The lives of writers drive two films opening this week: The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, dramatizes a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, meanwhile, examines who wrote Shakespeare's plays. Critic David Edelstein says both films show how hard it is to write about writers.
Many of Spencer's novels feature a turning point — a dreadful, unplanned act committed by one of the characters. In his latest book, Man in the Woods, a carpenter accidentally kills a man, which leads him to question himself and his relationship with God.
An oft-debunked notion about the authorship of Hamlet, Macbeth and the rest is at the core of a new political thriller from director Roland Emmerich. Screenwriter John Orloff tells Renee Montagne that he's less interested in historical fact than in dramatizing "the process of creativity."
Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for his work on the psychology of decision-making. Now, in Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman revisits and recasts his world-famous research on what he calls "the machinery of the mind."
Some of the alleged records rejected by Guinness World Records are every bit as interesting as the ones they take. And whether the submitter's idea for a new record is accepted or rejected, their common thread is wanting to be able to say, "I can do this better than anybody else on this planet."
Bermuda-born Mel Ming was recently named the new CEO of Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind the legendary TV show aimed at preschool-aged kids. Ming speaks with Michel Martin about his winding and surprising journey to Sesame Street, which includes experiences in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era and at NPR. He also shares his big ambitions for Sesame Street.
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