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Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 14

You can check out a band from Chicago or see a solo show about a man whose brutal beating lit a city on fire.

NPR

William T. Vollmann Explores The Afterlife In 'Last Stories'

"I've always wanted to write fiction and nonfiction at the same time," Vollmann says. In recent years he's written nonfiction, but his new work is a collection of stories about love, lust and ghosts.
NPR

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Why do so many animated movies star motherless kids? Sarah Boxer, a graphic novelist, cartoon-lover and mother, talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the phenomenon and the message it sends to children.
NPR

Founders Claimed A Subversive Right To 'Nature's God'

The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, says historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR's Arun Rath about his book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.
NPR

A Puzzle With Ch-Ch-Changes

Every answer is a word starting with "ch," and your clue will be an anagram of the word.
NPR

'Fightshark' Recounts His Struggles, In Kickboxing And Beyond

Mark Miller chose his nickname because when he smells blood, he attacks. His new memoir, Pain Don't Hurt, tells of the heart surgery and alcohol problems that temporarily derailed his fighting career.
NPR

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
NPR

Tracy Morgan Sues Wal-Mart Over Truck-Limousine Crash

The comedian and television star of "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" alleges negligence on the part of the retail giant, whose driver was exceeding the speed limit.
NPR

Tracking The World's Famous Most Unread Books

NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Jordan Ellenberg about his part-serious, part-playful Hawking Index, which is an e-book-era mathematical measurement of how far readers get into books before giving up.
NPR

A Marriage In Crisis Is The Model For This 'Drawing'

Robin Black's Life Drawing follows an artist couple working through the pain of a past betrayal. "It's ... a fascinating subject," Black says. "Who stays together and how do they manage it?"

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