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Life's Traumas Won't Stop Kenyan Author Ngugi

One of Kenya's most famous citizens is author and professor Ngugi wa Thiong'o. His criticism of that nation's post-colonial government led to his arrest and eventual exile. But he says he can't be knocked down. Host Michel Martin talks with Ngugi about his new memoir, In the House of the Interpreter.

In A North Vietnamese Prison, Sharing Poems With 'Taps On The Walls'

As a prisoner of war in the "Hanoi Hilton," Air Force fighter pilot John Borling spent years composing and memorizing poetry that he tapped to fellow prisoners, like the future Sen. John McCain, using a special code.
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"Love in the Time of Algorithims"

We explore the history of dating technology, how it works and its broader effect on our social dynamics.


Small Objects Reveal 'The Real Jane Austen'

In her new book, The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, author Paula Byrne shows how everyday objects helped shape Austen's life and literature. One example, a topaz cross, a cherished gift to Austen from her brother, plays an important role in Mansfield Park.

Manufactured On YouTube, Teen Pop Star Searches For His True Voice

The road tour is a well-known backdrop in American novels and one Teddy Wayne explores in his new novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. Along the way, Jonny, a teen heartthrob, explores the pressures of celebrity at a young age.

Healing 'Brick City': A Newark Doctor Returns Home

In a new memoir, Sampson Davis describes what it was like to return to the hospital where he was born to become an emergency physician. He says his mother taught him that "once you make it, you have to come back and help other people."

Life, Love And Undeath In The 'Lemon Grove'

Swamplandia! author Karen Russell is back with a new collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. The title story features two elderly vampires, married for more than a century, who wonder what "till death do us part" means when you can't die.