Arts

Arts and culture

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. If you want to hear some alarming facts about climate change, Bill McKibben has them. He writes in his new book that as the Earth warms, we're now seeing lethal heatwaves in some parts of the world and that the largest physical structures on our planet - the ice caps, coral reefs and rainforests - are disappearing before our eyes.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET

Actress Georgia Engel, whose winning role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show led to a long career on-screen, has died at age 70.

From 1972 to 1977, Engel played sweet, artless Georgette, the girlfriend and then wife of arrogant news anchor Ted Baxter. She explained how the role that cemented her career came to be, in a 2007 interview with the Toronto Star.

"Sometime in the last few years," American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis writes in White, his aggrieved new book about political correctness, he began feeling a near-constant sense of "disgust and frustration that was all due to the foolishness of other people."

The center of Paris is Notre Dame.

This is true both literally and figuratively. The Gothic cathedral is there on Île de la Cité, the island in the Seine in between Paris' Left and Right banks, convenient and inescapable for the estimated 13 million people who visit it every year. Just outside, a Point Zero marker measures the distance to everything else in France. And Notre Dame is there in more than 850 years of French history: in paintings, daguerreotypes, songs, novels, war photos, awed selfies.

Such heaps of praise have piled up for Irish writer Sally Rooney, there's a danger of suffocation from avalanching expectations. At 28, the Trinity College Dublin graduate has published two novels, Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People, both to the sort of excitement that more typically greets new hand-held electronic devices.

Our Planet is the kind of nature show where every image could be a screen saver: sweeping, dramatic landscapes are full of colorful animals.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Robert Caro has spent decades researching and chronicling the lives of notable men.

Updated at 5:52 p.m. ET

Before Dana Canedy got down to the business of announcing the winners of this year's Pulitzer Prizes, the administrator offered an unusual aside.

"I want to break with tradition and offer my sincere admiration for an entry that did not win, but that should give us all hope for the future of journalism in this great democracy," Canedy told the journalists assembled at Columbia University in New York City.

Just in time for spring: three charming romance novels with heroines who find love at any age and in any era — and put a fresh spin on the journey from once upon a time to happily ever after.

Megan Stack, a former foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, gave up a life of covering war and natural disasters when she had her first child in Beijing.

She quickly hired a nanny and soon realized how dependent she was on this woman — something she writes about in her book Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home.

Stack spoke with NPR about the book — and the difficult decision to write about her own family.

We're recapping the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones; look for these recaps first thing on Monday mornings. Spoilers, of course, abound.

Welcome back, everyone. It's been two years since last we gathered around the flickering electronic hearth to feast our eyes on this world, and these characters, many of whom – I'm thinking here of the dragons and the ice-zombies mostly – would happily feast on our eyes. Because Winter is Here, and it's shaping up to be a long, cruel one, and Sansa didn't pack away enough provisions for everyone.

#NPRPoetry Month: Lauren Alleyne

Apr 14, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Cathy Guisewite, the creator of the "Cathy" comic strip, didn't really want the character to be named after her. People would think that "Cathy" was based on her own life, she reasoned, and ... they would be right. Or, at least, they wouldn't be wrong.

"Cathy was kind of my heart," Guisewite says. "Other stronger characters in the strip like Andrea were more my brain. But Cathy was kind of my heart, that was me."

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth."

So begins the story of the flood in Genesis — God's decision to restart creation by sparing two of every animal, and just one family from the deluge.

The ark carries the family of Noah and his sons, plus a pair of every living creature. It also carries Noah's wife, who is not named in the Bible, but who goes on to become the matriarch of all future generations.

It's hard to talk about Jewish culture without talking about food. The bagels, the brisket, the babka. Oh, the babka.

We recorded the show in San Antonio, Texas, this week and invited journalist Dan Rather — Texas native and resident — to play our quiz. In addition to reporting on pretty much every major event of the last half century, Rather is also famous for "Ratherisms" — folksy sayings combining colorful metaphors with colorful wisdom. He's used so many of them, we're curious to see if he can pick out what he really said from the ones that we just made up.

Click the audio link above to hear how he does.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When Jeff Kinney started working on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, he thought he was writing a comic for adults. "I always thought of comics as being for grown-ups, or maybe just for everyone," he says. After eight years of work, he finally showed it to an editor and learned: "I had actually written a children's series which was an absolute surprise to me."

That "surprise" has now sold 180 million copies. There are 13 installments of Greg Heffley's diary and now, Greg's best friend Rowley Jefferson, is getting his own book — Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid.

Optic Nerve, the Argentine writer María Gainza's first novel, tells the reader very little about its protagonist. Her name is María, like her creator; she's an art critic from a fallen-aristocracy background; she lives in Buenos Aires; and at some point in her life, she becomes scared of flying. That's about it. But Gainza, in a gorgeous translation by Thomas Bunstead, mines María's elusiveness — and allusiveness; she's great with a well-placed quotation — to create a highly compelling life story told almost entirely through art.

He says he knows what it's like to live the life of an outcast.

Siddharth Dube came of age as a gay man in India in the 1990s — a time when a law dating back to 1864, Section 377, criminalized homosexuality, calling it an "unnatural offense." (The law was struck down by India's Supreme Court in September 2018.)

Now a specialist in poverty and public health policy, Dube has written a memoir, An Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Changing The World.

About Ruby Sales's TED Talk

At 17, Ruby Sales witnessed the shooting of one of her fellow civil rights activists. She explains how despite the trauma, she went on to devote her life to fighting for social and racial justice.

About Ruby Sales

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Changing The World.

About Angela Oguntala's TED Talk

How do our present thoughts and actions affect the future? Futurist Angela Oguntala shares ideas on how imagining the future we want to see is the first step toward achieving it.

About Angela Oguntala

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Changing The World.

About Sarah Corbett's TED Talk

Sarah Corbett describes herself as an extreme introvert — but she's also an activist. She discusses how alternate forms of activism allow people like her to participate in quietly powerful ways.

About Sarah Corbett

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Changing The World.

About Dolores Huerta's TED Talk

As a lifelong activist, Dolores Huerta has learned how to use her voice to fight for social justice. She discusses the power that all of us have to demand justice and spark movements for change.

About Dolores Huerta

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Changing The World.

About Jeremy Heimans's TED Talk

In the digital age, the power of the collective has led to movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. Jeremy Heimans discusses how we can continue to use what he calls "new power" to drive activism.

About Jeremy Heimans

A new musical explores life in high school in a way that's eerily familiar. It's called Ranked, and it's set in a dystopian world where your class rank — determined by grades and test scores — governs everything from where you sit to what your future holds.

Think you know the suburbs? Well, it might be time to revisit.

At least, that's what Amanda Kolson Hurley, a senior editor at urban news site CityLab, wants you to do. Kolson Hurley is well-acquainted with suburbia's numerous negative stereotypes — some of them, such as racial segregation and ecological threat, all too valid. But in Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City, Kolson Hurley sets out to reveal a different side of the vast patchwork of not-quite-urban, not-quite-rural zones in which more than half of Americans live.

Who would want to date someone named "Brooks Rattigan"?

It sounds like a jerk who makes furniture. It sounds like a corrupt law firm. It sounds like a preppy mobster. It sounds like an announcement of the two competitors who will face off in the final match of a wrestling tournament in a town whose population was built only by reproduction between and among people who rowed crew in college.

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