NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates profiles novelist Susan Straight, who is putting her hometown of Riverside, Calif., on the literary map. Straight herself is white, but she weaves the black, working-class voices of Riverside into her work.
In his new book, author and oenophile Paul Lukacs traces the 8,000-year history of our original alcoholic beverage — from ancient times, when wine was believed to be of divine origin, to the sauvignon blanc you find in your supermarket today.
It's holiday box-set season, and Fresh Air critic David Bianculli shares some favorites for the TV-lover on your list. "Giving someone a gift of a TV show," he says, "is somehow very personal. You're giving something that you love, and that, in many cases, will occupy many hours ... of their time."
Europeans and American colonists believed one's personality, temperament and physical health depended on balancing "humors" of hot, cold, moist and dry with foods. Of course, that worked for the wealthy, who could afford a variety of foods, and it kept them in power.
Just a few years ago, Miami's Wynwood was known as a rough neighborhood of warehouses and shoe factories. Today, it has become the center of Miami's art scene, known for its galleries, studios and street murals. Many attribute that transformation to the work of developer Tony Goldman.
David Oliver Relin was Greg Mortenson's co-writer on the best-seller. In the past year, Mortenson has been accused of fabricating some of his tales about his life in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the charitable work he did there.
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