Arts & Life

After His Brother's Suicide, Writer Seeks Comfort In 'All The Wrong Places'

NPR | Feb. 24, 2015

In his new memoir, Philip Connors writes about "living in the shadow of a suicide." Wracked by guilt and haunted by "what ifs," Connors investigated his brother's death and learned a terrible secret.

Robert Christgau Reviews His Own Life

NPR | March 01, 2015

The 72-year-old "Dean of American Rock Critics" discusses his new memoir, Going into the City.

For An Author In India's Capital, 'Hope, In Many Ways, Is Fiction'

NPR | March 01, 2015

In his novel She Will Build Him a City, Raj Kamal Jha weaves the reality he sees as a journalist in New Delhi — where many gravitate looking for a better future — into a fictional, magical world.

More Books

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.

Arts | Books

This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone'

NPR | March 1, 2015 5:44 a.m.

Margaret Drabble's The Millstone, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant. Author Tessa Hadley says this 50-year-old novel is a weekend must-read.

World | Arts | Books

Pakistani Author Mohsin Hamid And His Roving 'Discontent'

NPR | Feb. 28, 2015 7:40 a.m.

Mohsin Hamid combines the personal and political in his new book, Discontent and Its Civilizations. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the Pakistani author about his new collection of essays.

Arts | Books | Nation

A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

NPR | Feb. 28, 2015 7:03 a.m.

Racial tensions between blacks and whites are at the heart of the "Ol' Man River" musical. Asian-American actors say it doesn't make sense to get on board.

Arts | Books

Uncovering Hidden Black History, On Screen And On The Page

NPR | Feb. 28, 2015 4:03 a.m.

On TV and in the movies, it can sometimes seem like black people only existed during slavery or the civil rights era. K. Tempest Bradford recommends some books that bring hidden history to light.

Entertainment | Arts | Books

Small Batch Edition: 'The Sculptor' And Other Grand Graphic Novels

NPR | Feb. 27, 2015 10:09 a.m.

Glen Weldon and Petra Mayer talk about Scott McCloud's The Sculptor and recommend other graphic novels you might enjoy.

Books | Nation

As First Black American NHL Player, Enforcer Was Defenseless Against Racism

NPR | Feb. 27, 2015 7:03 a.m.

Val James became the first American-born black player in the NHL in 1982. He ensured vicious racism, including fans throwing bananas on the ice. After 30 years in silence he is talking about it now.

Arts | Books

This Month (And Every Month), Black Sci-Fi Writers Look To The Future

NPR | Feb. 27, 2015 4:03 a.m.

For years, black authors stood out in science fiction and fantasy because there were so few. Now, says Alaya Dawn Johnson, though there are still obstacles, black authors are making themselves heard.

Arts | Books

Remembering Bertrice Small, One Of The Original 'Avon Ladies'

NPR | Feb. 26, 2015 1:58 p.m.

Small, who died this week at 77, was one of a group of authors who helped transform romance in the 1970s, from a relatively tame, demure genre to the bold, bawdy books that sell by the millions today.

Arts | Books | Health | Science

From Naked Mole Rats To Dog Testicles: A Writer Explores The Longevity Quest

NPR | Feb. 26, 2015 1:28 p.m.

"Nature knows how to let animals live a very long time," says Bill Gifford, whose latest book is Spring Chicken, a look at the history of anti-aging schemes and current ways people try to live longer.

Arts | Books

Please Fill In This Form In Triplicate Before You Read 'Utopia Of Rules'

NPR | Feb. 26, 2015 7:16 a.m.

In The Utopia of Rules, David Graeber argues that we live in an "age of total bureaucratization." Reviewer Tomas Hachard says in places the book is almost as serpentine as modern bureaucracy.