Arts & Life

Author Interviews
5:39 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

A Literary Tale of Chechnya, The Horror and Whimsy

Russian soldiers take their position near the village of Shatoy, Chechnya.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 26, 2013 12:05 pm

In his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra transports readers to Chechnya, a war-torn Russian republic that has long sought independence.

The lyrical and heart-breaking novel begins in 2004 when a doctor watches as Russian soldiers abduct his neighbor, who has been accused of aiding Chechen rebels. He later rescues the neighbor's 8-year-old daughter, then colludes with another doctor to form an unlikely family amid the daily violence.

Read more
Theater
5:25 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Two Songs That Led Keith Carradine From Screen To Broadway

Keith Carradine (right) performs with the cast of Hands on a Hardbody during its spring 2013 run in New York.
Chad Batka

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 6:22 pm

The Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody wasn't your typical Broadway musical; it was about a group of Texans trying to win a new truck at a local dealership.

Actor Keith Carradine played JD Drew, one of the contestants. Though the show closed in April after just 56 performances, Carradine received rave reviews and a Tony nomination for best actor.

Read more
The Salt
12:40 pm
Sat May 25, 2013

Meet London's Master Architects In Jell-0

Sam Bompas (left) and Harry Parr made names for themselves with spectacular gelatin creations.
Courtesy of Sam Bompas

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Banana-flavored vapors? A pineapple island?

These may sound like the makings of a Roald Dahl children's book (he of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame). But at London's Kew Gardens, visitors can now immerse themselves in such fantastic-sounding experiences like rowing down a blue-dyed boating lake to the aforementioned island, which features a 15-foot replica pineapple towering over a banana grotto.

Read more
From Our Listeners
7:08 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Geometry' And 'Snowflake'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 5:39 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Snowflake by Winona Wendth of Lancaster, Mass., and Geometry by Eugenie Montague of Los Angeles. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
7:06 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Geometry

iStockphoto.com

I found your journal in my car. A slim, Moleskin, six by ten centimeters, soft cover, blue, curving upwards at the edges like an incredibly shallow bowl, or a key dish. By the concavity in its form, the book seemed to be suggesting it was capable of carrying something. Something real. Not much. A few pennies. A handful of nails. One heavy pen cradled at that depression in the center, which had dropped out of the flatness of the book from riding around in the back pocket of your jeans.

Read more
Three-Minute Fiction
7:05 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Snowflake

iStockPhoto.com

She found the photograph early in the day, while she was cleaning for spring, pulling a winter's collection of domestic detritus out from under the bed. Ticket stubs, grimy grocery notes, coffee-stained lined paper, and dead pens. Their life: movies, food, and books. She didn't like housecleaning, but the weather had changed, and something moved her to sweep around, put things in order, clean them up.

Read more
The Salt
6:30 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gals Who Grill: What Will It Take For Women To Man The Q?

Ladies, why are we letting the menfolk dominate the grilling?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:36 am

There's a lot of innovation in grilling — everything from fancy briquettes to gadgets that help grill veggies to perfection.

But according to survey data from the NPD Group, one thing that's not changing is who's firing up the grill.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

'Steal The Menu': A Chronicle Of A Career In Food Coverage

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
Author Interviews
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gateway Arch 'Biography' Reveals Complex History Of An American Icon

The Gateway Arch "is really a monument to the 20th century and to the height of American power," says historian Tracy Campbell.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

The iconic Gateway Arch — overlooking the Mississippi River from the St. Louis side — took almost a generation to build, but the 630-foot monument hasn't transformed the city as hoped in the four decades that have followed.

Conceived in the 1940s and completed in the 1960s, the history of the signature American symbol is described in Tracy Campbell's new book, The Gateway Arch: A Biography. The story has some surprising twists — including, Campbell says, a very early vision of an arch by the Mississippi:

Read more
Theater
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Equity At 100: More Than Just A Broadway Baby

His statue may be a Theater District landmark now, but George M. Cohan caused no small amount of trouble for Actors' Equity early in its history. The union marks its 100th anniversary this year.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

"Don't put your daughter on the stage," Noel Coward famously cautioned his imaginary Mrs. Worthington, and no wonder: Stage acting is one of the toughest professions imaginable. For all the potential triumph, there's hardly any job security — and more than a little potential for heartbreak and disappointment.

Read more

Pages