Arts & Life

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Harrison's New Novellas Present Men In Full

Courtesy of Grove/Atlantic

Two years have gone by since I first suggested to President Obama that he create a new Cabinet post, and appoint distinguished fiction writer Jim Harrison as secretary for quality of life. The president still has not responded to my suggestion, and meanwhile Harrison has gone on to publish his latest book of novellas, which deepens and broadens his already openhearted and smart-minded sense of the way we live now, and what we might do to improve it.

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Poetry
6:26 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Richard Blanco Will Be First Latino Inaugural Poet

Poet Richard Blanco is the author of City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and Looking for the Gulf Motel.
Nico Tucci Courtesy Richard Blanco

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:44 pm

In 1961, Robert Frost became the first poet to read at a U.S. inauguration when he recited "The Gift Outright" at President John F. Kennedy's swearing in. Since then, only three other poets have taken part in subsequent inaugural ceremonies: Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander. Now, there's a fifth.

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Kitchen Window
3:16 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Post-Holiday Detox Dining Can Be A Tasty Surprise

Eve Turow for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:24 pm

OK, I'll admit it: I've thought about doing a liquid cleanse. Detoxing, renewing myself, clearing out my system all sounds appealing, especially post-holiday binging. As baked brie, gingerbread cookies and rich stews settle onto my hips, a detox becomes ever more alluring. I've never taken the leap, though, for one simple reason: I like eating solids.

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A Blog Supreme
5:31 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

A Brief History Of Jazz Education, Pt. 2

Herbie Hancock speaks with the current class of Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance masters degree students.
Chip Latshaw UCLA

As a teaching assistant for UCLA's undergraduate course "Jazz in American Culture," I spend much of my time in a scene found on college campuses around the world. My professor, the seasoned jazz guitarist Charley Harrison, lectures eager students on the music's geniuses. In the evening, he directs the college big band through classic Swing Era repertoire and modern reinterpretations of it. Harrison and his colleagues also lead smaller ensembles that take 1960s hard bop as their aesthetic core.

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Music News
5:21 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Despite Censorship, Mali's Musicians Play On

Rapper Amkoullel had one of his songs banned by Mali's government, which controls the southern part of the country. It's even worse in the north, where militants linked to al-Qaida have outlawed virtually all music.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 6:47 pm

Amkoullel, a 33-year-old Malian rapper, sings about self-image, immigration and respect. He's among a new generation of young rappers in Mali, mixing traditional instruments with new themes. He has played all over the world, performing with Malian legends Salif Keita, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.

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Author Interviews
1:50 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

Random House

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. The document declares that all those held as slaves within any state, or part of a state, in rebellion "shall be then, thenceforward and forever free."

Historian Bruce Levine explores the destruction of the old South and the reunified country that emerged from the Civil War in his new book, The Fall of the House of Dixie. He says one result of the document was a flood of black men from the South into the Union Army.

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The Salt
1:03 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Elvis Left The Building Long Ago, But His Food (And Music) Lives On

A still-trim Elvis Presley enjoys a sandwich in 1958. His love of fatty foods hadn't caught up to him yet.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 7:12 pm

Elvis Presley was better known for his music than his gourmet tastes. But he did have a famous affinity for the fried goodness of the American South — and he had the waistline to prove it.

In honor of what would have been the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 78th birthday, let's take a look at some of his legendary eating habits.

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Arts & Life
9:52 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Minting Treasure From Trash

The Birth of Venus, after Botticelli, Pictures of Junk, 2008
Mint Museum of Art

Brazil is one of the world's most rapidly developing countries. In the past decade, the South American country has lifted millions of its residents out of poverty and into a growing middle class.

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New In Paperback
7:03 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Jan. 7-13: Haiti, Watergate, The Universe And 'Religion For Atheists'

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Charlotte Rogan, Thomas Mallon, Laurent Dubois, Lawrence Krauss and Alain de Botton.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue January 8, 2013

From George Saunders, A Dark 'December'

Flickr user Anja Jonsson

Since the publication of George Saunders' 1996 debut story collection, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, journalists and scholars have been trying to figure out how to describe his writing. Nobody has come very close. The short story writer and novelist has been repeatedly called "original," which is true as far as it goes — but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Saunders blends elements of science fiction, horror and humor writing into his trademark brand of literary fiction.

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