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'We Walk In Circles,' Pursuing Dreams And Finding Creativity

Daniel Alarcon's new novel is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The protagonist, Nelson, is an aspiring playwright — though he doesn't pursue his dreams with much diligence. Alarcon discusses his own views on working as an artist and his creative process.
NPR

One Way For An Indie Bookstore To Last? Put Women 'First'

Women and Children First has weathered more than three decades of competition from chain stores and online booksellers to become one of the largest feminist bookstores in the U.S. Now, the Chicago store is among the few of its kind left standing — and it's on the hunt for new ownership.
NPR

Ghostwriter Carries On V.C. Andrews' Gothic Legacy

Hold on to your book covers, the best-selling author of Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews, has been dead since 1986. But she's had a ghostwriter channeling her — a man by the name of Andrew Neiderman. NPR's Rachel Martin chats with Neiderman about writing for Andrews, as well as authoring his own works.
NPR

River Phoenix's Eccentric Upbringing, Tragic Death

The young actor died of a drug overdose outside the Hollywood night club 20 years ago this Halloween. Host Rachel Martin talks with Gavin Edwards about his biography of River Phoenix, Last Night at the Viper Room.
NPR

Energetic, Intimate 'Letters' Reveal Private Leonard Bernstein

The Leonard Bernstein Letters, edited by Nigel Simeone, compiles correspondence to and from the legendary composer and conductor. The letters — from serious to silly — offer a detailed look at both the distinguished career and the adventurous personal life of a singular American genius.
NPR

A Sweet And Sour History Of Our Obsession With Candy

You may blame a love of Snickers for those too-tight jeans, but in the early 20th century, the accusations were more serious: Candy was blamed for moral and physical decay. In Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash traces our love/hate relationship with sweets.
NPR

Drawing Rock 'N' Roll And Sympathy Into Frankenstein's World

In his graphic novel adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein, illustrator Gris Grimly says he wants to make the story more accessible. "The first time I tried to read Frankenstein, I didn't get through it," he says.
NPR

Divide By D'oh! The 'Mathematical Secrets' Of The Simpsons

Author Simon Singh's new book teases out the mathematical references hidden in The Simpsons. Singh tells NPR's Scott Simon that the show's writing team includes several trained mathematicians — and that the logical bends and breaks of writing comedy can be very appealing to the mathematically minded.
NPR

Poetry 'On Fire' Gets Author Longlisted For Book Award

Poet Tess Taylor reviews Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire. The new collection by Brenda Hillman has been longlisted for the National Book Award.
NPR

Little 'Libraires' That Could: French Law Would Keep Amazon At Bay

A proposed law in France prevents online booksellers like Amazon from pricing books at deep discounts. It's the French government's latest effort to protect the country's many independent bookshops.

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