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NPR

British Scientist Driven To Find 'Spark Of Life'

Frances Ashcroft's new book details how electricity in the body fuels everything we think, feel or do. She tells Fresh Air about discovering a new protein, how scientists are like novelists and how she wanted to be a farmer's wife.
NPR

Eric LeGrand Tackling Life's Obstacles

Eric LeGrand was a standout defensive lineman at Rutgers University, when a tough tackle left him motionless on the football field. A spinal cord injury paralyzed him from the neck down. He speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee about overcoming major obstacles and his memoir, Believe: My Faith and the Tackle that Changed My Life.
NPR

Poverty Informs J.K. Rowling's New Novel For Adults

The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.
NPR

'Sutton': America's 1920s, Bank-Robbing 'Robin Hood'

In his first novel, J.R. Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American robber." Moehringer says writing historical fiction helped him deal with the anger he felt toward banks after the global financial crisis in 2008.
WAMU 88.5

"Why Have Kids?": Making Motherhood Optional

Feminist author Jessica Valenti takes an honest look at the choices women face when it comes to having -- or not having -- kids.

NPR

The Life And Times Of Movie Star 'Laura Lamont'

Emma Straub's novel, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, centers on small-town girl Elsa Emerson's transition into movie star Laura Lamont. Straub says her main character came to her while she was reading an obituary of real-life actress Jennifer Jones. "I was just struck by her life," Straub says.
NPR

'Wallflower' Film Puts Adolescence On Screen

Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks to novelist Stephen Chbosky, who has written and directed the film adaptation of his novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The story follows a shy, high school freshman who becomes friends with upperclassmen who are also social misfits.

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