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Lawmakers, Librarians Take Renewed Look At Renovating D.C.'s Central Library

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is badly in need of renovation, but during a roundtable Thursday, lawmakers and librarians were relieved to hear that it could be fixed at all.

NPR

British Scientist Driven To Find 'Spark Of Life'

Frances Ashcroft's new book details how electricity in the body fuels everything we think, feel or do. She tells Fresh Air about discovering a new protein, how scientists are like novelists and how she wanted to be a farmer's wife.
NPR

Eric LeGrand Tackling Life's Obstacles

Eric LeGrand was a standout defensive lineman at Rutgers University, when a tough tackle left him motionless on the football field. A spinal cord injury paralyzed him from the neck down. He speaks with guest host Celeste Headlee about overcoming major obstacles and his memoir, Believe: My Faith and the Tackle that Changed My Life.
NPR

A Midcentury Romance, With 'Sunlight' And 'Shadow'

When aspiring Broadway actress Catherine and World War II vet Harry first lock eyes on the Staten Island Ferry, everything changes — but their lives together won't be easy. Mark Helprin delivers an old-fashioned love story, and an ode to 1940s New York, in his novel In Sunlight and in Shadow.
NPR

Poverty Informs J.K. Rowling's New Novel For Adults

The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.
NPR

'Sutton': America's 1920s, Bank-Robbing 'Robin Hood'

In his first novel, J.R. Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American robber." Moehringer says writing historical fiction helped him deal with the anger he felt toward banks after the global financial crisis in 2008.
WAMU 88.5

"Why Have Kids?": Making Motherhood Optional

Feminist author Jessica Valenti takes an honest look at the choices women face when it comes to having -- or not having -- kids.

NPR

Personal Reflections On Gone With The Wind

Two authors, Jesmyn Ward and Jodi Picoult, explain how Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind changed their lives as teenagers.

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