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Tina Brown: Women Are Terrifyingly Vulnerable In Many Places

For our regular feature "Word of Mouth," Renee Montagne talks with Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and founder of the annual Women in the World summit. She has three must-reads on women whose lives were changed by kidnapping and captivity.
NPR

'Winter's Bone' Author Revisits A Tragedy In His Ozarks Hometown

For nearly a century, Daniel Woodrell's hometown of West Plains, Mo., has been haunted by a dance hall explosion that killed dozens of the town's young people in 1928. Woodrell explores the disaster — and his Ozarks roots — in his new novel The Maid's Version.
NPR

From McDermott, An Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 'Someone'

Alice McDermott's characters can often be described as average, and Marie, the heroine of her latest novel, is no exception. But critic Maureen Corrigan says the power of McDermott's writing is that she can make even Marie's run-of-the-mill life one for the record books.
NPR

Book News: Malala, Girl Shot By Taliban, Calls Books 'Weapons That Defeat Terrorism'

Also: Lemony Snicket on poetry and playground slides; tiny secret paintings on the sides of books; Lorin Stein on John Hollander.
NPR

For Biographers, The Past Is An Open (Electronic) Book

Biographers of Gandhi or Catherine the Great could rely on paper archives, but those days are fading fast. WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports that that old ways of digging up the past are changing as people rely more and more on electronic communication.
NPR

An Alternate Universe Delights In Complex, Perplexing 'Duplex'

Books about quantum mechanics can be pretty dry stuff. But when a novelist conjures up multiple worlds, the results can be spellbinding, even when it's no easy read. Such is the case with Duplex, the latest book from Kathryn Davis. Reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin, says this one's worth the effort.
WAMU 88.5

Dr. Norman Rosenthal: "The Gift Of Adversity"

Dr. Norman Rosenthal was the first to diagnose and treat seasonal affective disorder. The psychiatrist on facing adversity and setbacks in his own life.

NPR

Book News: Seamus Heaney's Last Words Were 'Don't Be Afraid'

Also: The Hugo Awards; a push to ban a Toni Morrison book from Alabama school reading lists, the best book coming out this week.
NPR

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

The Golden 1920s couple didn't fare as well in the 1930s, and the North Carolina mountain town was host to a particularly sad time. NPR's Susan Stamberg discovered a little-known story of the Jazz Age darlings, and their devastating connections to Asheville.
NPR

From Peace To Patriotism: The Shifting Identity Of 'God Bless America'

In the new book God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song, author Sheryl Kaskowitz explores the lyrical evolution of Irving Berlin's enduring song and explains how its early popularity reflected the anxiety of the pre-war period and sparked a surprising anti-Semitic and xenophobic backlash.

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