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Fleeing North Korea Through 'Asia's Underground Railroad'

North Korea remains one of the most isolated and repressive countries in the world. Each year, a brave few attempt an escape to freedom through China. In Escape From North Korea, writer Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the harrowing personal stories of North Korean defectors and their quest for freedom.
NPR

'Inventing Wine': The History Of A Very Vintage Beverage

In his new book, author and oenophile Paul Lukacs traces the 8,000-year history of our original alcoholic beverage — from ancient times, when wine was believed to be of divine origin, to the sauvignon blanc you find in your supermarket today.
NPR

A New 'Testament' Told From Mary's Point Of View

In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
NPR

'Three Cups Of Tea' Co-Author Took Own Life, Medical Examiner Says

David Oliver Relin was Greg Mortenson's co-writer on the best-seller. In the past year, Mortenson has been accused of fabricating some of his tales about his life in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the charitable work he did there.
NPR

Abad's 'Oblivion' Puts A Face On Colombia's Dead

One of the rising stars in the Latin American literary world is Hector Abad. The Colombian-born author has released a searing book, Oblivion: A Memoir, in the U.S. that took him a generation to write. It's the story of his father, a beloved doctor who was murdered in the 1980s.
NPR

No Rules In The Great 'Game' Of Afghan Politics

Writer Tamim Ansary was born in Afghanistan, and his new book, Games Without Rules, traces the country's turbulent history over the past two centuries. The title refers both to the game played for control of Afghanistan and the popular sport of buzkashi, a sort of chaotic polo played with a goat carcass.

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