013

CBS Debuts A Baking Competition As Broadcast Continues Borrowing From Cable

Brian Emmett competes as one of 10 amateur bakers vying for $250,000 and a Gallery Books cookbook contract on CBS's The American Baking Competition, which premieres Wednesday night.
Monty Brinton CBS

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 7:03 am

Broadcast TV has seen the writing on the walls at Food Network, Bravo and TLC: competitive food shows can build solid followings (Chopped, Top Chef) and so can shows about baking (Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars). Throw in a format popular in Britain called The Great British Bake-Off, and add the appeal of television that leads with how unpretentious and down-home it is. Soak in a deep dish of Jeff Foxworthy, and you've got CBS's new offering, The American Baking Competition, which premieres Wednesday night.

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Ask Me Another
11:04 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Board To Death

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

This game pays homage to the board game Clue, and its hilarious film adaptation, by adopting its standard phrasing for a solved murder mystery: "Professor Plum, in the billiard room, with the candlestick!" Host Ophira Eisenberg doles out Clue-style descriptions of murder plots in famous films. The only crime in this game might be spoilers—so be warned.

Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton treats us to a Beatles cover with a title that also could be the solution to a Clue murder mystery: "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds."

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Ask Me Another
11:04 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Presidential Middle Names

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

Can you guess the Simpsons character whose first name is a Presidential middle name? If you said Milhouse, named after Richard Milhous Nixon, then you're off to a great start. In this game, Jonathan Coulton spices up the names of U.S. Presidents by "expanding" their middle names to include other famous people or characters.

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Ask Me Another
11:04 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Delightful Spoonerisms, Despiteful Lunarisms

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:19 am

A "spoonerism" is a play on words in which the initial sounds of two words are reversed. In this game, puzzle guru John Chaneski asks contestants to make spoonerisms out of movie and song titles. For example, a hit song by Blondie about the telephone, that can also be used to unlock a shopping center, would be a "Call Me mall key."

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