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Arts & Life

'The Handmaid's Tale' Wants You To Feel Like 'This Could Happen Here'

NPR | April 28, 2017

Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley star in Hulu's TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel — in which fertile women become reproductive surrogates for powerful men and their barren wives.

Paula Hawkins Prepares To Dive 'Into The Water'

NPR | April 28, 2017

Author Paula Hawkins was down on her luck when her 2015 book The Girl on the Train became a smash hit. Now she's grappling with success and preparing to launch her followup, Into the Water.

In 'Walkaway,' A Blueprint For A New, Weird (But Better) World

NPR | April 27, 2017

Cory Doctorow's latest novel is set in a ripped-from-the-headlines near future dystopia, where the creative and the capable — and the lost — are walking into the wilderness to build a new world.

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Books | Arts

'Maud' Doesn't Quite Live Up To Its Heroine's Example

NPR | April 26, 2017 4 a.m.

Lucy Maud Montgomery — creator of Anne of Green Gables — seems like the perfect subject for a work of young adult fiction. But Melanie Fishbane's Maud feels like a draft of a Montgomery story.

Books | Arts

'Just Show Up': Sheryl Sandberg On How To Help Someone Who's Grieving

NPR | April 25, 2017 2:10 p.m.

The Facebook executive lost her husband in 2015. She says, "Rather than offer to do something, it's often better to do anything. Just do something specific." Her new book is called Option B.

Books | Arts

Gripping Comics Memoir 'Hostage' Puts You In The Room Where Nothing Happens

NPR | April 25, 2017 11:12 a.m.

Cartoonist Guy Delisle departs from the first-person travelogue format which has won him acclaim to chronicle the true story of a man kidnapped and detained for months in the Caucasus region in 1997.


'Anything Is Possible' Is Unafraid To Be Gentle

NPR | April 25, 2017 4 a.m.

Elizabeth Strout's new novel-in-stories is a welcome salve for troubled times. A companion volume to last year's My Name is Lucy Barton, Anything is Possible looks at the people Lucy grew up with.

Books | Arts

In Ann Brashare's Latest, Two Kids From A Fractured Family Meet At Last

NPR | April 24, 2017 9:02 a.m.

The author behind the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series writes from experience — her parents divorced when she was young, and she says the divisions remain "to this day."

Books | Arts

David McCullough's Collected Speeches Will Give Your 'American Spirit' A Boost

NPR | April 22, 2017 7 a.m.

Speeches in book form are a reliable cash cow for publishers, and tend to fall into the "last minute gift idea" category. But David McCullough's new The American Spirit is a happy exception.

Books | Arts

Wanting More From 'Imagine Wanting Only This'

NPR | April 22, 2017 4 a.m.

Kristen Radtke is an experienced writer and artist, but her graphic memoir — about grief, loss and obsessive travel — disappoints with rudimentary illustrations and spotty storytelling.

Books | Music | Arts

How Do You Bond With Mozart? Adopt A Starling

NPR | April 20, 2017 6:56 a.m.

Naturalist and author Lyanda Lynn Haupt took her research on Mozart to a whole new level when she invited a young starling into her home.

Books | Arts

'Tender' Stories Are A Feast Of Ideas

NPR | April 20, 2017 4 a.m.

Sofia Samatar is the creator of an award-winning fantasy world; she sticks closer to earth in her powerful first story collection, but it's not always the earth we might recognize.

Books | Arts

'The Book Of Joan' Is A Dizzying, Dystopian Genre Mashup

NPR | April 20, 2017 2 a.m.

Lidia Yuknavitch reimagines Joan of Arc as a freedom fighter on a blighted future earth, setting herself against the charismatic ruler of a satellite colony of nearly unrecognizably mutated humans.