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In Kabul, A Juggling Act That Offers Joy For Afghan Kids

It's an expected sight in the Afghan capital: a hundred boys and girls — on foot, stilts and unicycles — juggling tennis balls and batons. The parade was part of the national juggling championship. Organizers hope juggling builds self-confidence in children who've known only war in their lifetimes.
NPR

A Dystopian View Of America's 'Fallen' Suburbs

Patrick Flanery's taut new novel, Fallen Land, delves into the housing crisis, creeping corporate surveillance and a "crisis of neighborliness" in American life. The backdrop: a half-built and crumbling subdivision outside of an unnamed American city.
NPR

Fans Are Like Friends To 'Reigning Queen' Of Women's Fiction

Debbie Macomber's books don't get a lot of critical attention, but they've sold in the hundreds of millions. Her fans feel like they know and love the woman behind the words, so her publisher threw a party for them.
WAMU 88.5

Smithsonian To Receive Irving Penn Collection

A collection of work by a famous 20th-century photographer is coming to D.C.

NPR

A Matter Of Succession

You're given two words starting with the letter S. For each pair, select a third word — also starting with S — that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
NPR

'Cutie And The Boxer': Two Lives Entwined At Home, In Art

Zachary Heinzerling's documentary captures the curious dynamics of a complicated relationship between two artists whose lives and work are inextricably intertwined. As Karen Michel reports, Ushio and Noriko Shinohara are still figuring themselves out after 40 years and more.
NPR

What Drove Wild West's Jesse James To Become An Outlaw?

In Shot All To Hell, author Mark Lee Gardner explores the roots of James' life of crime following the Civil War.
NPR

'Good Lord Bird' Gives Abolitionist Heroes Novel Treatment

In 1857, John Brown liberates 12-year-old Henry from his master. There's only one problem: Brown is so wrapped up in his freedom mission, he thinks Henry is a girl. James McBride delivers a portrait of Brown and his friend Frederick Douglass as Henry sees them.
NPR

'18 In America': Coast To Coast With Golf Clubs In Hand

Dylan Dethier took a year off between high school and college for an unusual quest: He wanted to play a round of golf in each of the 48 contiguous states. His new book, 18 in America, chronicles that year, and he joins NPR's Scott Simon on the putt-putt course to talk about it.
NPR

The Words Vivien Leigh Left Behind

An upcoming exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London celebrates the life of the actress, including diary entries, film scripts and personal letters to Leigh from Winston Churchill, Graham Green and the Queen Mother. Host Scott Simon speaks with exhibit curator Keith Lodwick.

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