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For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

His new book, Dissident Gardens, follows three generations of an activist family, from Rose, a secular Jew and communist, to Sergius, her commune-raised grandson. The book is fiction, but its characters were inspired by Lethem's own family story.
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Jhumpa Lahiri: "The Lowland"

"The Lowland" is a new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. Based on true events, it's the story of two brothers growing up in post-colonial India and the limits of love and sacrifice.

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Andre Dubus III: "Dirty Love"

The best-selling author of "House of Sand and Fog" returns to fiction with a collection of linked novellas that explore conflicting needs of power, fear and fantasy.


10 Years, One Book: Norman Rush Brews A Literary Distillation

In his third, much anticipated novel, Subtle Bodies, Rush takes the reader inside the most intimate parts of friendship. The author says his goal for this book, which took him nearly a decade to finish, was to produce his first concentrated piece of writing.

The 'Wild' Story Of Cheryl Strayed And Her Long-Lost Half-Sister

Strayed's half-sister checked Wild out of the public library because she thought it looked like an interesting travel book. She was about halfway through the first chapter when she realized that she and the author shared the same father.

'Be Mine': Love And Identity Tangled In Tehran

In her debut novel, Iranian-American Sara Farizan tells the story of two teenage girls, secretly in love. Sahar faces a crisis when she discovers Nasrin is engaged, and considers gender-reassignment surgery as a way for them to stay together. Farizan speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about the book and her own struggle with her sexual orientation.

Suspicious? In 'United States Of Paranoia,' It's Not Just You

Author Jesse Walker argues that believing in shadowy cabals and ominous secrets isn't just for people on the margins — it's as American as apple pie. He says that our nation's paranoia stretches back to the colonial era, and that some conspiracy theories are believed by a majority of Americans.

Billy Crystal's 'Foolin',' Full Of Fun — And Feeling

The comic and actor talks to NPR's Scott Simon about his insomnia, his friendship with baseball legend Mickey Mantle, and the love of his life. They're all topics in his memoir, Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell are My Keys?
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Langdon Cook: "The Mushroom Hunters"

How exotic mushrooms make it from the field to our plates. A mushroom forager takes us into the underground world of hunting for porcinis, morels and truffles.

WAMU 88.5

Pat Conroy: "The Death Of Santini"

Novelist Pat Conroy talks with Diane about his new memoir. In it, he describes his stormy family history, specifically his relationship with his father, the inspiration for his best-seller, "The Great Santini."