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NPR

Tracing Ballet's Cultural History Over 400 Years

Ballet's history is not just about choreography and technique — it's also a history of nationalization, the changing ways we view the body, shifting gender norms and class struggles. Historian Jennifer Homans chronicles the art form in a cultural history, Apollo's Angels.
NPR

Founder Of Shakespeare & Co Bookstore In Paris Dies

The founder of a venerable literary institution in Paris has died at 98. George Whitman founded the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, across from the Notre Dame cathedral. The shop was a magnet for English speakers in the French capital.
NPR

Janet Evanovich On Love, Laughs And Being A Voyeur

Explosive Eighteen is the 18th in the best-selling series of crime novels featuring Jersey girl Stephanie Plum. Author Janet Evanovich discusses the inspiration for her heroine and how she eavesdrops for ideas.
NPR

Year-End Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels Of 2011

2011 was a terrific year for fiction — both from first-time novelists and much-decorated veterans. Maureen Corrigan's recommendations range from Karen Russell's dazzling debut, to David Foster Wallace's posthumously published novel, to what may be the Sept. 11 novel.
NPR

Fakin' It: Three Books On Masquerading Identities

Impostors can be scheming, even villainous, but their stories tempt us with an attractive possibility — the chance to wear a mask. Writer David Anthony suggests three tales about nefarious characters that let us indulge in our fascination with the art of manipulating outward appearances.
NPR

An Ancient Tale Of War, An Ode To Epic Mythology

Homage to the Iliad lingers in literature even today, but most retellings do not live up to the grandeur of their ancient ancestor. Author Dawn Tripp recommends a rare find that does measure up — the haunting Homeric novel Ransom, by David Malouf.

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