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Hello Muddah, Hello Drama: The Brief Bloom Of Parodist Allan Sherman

Sherman worked a tight niche: classic songs rewritten to tickle a Jewish audience's funny bone. A new biography, Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman, explains how the performer's 1960s crossover fell in line with a collective awakening to ethnic identity in America.

Sushi Chef Was Confidant To North Korea's Kim Jong Il

Little is known about the men who have led North Korea. But one person with great insights into Kim Jong Il and his successor Kim Jong Un is a Japanese sushi chef. He provided Kim Jong Il both sushi and loyalty for many years. Renee Montagne talks to novelist Adam Johnson about his encounter with the chef, which he writes about in the latest issue of GQ magazine.

Arthur Geisert's 'Thunderstorm' Celebrates Life On The Prairie

The award-winning children's book author has written more than two dozen books set in the American heartland. He's most famous for his intricate illustrations of the Midwest — sprawling prairie, family farms and his signature mischievous pigs.

Mapping 'The World' Of A Remote Afghan Village

Journalist Anna Badkhen chronicles life in a small Afghan village in her new book, The World Is A Carpet. A village of 240 people, Oqa survives on an old-time tradition of carpet weaving. Residents earn about 40 cents a day for carpets that eventually sell for $5,000 to $20,000 abroad.

Searching High And Low For The 'American Spirit'

Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks with Dan Kennedy, author of the novel American Spirit, which features a protagonist who is a little lost. In his effort to get un-lost, he takes on a crazy trip that includes a stint as a drug dealer, enrolls in a ceramics class and looks for some grand life plan in the skies over Yellowstone Park.

Author Recounts Growing Up In 'Fairyland'

Childhood is a complicated journey for most of us: trying to fit in, trying to stand out and wanting to distance yourself from your parents one minute while wanting to grab onto them the next. Now on top of all that, imagine being raised by a single, gay father. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin talks to author Alysia Abbott about her book, Fairyland: A Memoir of my Father.