NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates profiles novelist Susan Straight, who is putting her hometown of Riverside, Calif., on the literary map. Straight herself is white, but she weaves the black, working-class voices of Riverside into her work.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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