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Book Review: 'Famous Writers I Have Known'

Alan Cheuse reviews a new novel by James Magnuson, Famous Writers I Have Known.

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong has written eight detective novels based in his hometown of Shanghai. Qiu, who lives in St. Louis, embraces the advantages and problems of writing detective fiction in the Internet era, when Chinese people know so much more dirt about their system and leaders.

Upcoming Books To Read In 2014

NPR's Arun Rath talks to Daniel Alarcon, the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, about the new books he is most excited about for 2014.

'On Such A Full Sea': A Fable From A Fractured Future

Chang-Rae Lee is an award-winning author best known for his novels Native Speaker and The Surrendered. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Lee about his latest book On Such a Full Sea, a futuristic dystopian novel set in a declining America that's been repopulated by Chinese immigrant workers.

A Novice Reporter Begins His Journey In The Congo

Ever dream of moving to a foreign country and becoming a journalist? Anjan Sundaram did just that. He left a life as a mathematician in America, bought a one-way ticket to the Congo, and started writing. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Sundaram about his book, Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo, which chronicles what he saw there.

Jimmy Santiago Baca, From Prison To Poetry

Jimmy Santiago Baca began writing poetry while he was serving a five-year sentence in prison. His new anthology tells the story of his journey to becoming a celebrated Chicano poet.

Comic Artist Yumi Sakugawa On Friend-Love, Identity And Art

How should you tell your friends that you're in friend-love with them? Sakugawa, the artist and author of I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You shares what inspires her work.

Lovebirds + String + Watering Can + Dog = Rube Goldberg Magic

The term "Rube Goldberg machine" has become shorthand for a convoluted contraption made up of a series of chain reactions. But Goldberg was also a real person, whose ideas for whimsical devices have captivated imaginations for decades.

Tough Commute This Morning? Your 'Journey' Could Have Been Worse

Just as the passengers aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy thought they had escaped the Antarctic ice, word came that the Chinese ship that rescued them might be stuck as well. Poet Jynne Martin recommends a book to put the situation in perspective, one that tells the story of an expedition that was doomed from the start.
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History Of The Folger Shakespeare Library

This year, Shakespeare fans the world over will be marking 450 years since the birth of the "Bard of Avon." We talk to the director of the Folger Shakespeare Library about the history of the institution, how they're marking this banner year and why the work of England's preeminent poet and playwright continues to resonate with modern American readers.