Arts & Life

Performing Arts
11:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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Television
10:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' And 'Maverick' Dies At 86

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:09 pm

Garner was known for wise-cracking, tough-guy characters who were not afraid to bend the rules. NPR's Arun Rath talks with biographer Jon Winokur about the actor's prolific career.

Books
10:39 am
Sun July 20, 2014

How Bad Can He Be? Only The 'Worst. Person. Ever.'

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Usually, when I do an interview, I'm the one asking the questions. But when I sat down with writer Douglas Coupland, he had some questions for me.

DOUG COUPLAND: Have you ever tried to get rid of a body?

RATH: Not a human body, no. Some I was unqualified to answer.

COUPLAND: Why do different parts of the body taste different? Why does liver taste like liver, and why does tongue taste like - ugh - tongue?

RATH: And for some reason, this.

COUPLAND: Have you ever done a musical?

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Pop Culture
10:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

'Transformers' Inspires Chinese Farmer-Artists

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?

(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.

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Movie Interviews
10:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The Secret Behind Romero's Scary Zombies: 'I Made Them The Neighbors'

George A. Romero says zombies are just the disaster in his films. "My stories are more about the humans," he explains. Romero's latest project is a comic book called Empire of the Dead.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 3:59 pm

Director George A. Romero grew up on classic movie monsters — and he says he never dreamed he'd be responsible for creating the modern zombie that now lurks alongside those monsters. "I never expected it. I really didn't," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "... All I did was I took them out of 'exotica' and I made them the neighbors ... I thought there's nothing scarier than the neighbors!"

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Sunday Puzzle
8:03 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Take A Ride On The Plural Side

NPR

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

On-air challenge: Two clues will be provided. The first is for a brand name that ends in the letter S and sounds like it's plural. Change the first letter to spell a new word that is plural and answers the second clue. Example: tennis shoes, places to sleep; the answer would be Keds and beds.

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You Must Read This
7:03 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Lose Yourself In The Wild Forests Of 'Those Who Wish Me Dead'

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 12:09 pm

Jace Wilson is a 13-year-old boy who plans to do what many boneheaded 13-year-olds do: something dumb on a dare, to once and for all dispense with the idea that he might be a coward. But while psyching himself up to go through with the dare, he witnesses a murder — and before we know it, we're off. Michael Koryta's new novel, Those Who Wish Me Dead, sucks you in from the first page and doesn't let you go.

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Book Reviews
5:04 am
Sun July 20, 2014

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

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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