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An Ambivalent Double Agent, Torn Between Two Countries

Ha Jin's new spy novel resembles the story of the real-life Chinese agent Larry Chin — and echoes the expat author's own experiences. But, he notes, a writer's life is less political than a spy's.
NPR

'Comedy Is Extraordinarily Difficult': John Cleese On Being Funny

John Cleese of Monty Python fame has written a memoir, So, Anyway ... , which brings him from boyhood in a quiet British town called Weston to the footlights of London and screens all over the world.
NPR

Reviving A Grand Tradition Of 'Black Prophetic Fire'

Cornel West's new book laments the decline of what he calls "prophetic fire" among black leaders, and lifts up six examples of people who were willing to risk their lives in the service of the truth.
NPR

A 19th Century Novel Explains Quantitative Easing

This week, the Federal Reserve ended the quantitative easing program. Author John Lanchester says Anthony Trollope's 19th century novel The Way We Live Now clarifies the current financial situation.
NPR

Spine-Tingling With A Twang: Great Alabama Ghost Stories

There's nothing like a good ghost story on Halloween — and some of the best tales were told by the late storyteller and NPR commentator Kathryn Tucker Windham.
NPR

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

"The more carny it got, the better I liked it," King says of his new thriller, Joyland. King talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his career writing horror, and about what scares him now.
NPR

'The Book Of Strange New Things' Treads Familiar Territory

Michel Faber's best-seller, The Crimson Petal and the White, captured the feel of Victorian London. His latest is a literary science-fiction tale that might disappoint hard core sci-fi fans.
NPR

The Incredible Story Of Chilean Miners Rescued From The 'Deep Down Dark'

Hector Tobar had exclusive access to the 33 miners to report his new book detailing the claustrophobic horror they faced when they were trapped for 69 days in 2010. The result is a doozy.
NPR

Book Review: 'Belzhar' By Meg Wolitzer

Novelist Gabrielle Zelvin reviews Meg Wolitzer's new young adult book, Belzhar.
NPR

75 Years Of 'Colossal Poets' And Live Literature At NYC's 92nd Street Y

Writer Cynthia Ozick attended readings at the Y in the 1950s. "You saw these icons standing in a blaze of brilliant spotlight," she says, "and you felt that you were at the crux of all civilization."

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