Arts & Life

We all have unlived lives, says writer Margaret Atwood, and for her, that alternate life was becoming an illustrator.

"I started drawing comics as a child," she tells NPR's Audie Cornish.

Atwood grew up reading and enjoying comics and, around age 6, she started drawing a flying cat with wings. But, she says, "I wasn't good enough. I knew people who were good enough and I could tell the difference."

Now, nearly 70 years later, Atwood's cat flies again in a graphic novel called Angel Catbird.

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You have to sympathize with the makers of Sully, director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Todd Komarnicki. The focus of their story is Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's aborted Jan. 15, 2009, flight, which lasted only 208 seconds. He flew out of New York's LaGuardia, hit a flock of geese, and made an unprecedented landing on the Hudson River, saving all 155 passengers and crew members.

Linda Holmes is filing dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival. These movies will see wider release in the coming months.

Loving

Ghandi Or Jolie?

Sep 9, 2016

"I kinda wanted to be a vampire." Was that said by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Mahatma Gandhi, or Academy Award winner and star of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Angelina Jolie? This one's harder than you'd think.

Heard on Cameron Esposito & Craig Robinson: Every Action Movie Has An Equal Opposite Reaction Movie

Dude Stole My Invention

Sep 9, 2016

You know the old saying that behind every successful man, there's a woman who actually did the work but doesn't get any of the credit? We were inspired by true stories of men who took credit for a woman's invention or discovery, and wrote those accounts as if they appeared in a crime blotter.

Heard on Cameron Esposito & Craig Robinson: Every Action Movie Has An Equal Opposite Reaction Movie

Comedians often have a moment in childhood that, in hindsight, shapes them into a comic. For Cameron Esposito it may have been that, as a kid, she wore an eyepatch for eight years to correct her crossed eyes. "Yea, so it wasn't really a moment, as [it was] an entire childhood," she told host Ophira Eisenberg. "Just imagine a little sweetie Cammy Esposito: she's got an eye patch, she's got a bowl-cut, she's got glasses and braces. That's right--glasses on top of an eye patch!"

Hail To The Chief

Sep 9, 2016

In this final round, every answer contains the last name of a U.S. President. For example, if we said, "In the 1970s, this musical group featured Jermaine, Tito, Jackie, Marlon, and Michael" — you would say, "The Jackson Five."

Heard on Cameron Esposito & Craig Robinson: Every Action Movie Has An Equal Opposite Reaction Movie

Get The H Out Of Here

Sep 9, 2016

Shaver saver, tenth tent, hit it. We'll hint at two word phrases like these. Get the second word by removing the letter "H" from the first. That's it!

Heard on Cameron Esposito & Craig Robinson: Every Action Movie Has An Equal Opposite Reaction Movie

Craig Robinson: One For The Ladies

Sep 9, 2016

Comedian Craig Robinson, best known for films such as "Hot Tub Time Machine" and his role as Darrell on The Office, got his start in Chicago comedy clubs like Heckler's Heaven at The Q Club. After three minutes, a bell would ring. Three judges had rubber chickens and if you got all three chickens, you were booted off the stage. "The first time I went up I got two chickens and I quit before I got my third," he reminisced. These events inspired him to include music in his act. The next time he went on stage, Robinson brought his keyboard — "And no chickens."

BEFORE WE BEGIN: West Coast Party People! Tickets to the PCHH live shows in October, featuring amazing guests, are on sale now — but they're going fast. Here's where we stand, as of this morning:

Seattle feat. Audie Cornish: October 17

Portland feat. Audie Cornish: October 19

London Road is not the first musical to be made about a real-life serial killer. But it may be the first to draw its poetic life-blood from the testimony of residents of a rural English town where five prostitutes were found murdered in 2006. Aside from a wicked moment or two when a leering movie star known for playing unsavory fellows shows up to throw us off the scent, this is not about the murderer. It's about the undoing — and remaking — of a community in its own words, owing more to Shirley Jackson than Masterpiece Theater.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Good novels are like good parties: You get the right mix of people together, and you never quite know what will happen.

In Ann Patchett's new novel Commonwealth, a christening party takes a turn when one guest arrives with a bottle of gin. The gin leads to a wonderfully sloppy afternoon with cocktail mixing, a dancing priest, and two adulterous kisses.

The kisses lead to divorces, and a new blended family, six kids bouncing back and forth between Southern California and Virginia.

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11:00 a.m. is bilingual story hour at the Aguilar branch of the New York Public Library. Dozens of kids — mostly children of immigrants from China, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico — have settled down to hear Perez y Martina, a story based on a Puerto Rican folktale.

A couple of months ago I was at Washington, D.C.'s Union Market, where dozens of food vendors sell their wares, when I spotted the word falooda at one of the small stalls. Falooda is a cold, textured dessert or snack that was a regular part of my childhood summers back in India. And this was the first time in America that I had seen a mention of this beloved dessert. I was thrilled and promptly joined the line to order some.

It would be easy to think abstractly about the state of TV comedy in 2016 and visualize a clear divide between Cool and Uncool, between safe, saccharine broadcast comedies and knife-sharp cable projects that take no prisoners and feel no feelings. But as with so many things, in the move from generality to specificity, divides get more complex. And fortunately, both the more traditionally conceived comedies and the more daring ones have their strengths, and scratch their itches when they're good.

With all due respect to Marco Rubio, Pitbull and Tim Tebow, the most famous export from the Sunshine State these days is Florida Man. He's not a real guy, of course, but the subject of a popular Twitter account that compiles news stories about the sometimes bizarre antics of certain assorted oddballs living in America's third-largest state.

For Star Trek's George Takei, it was one of the worst predictions he ever made, and one of the best strokes of luck in his life: Takei, known to fans worldwide as helmsman Hikaru Sulu, originally thought the show would last only one season.

"When we were shooting the pilot, Jimmy Doohan [who played engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott] said to me, 'Well, George, what do you think about this? What kind of run do you think we'll have?'" says Takei. "And I said, 'I smell quality. And that means we're in trouble.' "

It's a classic summertime treat, the kind you might get from an ice cream truck.

It's a sugar cone, in the shape of a taco, filled with light vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate with nuts on top. It's the Choco Taco.

But where did this highly engineered dessert come from?

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Say you want to escape the doldrums of daily life — but you can't quite afford a trip to Hawaii. Why not to head to your local tiki bar for a sample of the South Seas?

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'Everfair' Looks Into Steampunk's Dark Heart

Sep 7, 2016

I've been excited to read Everfair for the last six years.

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