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Murder City Earns Its Name In 'Blood Runs Green'

Before Beulah Annan or Leopold and Loeb, another murder became a Chicago sensation. Scott Simon speaks with Gillian O'Brien, author of Blood Runs Green: The Murder that Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago.

If Drugs Could Talk: In 'Delicious Foods' They Do

In James Hannaham's novel Delicious Foods, addiction itself is a character — it even narrates some of the chapters. The book imagines what slavery would look like in modern America.

'Dirty Old London': A History Of The Victorians' Infamous Filth

In the 1800s, the Thames River was thick with human sewage and the streets were covered with horse dung, the removal of which, according to Lee Jackson, presented an "impossible challenge."

Inspired By Monks, A Writer Embraces His Life Of Solitude

Fenton Johnson says that while alone, people can "find the richest possible ways of being in the world." He's lived alone for more than 20 years. His Harper's article describes his pursuit.

A Writer Moves To 'Bettyville' To Care For His Elderly Mom

In 2011, George Hodgman visited his mother Betty for her 91st birthday in Paris, Missouri. When he saw she needed care, he left Manhattan to live with her. But she still hasn't accepted that he's gay.

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

In the mid-1800s, Britain was a global superpower with a big weakness for tea, all of which came from China. But a botanist with a talent for espionage helped Britain swipe the secrets of tea.

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of his new short story collection Crow Fair.

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico

In his collection Barefoot Dogs, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho offers varying perspectives on the kidnapping of a Mexican patriarch. He asks: "How do you reach closure when someone you love has disappeared?"

Illustrated Memoir Recalls Marching In Selma At Just 15

Lynda Blackmon Lowery was a child when she joined the 1965 march. She's written a book for young readers about the experience. This piece originally aired on All Things Considered on Jan. 17, 2015.

Broken Family Needs To Have A 'Man At The Helm'

In Nina Stibbe's new novel, Man at the Helm, Lizzie, 9, wants to find a man for her newly divorced mother. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Stibbe about the freedom of writing in a child's voice.