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For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

His new book, Dissident Gardens, follows three generations of an activist family, from Rose, a secular Jew and communist, to Sergius, her commune-raised grandson. The book is fiction, but its characters were inspired by Lethem's own family story.

Blitz The Ambassador: Fighting Against Invisibility

Blitz the Ambassador grew up listening to Public Enemy in Ghana. Now he's bringing an African flavor to American hip-hop. He speaks to host Michel Martin about what his latest release, The Warm Up, says about the U.S. immigrant experience.

'New' Van Gogh Painting Identified; Was In A Norwegian Attic

Sunset at Montmajour was painted in 1888. Because it was unsigned, researchers had doubted its authenticity. But now, thanks to closer examinations of the canvas, brush strokes and letters that Van Gogh wrote, experts are convinced it's the real thing.

Book News: Why Batwoman Can't Get Married

Also: What "immigrant fiction" means; Wild author Cheryl Strayed on finding her half-sister; the best books coming out this week.

How Many Lives Does 'One Life To Live' Have?

Fans of the soap opera One Life to Live are worried their beloved show is going away for good. It left network TV last year for the Internet. A legal dispute has shut down production all together, and it might not restart.

From The Fall Of Failure, Success Can Take Flight

Risking and embracing failure is part of the job for explorers and adventurers like aeronaut Salomon August Andrée. His fatal attempt at reaching the North Pole motivated others to push their own limits. The September issue of National Geographic investigates "famous failures" and why they mattered.

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

Sheri Fink's Five Days At Memorial, describes the horrific conditions at a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Facing floodwaters and corporate mismanagement, some staffers euthanized sick patients. Fink's judgment of those actions is admirably — and frustratingly — nuanced.
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Kennedy Center To Feature Multimedia Profile On George Washington

A new production focusing on the life of the first president of the United States is being unveiled next month.


10 Years, One Book: Norman Rush Brews A Literary Distillation

In his third, much anticipated novel, Subtle Bodies, Rush takes the reader inside the most intimate parts of friendship. The author says his goal for this book, which took him nearly a decade to finish, was to produce his first concentrated piece of writing.

Arsenio Hall Returns To Late Night

The Arsenio Hall Show ran from 1989-1994 and featured Muhammad Ali to Madonna to President Clinton blowing his sax. It was the younger, hipper version of late night talk shows. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Arsenio Hall, whose new show debuts Sept. 9.