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After Silence, An 'Outline' Of A Life In Fragments

Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline reflects the fragmentation of her own life in the story of a writer coming to terms with her dissolving marriage while on a summer teaching trip to Greece.

This Weekend, Visit San Francisco's Famed Forbidden City In 'China Dolls'

In this installment of Weekend Reads, Jean Kwok recommends Lisa See's novel China Dolls, about the unlikely friendship formed by three young women on vaudeville's all-Asian "Chop Suey Circuit."

How To Revive The Worn Out Cliche

Are cliches always tired? Not necessarily! NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Orin Hargraves, author of It's Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches.

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

From an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, journalist John McQuaid argues in his new book, an exploration of the art and science of taste.

'Blood Of The Tiger': Shedding Light On China's Farmed-Tiger Trade

The endangered animals are bred for luxury items, like tiger bone wine and tigerskin rugs. By raising the demand for these goods, the farms pose a threat to wild tigers, says author J.A. Mills.

Australian Cyberthriller 'Amnesia' Echoes Julian Assange Story

Peter Carey's novel opens as a hacker's computer virus is unlocking prison cells around the world. He says, "Assange was the reason I started writing the book, but I didn't want to write about [him]."

'West Of Sunset' Imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's Last Years In Hollywood

Author Stewart O'Nan says that in the late '30s, Fitzgerald was at the bottom of a bad spiral. But in Hollywood, "he finds himself again: He finds his love of writing, he finds his love of the world."

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Tony Dokoupil's father was once busted for distributing enough marijuana "to roll a joint for every college-age person in America." In The Last Pirate, Dokoupil reflects on his dad's time as a dealer.

In 'Partisan Divide,' Former Congressmen Look For Answers

Robert Siegel speaks with former Congressmen Martin Frost and Tom Davis, co-authors of the new book The Partisan Divide, about the new Congress and how political differences might be bridged.

D.C. Author George Pelecanos Writes What He Knows In 'The Martini Shot'

In his new collection of short stories and a novella, Pelecanos explores crime, adoption and writing from an African-American point of view. He says he's "aware of the responsibility" to get it right.