At its core, John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy isn't really about espionage, says critic John Powers. The 1974 novel, adapted for the screen in 1979 by the BBC, is actually about secrets and lies and shifting identities — which is to say, a metaphor for our own daily lives.
Criminologist David M. Kennedy's strategy for reducing gang violence has dramatically reduced youth homicide rates nationwide. In his new memoir, Don't Shoot, Kennedy outlines how community meetings and interventions have worked to curb youth violence in more than 70 cities.
Mindy Kaling's humor is rooted in a type of circular logic that's all her own. Just consider this recent Tweet: "Can everyone buy my book please? I wanna quit the business and homeschool my kids real weird."
"She was simply the center of my life," says Joan Didion, whose daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, died at age 39. Her death came just two years after the death of Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne. "We all survive more than we think we can," Didion tells NPR's Susan Stamberg.
If you are uncertain about the implications of The Jock-Nerd Convergence or are unsure about the dangers posed by The Century Toad, fear not: author John Hodgman is here to explain them to you. Also: sardines.
This round of Three-Minute Fiction attracted 3,400 original stories. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from Sleep Lessons by Chad Woody from Springfield, Mo., and Susan Stamberg shares parts of The Edge by Andrew Morris from Andes, N.Y. To see these stories and others go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Jon Roberts is the man considered most responsible for bringing cocaine into the US during the 1970s and '80s through the Medellin drug cartel. In American Desperado, a book he co-wrote with journalist Evan Wright, he tells all, from working in the Mafia in New York City to smuggling drugs in Miami.
Famines, like the one happening in the Horn of Africa, share common threads with each other, even when they happen on different continents or in different centuries. Host Audie Cornish talks with Thomas Keneally, author of Three Famines: Starvation and Politics, about the modern history of famines.
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