Terry McMillan, the best-selling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, tells NPR's Scott Simon that she writes because she wishes she were a magician. She shows off her tricks in Who Asked You?, a novel with many narrators — including a woman named BJ and her husband, children and grandkids.
Reviewer Susan Jane Gilman wasn't impressed by the title of Someone, but she says Alice McDermott's novel is nowhere near as generic as its name. Nothing extraordinary happens to the Irish-American protagonist, but with spare poetry and deep compassion, McDermott makes familiar territory seem new.
Norman Rush's newest novel takes a geographic hiatus from Botswana, his usual literary location. Instead, reviewer Drew Toal says the book is instead full of irritating intellectuals, postmortem scandal, and a group of collegiate clowns who come together after the death of an old friend.
A chance encounter with a little girl in an ice cream store inspired R.J. Palacio to write a novel about a boy born with distorted facial features. She says it got her thinking about what it's like to "have to face a world every day that doesn't know how to face you back."
We explore the plight of U.S.-affiliated workers in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan with Kirk Johnson, founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies, and author of the new book, "To Be a Friend is Fatal."
The author of the incredibly successful Harry Potter books, which went on to be incredibly successful movies, has made a deal with Warner Bros. The plan is for a series of movies based on "Newt Scamander," writer of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook in the Potter stories.
In his new book, Average Is Over, Tyler Cowen predicts that America will become a new, more creative meritocracy. Though he believes a rise in income inequality is inevitable, he hopes that "happiness inequality isn't going up in the same way."
Haiti typically makes international headlines for stories about natural disasters, disease and poverty, but Haitian-born writer Edwidge Danticat continually challenges her audience to take a closer look. Danticat joins Kojo to talk about her first work of fiction since the 2010 earthquake, “Claire of the Sea Light.”
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