Flotsam and Jetsam: of such things are stories made. Writers use objects to give their stories weight, attachment and verisimilitude, like Gary Paulsen's The Hatchet; Jean Shepherd's Red Ryder BB Gun inspired A Christmas Story; and how about Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon?
The author, a Syrian citizen living in Damascus, is not being identified by NPR for security reasons. Many Syrians interviewed for this piece asked that their full names not be used, for their safety.
In most every Arab country where there's been an uprising in the past couple of years, Islamists have gained influence or come to power. Is the same thing destined to happen in Syria if President Bashar Assad's secular government is ousted?
Syrians may not know the answer, but they certainly are talking about it.
A woman tries to salvage items from a burnt out Sufi shrine outside the Tunisian capital, Tunis, last October. Hard-line Islamists, known as Salafists, have attacked many Sufi shrines in Tunisia recently.
Credit Fethi Belaid / AFP/Getty Images
A Sufi man sits during his visit to a shrine in Tunis. Tunisia's government has promised emergency measures to protect Sufi Muslim mausoleums, which have been targeted by radical Islamist groups.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 7:16 am
Ann Leary's latest book is The Good House.
I tend to read funny books when I'm happy and tragic books when I'm sad, but when I'm truly depressed, when I want to be fully immersed in the horrible splendor of the most desperate human suffering, I always return to Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.
On a Virginia plantation in 1852, a young house slave tends to her ailing mistress, creates exquisite paintings and plans her escape. In 2004 New York, an ambitious young lawyer works night and day on the biggest case of her promising career.
Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl, intertwines these women's narratives in a story of art and injustice.
Weekend Edition Sunday is taking a look at how technology affects personal relationships. Along with romantic and workplace connections, family dynamics are shifting.
The Jordans are a classic example of a family trying to figure out how to use technology without feeling disconnected from one another. Sue and David have five kids: two off at college and three still at home.
Sherry Turkle is a professor of the social studies of science and technology at MIT.
Credit Courtesy of Sherry Turkle
<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=171602318">Rob Cottingham and Alexandra Samuel say their relationship is stronger because they communicate so much via social media.</a>
Credit Courtesy of Rob Cottingham
<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=171602674">CEO Shayne Hughes thought his staff had become too dependent on email to communicate. So he launched an experiment: no internal email for one whole week.</a>
<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=171598750">The Jordans use an iPad to talk to their daughter, Kelly, who's at school in Pennsylvania.</a>
For Valentine's Day, maybe you'll post a photo of your loved one on Facebook, tweet out a love poem or text-message your secret crush. But as we make those virtual connections, are we missing something?
Weekend Edition Sunday is exploring a few of the places in our lives where technology can actually drive us apart and make real intimacy tough: in our romantic relationships, with our kids, even in the workplace.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-letter word that ends a familiar two-word phrase. You will be given the first word of the phrase. You provide the three-letter word that ends it. And the three letters in your answer will always be found, in some order, inside the first word. For example, given "Arctic," you would say "Air."
Teddy Wayne is also the author of the novel <em>Kapitoil</em> and<em> </em>writes the regular <a href="http://www.mcsweeneys.net/columns/teddy-waynes-unpopular-proverbs">Unpopular Proverbs</a> column for <em>McSweeney's</em>.
In Teddy Wayne's new novel, YouTube sensation Jonny Valentine has the sugar-sweet pipes of a teen heartthrob. But he also has a controlling manager-mom, a missing father, a retinue of people who work for him and a record label that's leaning on him to move the merchandise — fast.
Two feet of snow can be a major inconvenience. We feel for you, friends in the Northeast. To help you work through that serious snow surplus, we shuffled through our virtual recipe box for snow cuisine.
It's like being given lemons and making lemonade, though you definitely don't want to be doing anything with lemon-colored snow you find outside.