Arts & Culture

RSS Feed

Through The Mind Of A Novelist, Lincoln Shares His Life Story

Countless books and films have been made about Abraham Lincoln, but not many have been told in his voice. Jerome Charyn's latest novel, a sort of fictional autobiography, does just that. Charyn spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about Lincoln's poetry, depression, and fictionalizing a life.

'Eliot Ness': Actually Untouchable, Except When It Came To Women

Author Douglas Perry's new book, Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero, paints a portrait of the legendary lawman as a flawed but genuinely good guy who floundered when away from the excitement of police work. Ness "helped invent the modern police force," Perry says, but couldn't stop drinking and cheating on his wives.

Drink Vodka, Eat Pickles, Repeat: Mastering The Zakuski Spread

Zakuski are like Russian tapas. More than a delicious snack, these dishes also tell the story of Russia. From "Herring Under a Fur Coat" to pickled everything, zakuski teach us about harsh winters and state-sponsored products in the Soviet era.

For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Scientists have made some attempts to link mollusks to increased libido. There's even evidence that consuming heavy doses of an amino acid found in oysters can increase sperm count – in rabbits. But do any of these findings actually prove that oysters can — ahem — amp up arousal? Not so much.

Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Last month, the best-selling writer told NPR that her new book, Ripper, which is itself a mystery novel, was written as a "joke." Fans of the genre, as well as booksellers and writers, weren't amused.

To Strive, To Seek, To Find: The End Of A Baseball Era

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced this week that he would retire at the end of the season. "For the last 20 years I've been completely focused on two goals: playing my best and helping the Yankees win. ... It's time for something new." Author Julia Keller saw the move as a poetic flourish on a long career.

Shirley Temple And Bojangles: Two Stars, One Lifelong Friendship

When the pint-sized actress and the tap-dancing legend performed their "stair dance" in The Little Colonel, it was considered the first interracial dance performance. NPR's Elizabeth Blair explores the offscreen friendship of "Little Miss Sunshine" and Bill Robinson — both icons in their fields.

Antihero Or Villain? In 'House Of Cards,' It's Hard To Tell

The second season of Netflix's political drama will be released on Friday, providing a new dose of bad behavior from Francis Underwood. Antiheroes are popular on TV right now — think Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and The Blacklist. But Eric Deggans wonders just how bad is too bad.

Swoon Reads: The Next Romance Bestseller, Selected By You

Macmillan's new young adult romance imprint solicits manuscripts and then invites users to read and rate them. The author whose manuscript is most popular with the community gets a contract and a first printing of 100,000 copies.
WAMU 88.5

Sylviane Diouf: "Slavery's Exiles"

They are known as "maroons:" escaped slaves who lived on the margins of settlements throughout the southern U.S. A new book explores how and where they lived, and what day-to-day survival meant for those who fled slavery.