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Houdini Relative Unlocks Some Family Secrets

You'd think if you were a relative of someone as famous as Harry Houdini, you'd know it. But George Hardeen, 59, didn't find out he was Houdini's great-nephew until he was a teenager. His grandfather was Houdini's brother. But the family DNA wasn't something anyone really talked about.
NPR

From Mafia Soldier To Cocaine Cowboy

Jon Roberts is the man considered most responsible for bringing cocaine into the US during the 1970s and '80s through the Medellin drug cartel. In American Desperado, a book he co-wrote with journalist Evan Wright, he tells all, from working in the Mafia in New York City to smuggling drugs in Miami.
NPR

'Three Famines': A Struggle Shared Across The Globe

Famines, like the one happening in the Horn of Africa, share common threads with each other, even when they happen on different continents or in different centuries. Host Audie Cornish talks with Thomas Keneally, author of Three Famines: Starvation and Politics, about the modern history of famines.
NPR

Putting The Name Back In The Fame

You will be given the name of a famous person without the first and last letters of their first and last names. Find the missing letters to add onto the name. For example, if you are given "err row," the answer would be "Jerry Brown."
NPR

The Funny 50: A Cavalcade Of Comic Writers

Writer and comedian Andy Borowitz read through more than 1,000 different authors before picking the top 50 for his new book, The 50 Funniest American Writers: An Anthology of Humor from Mark Twain to the Onion.
NPR

After 40 Years, Grisly 'Exorcist' Book Gets A Rewrite

In 1971, William Peter Blatty told the spine-chilling story of a little girl who becomes possessed by a malevolent demon in Washington, D.C. It was called the The Exorcist — and it was only his first draft. Now, Blatty has revised and polished his landmark novel for its 40th-anniversary re-release.
NPR

Justin Timberlake On Music, Comedy And Wearing Out His NPR T-Shirt

Justin Timberlake's new movie is all about man who can trade time like money. With his adventures in comedy, music, and acting, it's hard to believe Timberlake himself has much time to spare.
NPR

Actor Alan Alda Plays 'Not My Job'

We've invited Alda to play a game called "You're the Assistant Keeper of the Royal Privy": three questions about what goes on behind the scenes at Buckingham Palace.
NPR

Kids' Book Club: A 'Graveyard' Tour With Neil Gaiman

Welcome to NPR's Back-Seat Book Club, where author Neil Gaiman is here to answer your questions about The Graveyard Book. Gaiman explains how Nobody Owens, a young boy raised in a graveyard, learns the value of life from the dead.
NPR

'Anonymous': Stylish Claptrap, By Any Other Name

Could Shakespeare have been in love if he didn't even exist? Director Roland Emmerich's Elizabethan-era costume drama turns a cockamamie idea about the Bard's "real" identity into a ridiculous but handsome thriller.

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