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'A Hundred Flowers' Looks At China's Revolution

NPR's Alan Cheuse reviews the new novel A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama that takes place in China during 1950s and '60s.

What The Future Holds For The 'Kids Of Kabul'

Afghanistan's decade-long insurgency has largely been fought by men. But in 2011, author Deborah Ellis went to Kabul to ask, how do Afghanistan's children see their future? She tries to answer that question in her recently released book, Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War. Ellis speaks with guest host Viviana Hurtado.
WAMU 88.5

Ruth Richardson: "Dickens & the Workhouse: Oliver Twist and the London Poor" (Rebroadcast)

The recent discovery that as a youth Charles Dickens lived only a few doors from a major London workhouse made headlines worldwide. Diane and her guest talk about the campaign to save it from demolition and Dicken's pre-occuptation with the bleak workhouse at the heart of his novel.

WAMU 88.5

Stuart Firestein: "Ignorance: How It Drives Science" (Rebroadcast)

A neuroscientist claims that ignorance--not knowledge--is the true engine of science. He explains how scientists use ignorance to concentrate their research, and why "not knowing" is one of the greatest benefits to science.


Robert Crais: L.A. Is 'Natural Canvas' For Nightmare

From murder in the Venice canals to human trafficking in the desert, Los Angeles serves as the perfect setting for Robert Crais' noir novels, starring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, two PIs who are desperately seeking normal — both for their clients and themselves.

Long After Katrina, New Orleans Fights For 'Home'

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the devastating losses and the inept government response, dominated the news cycle for a few months. But New Orleans residents' struggle to return home never stopped. Writer Daniel Wolff's new book follows several Crescent City characters as they rebuild after the disaster.

What's Music Superstar Usher Reading?

In the latest installment of our occasional series, musician Usher tells us "What I'm Reading."

The 'State Of England' Is Grim In 'Lionel Asbo'

Martin Amis' latest novel, Lionel Asbo, takes a bilious — but funny — look at the deterioration of England through the eyes of the titular lowlife Lionel, a habitual offender who doesn't mind repeated prison stints, and his crime-reporter nephew Desmond.