Arts & Life

Music News
6:10 am
Sun January 13, 2013

A Married Duo Chases The Dream, Toddlers In Tow

Stefanie Drootin-Senseny and Chris Senseny are the core of Big Harp, a band the married couple formed shortly after the birth of their second child.
Ryan Fox Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 2:37 pm

Big Harp guitarist and lead singer Chris Senseney pulls his minivan into a gas station off Interstate 80 near the small town of Walnut, Iowa. His wife, and the band's bassist, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney jostles through children's books and toys scattered on the floor. Their kids do what kids do on long car trips: sing.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
6:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Daughter Of The Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

iStockphoto.com

Roya Hakakian's most recent book is Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial law was in effect. Tehran was burning, bleeding.

A popular American belief holds that the act of writing can somehow save the writer. But having written a couple of books and countless essays, I disagree. What saved me was not writing, but reading.

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Books
5:58 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Life Is Difficult But Rewarding Under This 'Umbrella'

Will Self is a British author and journalist. His latest book, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Polly Borland

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 10:30 am

What is the best way for a writer to reflect life? For most of us, it's probably the traditional novel that has sat on our nightstands the most: the sprawling, linear tale, told from birth to death. For Will Self, the most lifelike story is told inside out, from the minds of the characters, without a narrator, a filter or any explanations along the way.

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Author Interviews
5:55 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Deserts, Coal Walking And Wildfires: Can You Take The 'Heat'?

To understand heat, biologist Bill Streever simmered in some of the hottest places on Earth, including California's Death Valley.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 10:30 am

Scientist and writer Bill Streever is fascinated by the extremes at both ends of the thermometer. In his 2009 book, Cold, he visited some of the chilliest places on Earth. And in his latest book, he treks through Death Valley, investigates fire-based weaponry and walks on coals — all to gain insight into what it means to be hot. Really hot.

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Music News
2:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Naxos: The Little Record Label That Could (And Did)

Over a quarter century, Naxos Records has evolved from an industry joke to a leading force in classical music.
Naxos

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:22 pm

This past year was a good one for Naxos Records. In fact, it's been a great quarter century for the company, which has grown from a budget-label punch line to a leading force in classical music recording.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 2:22 pm

On-air challenge: Given three three-letter words, give a three-letter word that can follow each to complete a familiar six-letter word. None of the words in a set will be related in meaning. For example, given "dam," "man" and "sew," the answer would be "age," which results in "damage," "manage" and "sewage."

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Author Interviews
4:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Father's Death Spurs Son To Tackle Health Care

Random House

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 7:37 pm

In 2007, David Goldhill's father, in good overall health, checked into the hospital with a minor case of pneumonia. Within a few days, he developed sepsis, then a wave of secondary infections. A few weeks after entering the hospital and the day after his 83rd birthday, he died.

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Movie Interviews
4:48 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Ann Dowd's One-Woman Oscar-Nomination Campaign

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, a hard-nosed Midwestern manager of a fast-food franchise in Compliance. The actress spent $13,000 to try to get an Oscar nomination for the role.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 11:01 am

Actress Ann Dowd won huge praise from critics for her role in the indie movie Compliance. But when it came time to start campaigning for nominations ahead of awards season, Magnolia Pictures — the studio that produced the film — told her they didn't have the budget to lobby the Academy for a best supporting actress award for her.

So Dowd did something exceedingly rare in Hollywood: She started her own campaign.

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Books
7:03 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Evan S. Connell: A Master Of Fact And Fiction

Evan S. Connell, whose literary explorations ranged from Depression-era Kansas City in the twin novels Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge to Custer's last stand in Son of the Morning Star, died Thursday in Santa Fe, N.M.
AP

Mrs. Bridge and Gen. Custer: one an invented character, the other a historical figure. You know their names, you can see their faces, even hear their voices as they move across the landscapes in your mind. One in a dining room, in a house in a Kansas City neighborhood, the other riding across the rolling plains of Montana. Mrs. India Bridge and Gen. Custer are some of the most memorable creations of Evan S. Connell, who died this week at the age of 88.

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The Sotomayor Interview
7:01 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Sotomayor Opens Up About Childhood, Marriage In 'Beloved World'

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor applauds during a reception in her honor at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 4:35 pm

Over the course of time, Supreme Court justices have written 225 books. Few reveal much about the justices themselves, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, is a searingly candid memoir about her life growing up in the tenements of the Bronx, going to Princeton and Yale Law School, becoming a prosecutor and a private corporate lawyer and, at age 38, becoming a federal judge.

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