Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:51 am
Tom Barnes is a 70-year-old retired grain farmer born in Ohio. He's the son of a school teacher turned farmer, and now himself the father of four, grandpa of eight.
It's clear that he adores his daughter, Becky Barnes, 30, and takes pride in describing how she's taken a piece of the big family farm south of Columbus and turned it into an organic vegetable operation by dint of hard work and sheer determination.
"It's an amazing project out there," he says. What he says distresses him, however, are her political leanings.
Ben Affleck's new thriller, Argo, chronicles a secret CIA rescue mission — a mission that remained classified for years. When details finally came to light, the operation sounded like something only Hollywood could come up with. As we find out, there's a reason for that.
It's 1979, and the Iranian public's hatred for their U.S.-backed shah erupts when he leaves the country. A crowd grows around the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — they're climbing the gates and taking dozens of Americans hostage.
The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.
The words of the English poet William Blake still resonate 185 years after his death. Blake, who was also a painter and printmaker, wrote the famous lines, "Tyger! Tyger! burning bright / In the forests of the night."
Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
Credit ISPR / EPA/Landov
Malala Yousafzai, 15, and her father ignored Taliban threats for years and spoke out in favor of education for girls. Malala, shown here in March 2012, was shot in the head on Tuesday and is in critical condition at a military hospital.
Credit T. Mughal / EPA/Landov
Supporters of the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf pay tribute to Malala in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:00 pm
A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.
A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart. It's been a while since her last book, the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter, which is certainly the sharpest and most emotionally complex account of growing up adopted that I've ever read.
Emma Thompson isn't just an Oscar-winning actress; she's also an Oscar-winning writer. Thompson authored the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and now she's taken on another period project — reviving the classic children's book character Peter Rabbit.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:38 pm
(In this third and final part of a series, pianist Jonathan Biss explores the idea of musical longing in Robert Schumann's music. Click the audio link above to hear Biss play Schumann and discuss the composer with Performance Todayhost Fred Child.)
Chinese writer Mo Yan is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature. Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak" — a name he adopted because his parents, who raised him during the Cultural Revolution, warned him to hold his tongue.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:42 am
Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the award, praised Mo's "hallucinatory realism," saying it "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.
Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary, said the academy contacted Mo, 57, before the announcement. "He said he was overjoyed and scared," Englund said.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:40 am
Unsuspecting motorists got either a shiver or a laugh yesterday morning in Portland, Maine as they drove by a construction site whose warning sign had been hacked: instead of the typical caution, they were told 'Warning Zombies Ahead!'
Portland authorities are not amused.
"These (signs) are deployed and used as a safety precaution. They're not a toy," Portland spokeswoman Nicole Clegg told the Portland Press Herald. She says the prank is a crime.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:53 am
Mo Yan, the Chinese author, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature this morning.
Mo Yan, the Nobel committee wrote, uses his "hallucinatory realism" to merge "folk tales, history and the contemporary."
"Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition," the committee explained in its citation.