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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.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 26

A play about identity, and a book signing/reading with US Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis.

NPR

A Journalist Chronicles Lives After Guantanamo Bay

Michelle Shepard has traveled to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba more than two dozen times and has been following the stories of men who've been released from the U.S. detention center. She's the author of Guantanamo's Child and Decade of Fear: Reporting from Terrorism's Grey Zone.
NPR

Portis 'Miscellany' Makes A High-'Velocity' Collection

True Grit author Charles Portis is the cult writer for people who hate cult writers. He hasn't published a book since 1991, and reviewer John Powers says the short pieces collected in Escape Velocity have been treasured for decades, passed around like samizdat by Portis fans.

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