Arts & Life

Book Reviews
5:04 am
Sun July 20, 2014

An Elegant, Thoughtful Exploration Of Life In 'Two Italies'

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:51 am

I remember taking an intermediate Italian class in college, and to gauge our linguistic level of proficiency, the professor assigned us a short essay to write. Using the Italian I had picked up from my grandparents, I proudly wrote about my familial ancestry in Calabria. The essay came back with every other word circled in red and labeled "dialetto."

"In this class," the professor said as he picked up the paper from my desk, "we will learn the proper Italian language of Dante." At that moment, I felt at once robbed of my Italian heritage, and ashamed of my Calabrian ancestry.

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Monkey See
9:22 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Television Critics Give Big Awards To 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

The Television Critics Association is a funny animal. Its challenge, as well as its strength, is that it includes people with massively different jobs: longtime print critics (both nationally and locally oriented) who have been coming to the annual press tour for decades, reporters who cover the television industry, cultural critics whose beats extend past television, online writers who specialize in weekly criticism — this is a lot of people who quite reasonably look at television differently.

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Author Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

To Meet A 'Mockingbird': Memoir Recalls Talks With Harper Lee

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007 before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:34 am

In 1960, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize, and overnight became one of America's most beloved writers. But Lee was overwhelmed by the media blitz that followed. She retreated from the public eye, became wary of journalists, and never published another book.

Then, in 2001, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune showed up in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Ala., to work on a story about the town, which is the model for the fictional setting of Lee's novel.

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Book News & Features
3:41 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

A Shot And A Book: How To Read In Bars

As a critic, I read for work. Or rather, I read and then work to translate that experience into something others might read. The hope is that they'll then be compelled enough to also read, if it's any good, the thing I wrote about me reading. That's a pretty meaningful exchange for a reviewer.

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Author Interviews
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Author Finds The Human Side Of The IMF

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:41 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Book Your Trip
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Watch Out For That Butterfly: The Lure Of Literary Time Travel

Guy Pearce aboard his time machine in the 2002 movie version of H.G. Wells' classic novel.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 am

Where would you go, if you had a time machine? Ancient Egypt? Tang Dynasty China? The Globe Theater, in 1599? Or maybe to the 25th century, because who knows, Buck Rogers might actually be there.

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Remembrances
8:11 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Elaine Stritch: 'I'm Not Easy'

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 11:45 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We want to take a moment now to remember Elaine Stritch. She died this week at the age of 89 after a career that ran for seven decades on Broadway and the West End, movies and television. She sang about "The Ladies Who Lunch" in her signature voice - gruff, bruised, but strong.

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Goats and Soda
7:08 am
Sat July 19, 2014

In The World Of Global Gestures, The Fist Bump Stands Alone

One set of knuckles meets another. Both are equal in this greeting that expresses approval and triumph.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Back in the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama launched a media storm when he nonchalantly fist bumped his wife Michelle. "Obama's Fist-bump Rocks The Nation!: The Huffington Post exclaimed. "Is the fist bump the new high-five?" NPR's Laura Silverman asked.

Obama has done it again.

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Theater
5:47 am
Sat July 19, 2014

With Humor, 'Dead And Breathing' Dives Into End-Of-Life Struggles

Lizan Mitchell (left) as the wealthy and crotchety Carolyn and N.L. Graham as Veronika, her nurse, in the play Dead and Breathing.
Seth Freeman

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:40 pm

The play Dead and Breathing begins boldly. Sixty-eight-year-old Carolyn takes off her towel and steps into a bathtub completely naked. She's bathed by her chatty nurse, Veronika.

The wealthy, cantankerous woman is dying of cancer. Carolyn, played by Lizan Mitchell, wants to die sooner rather than later, and tries to convince the nurse (N.L. Graham) to help her do that.

It's one of the most talked-about new plays at this year's Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which runs through Aug. 3.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:34 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Not My Job: French Laundry Chef Thomas Keller Gets Quizzed On Actual Laundry

Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 12:10 pm

Twenty years ago, chef Thomas Keller bought a little restaurant in Napa Valley called The French Laundry and transformed it into one of the finest restaurants in the country. He's inspired countless other chefs, consulted on the film Ratatouille, opened other award-winning restaurants, and convinced people to pay $100 for a corn pudding appetizer.

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