Arts & Life

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed November 6, 2013

A Tree Grows in LA: 'Urban' Meets Pastoral In 366 Short Poems

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:49 pm

The pastoral is one of literature's oldest forms; it's safe to say our ideas about nature, however, have changed rapidly and radically in the modern age. Poet Harryette Mullen makes a beautiful marriage between those new ideas and a classic poetic form in her first collection in over a decade, Urban Tumbleweed: Notes From a Tanka Diary.

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Author Interviews
3:47 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Sales Take Center Stage: To Boost Morale, Companies Burst Into Song

Steve Young learned about industrial musicals when he started coming across compilations, like this one, in used record stores. (You definitely want to click to enlarge this.)
Courtesy of Blast Books

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:47 am

Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical.

These musicals were like Broadway shows, but they were written and performed for corporate sales meetings and conventions from the 1950s to the 1980s. The lyrics were all about the products being sold and how to sell them. Some of them were lavish and costly, even though they'd be performed only once.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Nazi Art Trove Includes Previously Unknown Matisse, Chagall Works

A painting by German artist Franz Marc titled Horses in Landscape is projected on a wall during a press conference on the spectacular art find of nearly 1,500 works in Munich, Germany. Officials say they face a long investigation into the hoarded art.
Marc Mueller EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:06 pm

The revelation Monday that more than 1,000 paintings and prints seized by the Nazis during World War II were found in a Munich apartment has set off excitement in the art world and spurred anger among Jewish groups that German officials didn't publicize the discovery when it was first made.

With a potential value of $1.35 billion, the trove of art contains previously unknown works by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall; other artists represented include Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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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

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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