Arts & Life

Monkey See
11:08 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Why 'Amour' Is Sad, But Not Depressing

Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's Amour.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:29 pm

The first voices I heard about Michael Haneke's Amour were essentially in complete agreement: beautiful, brilliant, almost unbearably depressing. Having seen it, I'm not sure I agree with that last part.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
7:03 am
Mon January 7, 2013

A Literary Sex Education In Mumbai

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:14 am

Manil Suri is the author of the forthcoming novel The City of Devi.

Through the 1960s and '70s and well into the present century, Harold Robbins' name has stood out in India as someone who has perhaps educated the entire repressed subcontinent (or at least its English-speaking population) about sex.

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Poetry
7:03 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Guns, God And A Reggae Beat: A 2013 Poetry Preview

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:11 am

Now that we're done with all that fiscal cliff wrangling (sort of), it's time to move on to priority No. 2: the next year in poetry. Just kidding. But, with the whole year stretching out before us, it is a good time to get excited about what literature has in store.

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:56 am

Author Simon Garfield loves maps. His home in London is full of them — that's where they're stocked, hanging on walls and piled on shelves. So when Garfield was looking for a new topic to write about, not surprisingly, maps won out.

His new book is called On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Works.

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Author Interviews
4:26 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Re-Creating The 'Lost Carving' Of An English Genius

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 7:06 pm

On one spring day in the early 1970s, writer David Esterly paused to admire a stunning wooden carving inside a London church.

"On the panel behind the altar, I saw these extraordinary cascades of leaves and flowers and fruits, carved to a fineness and fluent realism, which seemed to me breathtaking," Esterly recalled in an interview with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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You Must Read This
7:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Adjust Your Vision: Tolstoy's Last And Darkest Novel

cover detail

George Saunders' latest book is called Tenth of December: Stories.

It's become commonplace to say that good fiction "wakes us up." The speaker usually means that he — a righteous, likable person, living in the correct way — becomes, post-reading, temporarily even more righteous and likable.

Resurrection, Tolstoy's last and darkest novel, works differently.

It's a shocking and impolite book, seemingly incapable of that last-minute epiphanic updraft or lyric reversal that lets us walk away from even the darkest novel fundamentally intact.

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Essays
7:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

At Home In Fantasy's Nerd-Built Worlds

iStockphoto.com

Once, in an age long past, "epic" was a dirty word.

Way back when I was a young nerd growing up in the Midwest in the 1980s — long before I became a professional writer — histories of magic rings and chronicles of ancient evils were not exactly mainstream fare. Indeed, to publicize one's knowledge of Elvish sword-names and Orcish myth was to contract a kind of voluntary leprosy.

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Strange News
7:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

It Would Take Way More Seagulls To Lift James' Peach

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Host Rachel Martin delves into the physics behind Roald Dahl's childrens' classic, James and the Giant Peach. Physics students at the University of Leicester calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls to lift James' Giant Peach, making Roald Dahl's number (501), entirely insufficient.

Movies
7:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Film Flubs In 2012: A List Of Inconsistencies

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

2012 was a great year for U.S. movie ticket sales - nearly $11 billion. Some of the highest grossing films include "The Avengers."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) What have I to fear?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: (as Tony Sparks) The Avengers - that's what we call ourselves. Earth's mightiest heroes type thing.

MARTIN: "The Dark Knight Rises."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as character) I need to see Bruce Wayne.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Scrambling To Ring In The New Year

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:19 pm

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle celebrates ringing in the new year. Take the letters Y-E-A-R. Add one letter and scramble to make a new word that answers the clue. For example, by adding the letter B to Y-E-A-R, with the clue "maker of aspirin," the answer would be "Bayer."

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