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P.D. James Believed Mysteries Were Made Of Clues, Not Coincidences

The best-selling author died Thursday. She was 94. In 1987, James told Terry Gross that while the "shock of finding the bodies is important" in her novels, she personally doesn't like "messy lives."
NPR

Historian Illustrates Racial Intolerance In The Northeast In Post-War U.S.

In his new book All Eyes Are Upon Us, Jason Sokol writes about how Northerners were blind to patterns of segregation, discrimination and racial violence in such states as New York and Massachusetts.
NPR

Pope Francis As Reformer, Evangelizer — And Doctrinal Conservative

Austen Ivereigh, author of a new biography of Pope Francis, says the media have misjudged the Pope's comments on abortion and homosexuality — but that Francis is a radical in other respects.
NPR

Mark Strand's Poetry Moved Easily From Common To Sublime

Poet laureate Mark Strand has died at age 80. He spurned conventional form and wrote spare and haunting prose, which won him the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999.
NPR

Backstage With Janis Joplin: Doubts, Drugs And Compassion

John Byrne Cooke was Janis Joplin's road manager from 1967 until her untimely death in 1970. So he saw a lot of rock history up close — and describes some of the details in a new memoir.
NPR

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand Dies At 80

The Canadian-born poet was known for his wit and introspection. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and Yale University's Bollingen Prize.
NPR

Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Andrew Lawler's Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? explores the secret to the domesticated bird's success: "You can turn the chicken into almost anything," he says, from religious symbol to dinner.
NPR

After The Ferguson Decision, A Poem That Gives Name To The Hurt

This week, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. Writer Syreeta McFadden turns to Audre Lorde's poetry to make sense of this decision.
NPR

'Queen Of Crime' PD James Was A Master Of Her Craft

A remembrance of murder mystery writer PD James, who died Thursday at her home in Oxford, England.
NPR

For P.D. James, A Good Mystery Celebrated Human Intelligence

The British author of best-selling detective stories has died at age 94. "In a sense, the detective story is a small celebration of reason and order in our very disorderly world," she told NPR.

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