Arts & Life

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

NPR | March 30, 2015

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.

From A 'Dragon Tattoo' To The 'Spider's Web': Stieg Larsson's Hero Returns

NPR | March 31, 2015

The late Stieg Larsson's Millennium series of novels is getting an addition, The Girl in the Spider's Web. The book, written by David Lagercrantz, just got its title and a U.S. release date: Sept. 1.

'Little Washer Of Sorrows' Morphs The Mundane Into The Fantastic

NPR | March 31, 2015

Katherine Fawcett's short story collection is comfortably domestic, full of quiet drama and unfussy detail. Until you read further and discover the mermaids, monsters and lonely planets (literally).

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State of Wonder

Welcome to Geronimo Johnson's 'Braggsville'

OPB | March 6, 2015 6:55 p.m.

The writer on staff at OSU Cascades' Low-Residency MFA program is getting raves for his second novel. He talks with us about race in his stories, on his decision to dig into street theater, and more.

State of Wonder

Illustrator Carson Ellis Crafts An Image of Home

OPB | Feb. 19, 2015 7:52 p.m.

The celebrated artist behind the Wildwood books and The Decemberists’s album covers releases her first children’s book. It’s called “Home,” which is where we visited her.

State of Wonder

Miranda July Novel Embraces Awkward

OPB | Jan. 23, 2015 2:38 p.m.

July's "The First Bad Man" explores intimacy, motherhood, sex, and self-defense.

Books | Arts

'Publicly Shamed:' Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter?

NPR | March 31, 2015 4:58 a.m.

Host Steve Inskeep explores modern-day humiliation with writer Jon Ronson, whose new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed digs into the lives of people who've been raked over the coals on social media.

Books | Arts | Entertainment

'Wolf Hall' On Stage And TV Means More Makeovers For Henry VIII's 'Pit Bull'

NPR | March 31, 2015 4:58 a.m.

Hilary Mantel's popular novels breathed new life into Thomas Cromwell's legacy. Now, between a play and a miniseries, there seems to be no limit to the blacksmith's son's potential for reinvention.

Books | Arts

How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

NPR | March 30, 2015 12:38 p.m.

Kevin Kruse's book looks at how industrialists in the '30s and '40s recruited clergy to preach free enterprise. And under the Eisenhower administration, Christianity and capitalism moved center stage.

Books | Arts

Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him

NPR | March 30, 2015 12:38 p.m.

Clive James was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago. "There is a grief in all poetry," he writes in his latest book of essays. "Poetry holds itself together, and eventually we ourselves do not."

Books | Arts

'The Precious One' Has Love At Its Heart

NPR | March 29, 2015 2:31 a.m.

Marisa de los Santos' newest novel follows a young woman returning to her home town to confront her shattered family. Reviewer Bobbi Dumas says it'll remind you that love can change the world.

Books | Arts

'Night At The Fiestas' Spins Stories Of Faith And Family

NPR | March 28, 2015 2:29 p.m.

Kirstin Valdez Quade's debut book of short fiction is inspired by her family and its long history in the "romanticized" region of northern New Mexico.

Books | Arts

Hunting Mythical Monsters 'At The Water's Edge'

NPR | March 28, 2015 7:56 a.m.

Sara Gruen is following her bestselling Water for Elephants with a tale of a young American couple who travel to Scotland during the Second World War in search of the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

Books

At Last, A Fitting Farewell For Richard III

NPR | March 28, 2015 7:56 a.m.

Richard III has been buried, two years after his abandoned bones were found under an abandoned parking lot. NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the man Shakespeare turned into one of his great characters.

Books | Arts | Entertainment

Pour A Bucket Of Blood On These New Adaptations Of 'Carrie'

NPR | March 28, 2015 3:03 a.m.

Stephen King has said his novel Carrie is about women's power and men's fear — an idea reporter Beth Accomando says has gotten lost in newer adaptations of the horror classic for stage and screen.

Books

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

NPR | March 27, 2015 12:32 p.m.

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.