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NPR

With Barbs, Author Becomes Literary Star In China

Han Han has boy-band good looks, drives race cars and has built a following of more than 8 million on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. He writes what many young Chinese think but dare not say publicly — criticizing everything from corrupt officials to the nation's conformist educational system.
NPR

For The Love Of Cheese, Diners Unite In Italy

All Italians are being urged to eat a special cheese and rice dish tonight to promote the revitalization of Emilio-Romagna, Italy's famous food production region, after the deadly earthquakes back in May destroyed factories and warehouses.
NPR

Navigating The Shift From Complex To Cineplex

A combined effort from the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas adapts David Mitchell's seemingly unfilmable novel. NPR critic Bob Mondello explains that despite its all-star cast, which includes Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, the film highlights the downside to making the literary literal.
NPR

History Inspired Travel Tales Of Donoghue's 'Astray'

Emma Donoghue's new book voyages from Ireland to Canada, then into the Yukon and away from a plantation. The best-selling author says Astray may just be 14 stories, but they were informed by about 40 real-life historical events.
NPR

Cultural Historian Jacques Barzun Dies At 104

Barzun authored dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. "I don't know anybody who had such a Renaissance mind," says his friend and colleague, Prof. Henry Graff.
NPR

'Cloud Atlas': You're Better Off Reading The Book

David Mitchell's exquisite novel Cloud Atlas has been adapted for the screen by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. The film is never dull, but critic David Edelstein found that unlike the book, the film fails in its attempt to tie six distinct stories together.
WAMU 88.5

Marilu Henner On Life With Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (Rebroadcast)

Actress Marilu Henner is one of the rare documented cases of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory in the world. She tells us what it means to remember your life in detail and what the phenomenon tells us about the brain.

NPR

Lasagna Cupcakes, Anyone? Science Says We Can't Get Enough Mini Stuff

From lasagna and chicken potpies to grilled cheese and mac n' cheese, American's favorite dishes are going mini — in a cupcake shape. Is this just an excuse to eat comfort food with our fingers, or does it speak more deeply about Americans' need to connect and control what we consume?
WAMU 88.5

Zap! Bang! Pow! Shazam!: The Appeal Of Comic Book Culture

Once considered "kid stuff," comics have become big business for fans of all ages. We explore the culture of comic books and their outsider appeal.

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