Elusive and iconic, author Thomas Pynchon may intimidate some readers, but he has a devoted following. Bleeding Edge, his new new novel, is about a spunky, Upper West Side mother and fraud investigator in the era between the dot-com boom and Sept. 11.
Employees at the Veterans Crisis Line work to stop suicides by helping veterans in crisis. A mother of two service members struggles through calls with young veterans, while another responder knows first-hand what it feels like to have a flashback.
When dictionaries add trendy words like "twerk," they're prioritizing the fleeting language habits of the young, says Geoff Nunberg. And our fascination with novel words tends to eclipse subtle changes in the meanings of old ones — "which are often more consequential," he says.
America's Cup yachts can gracefully skim above water at better than 40 mph, but Frank Deford says when he looks back at the seven seas in 2013 he'll remember 64-year-old Nyad "plowing, all by herself, freestyle, through 100 miles of surf from Havana to Key West."
Daniel Woodrell's new novel explores the lingering consequences of an explosion in an Ozarks dance hall that kills 42 people. It wasn't an accident, but the book isn't about a hunt for the murderer. Instead, reviewer Ellah Allfrey says, it's a remarkable study of a surviving sister's life and grief.
Commentator Andrei Codrescu reflects on the text message written by poet Seamus Heaney just before he died. In Latin he wrote to his wife "do not be afraid." The 74-year-old Heaney died in a Dublin hospital last week. Codrescu says no great meaning should be implied — it was just a personal message to his wife.
Robert Siegel talks with regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution and David Brooks with The New York Times. They discuss the latest over U.S. military intervention in Syria.
When you give to WAMU, your tax-deductible membership gift helps make possible award-winning programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and other favorites.