Arts & Life

Books
11:54 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Going On 'The Baby Chase' From Arizona To India

Stevy Fletcher St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:23 pm

Many couples who struggle with infertility say they would go to the ends of the earth to have a child. Some use surrogate mothers in the United States, but the high cost and legal complications keep that option out of reach for many families. So some Americans are going global --to countries like India– to make it happen.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Book News: Mozambican Writer Wins Neustadt Prize, 'America's Nobel'

Mia Couto received the Camoes Prize, the most important literary award for the Portuguese language, in June.
Francisco Seco AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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New In Paperback
7:03 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Nov. 4-10: 'On The Map,' Beneath The Big Top And In Detroit

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue November 5, 2013

'Boy Detective' Walks Down Memory Lane, But Doesn't Get Anywhere

There's a difference between ruminating and rambling, and Roger Rosenblatt crosses the line in The Boy Detective, his dilatory, meandering new memoir about his New York boyhood. I was a big fan of Kayak Morning, Rosenblatt's meditation on the tenaciousness of grief published in early 2012, four years after the sudden death of his 38-year-old daughter, a pediatrician and mother of three small children. But his latest, while less melancholic, more playful, and occasionally endearingly quirky, ambles at a pace that makes rush hour traffic down Second Avenue seem speedy.

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The Salt
2:53 am
Tue November 5, 2013

LA Food Truck King Tells His Story, One Recipe At A Time

L.A.Son: My Life, My City, My Food." href="/post/la-food-truck-king-tells-his-story-one-recipe-time" class="noexit lightbox">
Five years ago, chef Roy Choi and a partner launched Kogi and ushered in a food truck "new wave" in Los Angeles. He tells his story in his new book, L.A.Son: My Life, My City, My Food.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 3:09 pm

Roy Choi ushered in a food truck "new wave" in Los Angeles, making street fare edgier, tastier. Five years ago, he and a partner launched Kogi — Korean for meat — with a small fleet of trucks offering up a Korean-Mexican fusion that inspired food entrepreneurs in cities across America where the trend caught fire. His signature creation? The short rib taco: warm tortillas, Korean barbecue beef, cilantro-onion-and lime, topped with a spicy-soy slaw.

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Race
5:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

'SNL' Responds To Cast Diversity Criticism...With Jokes

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Much has been made of "Saturday Night Live" and its newest cast, namely that the show doesn't feature any black women. Well, Saturday night, in its opening sketch, "SNL" addressed the criticism head-on.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

JAY PHAROAH: (as President Barack Obama) Michelle, it's - this is such a treat. I feel like it's been years since I've seen you.

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Author Interviews
3:15 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

From Sulking To Sanctions, A Street-Level View Of Life In Iran

Iranian demonstrators march in Tehran in 2011, during a protest asking the government to intensify its enforcement of the Islamic dress code.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Monday is the 34th anniversary of the 1979 storming of the American Embassy in Tehran, when Iranian militants took 66 hostages and held them for more than a year. U.S.-Iranian relations have been contentious ever since, but recent events have stirred hopes for progress.

Iranian voters overwhelmingly chose a more moderate president in June, and American and Iranian mediators are meeting to try to resolve disputes about Iran's nuclear program.

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Book Reviews
3:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Female Friendship Puts 'New' Angle On Italian Classism And Machismo

The Story Of A New Name Book Cover

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:46 am

Some writers you read and move on, but every now and then you read one whose work knocks you back against the wall. This happened to me with the great Italian novelist Elena Ferrante.

I first encountered her through her scalding 2002 novel, The Days Of Abandonment, whose narrator, Olga, may be the scariest jilted wife since Medea. What makes Olga scary is not what she does, but what she thinks and feels, and her ferocious precision in describing everything from lousy sexual encounters to her not-altogether-maternal feelings about her children.

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Code Switch
2:33 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Author Catherine Chung: 'I Want To Embrace The Things That I Am'

Catherine Chung's first novel, Forgotten Country, was an honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award.
Ayano Hisa Courtesy of Catherine Chung

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:50 pm

Catherine Chung went from mathematics to writing, though she says words were always her first love. She was named one of Granta's New Voices in 2010, and her first novel, Forgotten Country, received honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award last year.

In Forgotten Country, Chung writes of a family with a curse that stretches back generations — from their time in Korea to their life in America. Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, each generation of the family has lost a daughter.

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Mon November 4, 2013

That'll Always Be The Dream: National Novel Writing Month

iStockphoto.com

Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month?

It isn't by order of Congress, but it is on the internet, where you'll see this combination of letters — NaNoWriMo — all over the place, making absolutely no sense and sounding to the uninitiated like a species of caterpillar or a ship on Star Trek. Amusingly enough, even that is too long for participants trying to pound out a book in a month, so they call it, very often, "NaNo."

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