Posts Tagged: NPR

Dickens and the Lottery

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If you’re disappointed you didn’t win the Powerball jackpot, head over to NPR to read Charles Dickens’s account of the lottery in Naples, an event he seemed to find both amusing and horrifying:

Dickens heard of a man being thrown fatally from his horse, only to be pounced on by a punter—a person who places a wager—who begged him, “If you have one gasp of breath left, mention your age for Heaven’s sake, that I may play that number in the lottery.”

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Shakespeare’s First Folio, Coming to a City Near You!

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The Folger has 82 First Folios—the largest collection in the world. It’s located several stairways down, in a rare manuscript vault. To reach them, you first have to get through a fire door … (if a fire did threaten these priceless objects, it would be extinguished not with water—never water near priceless paper—but with a system that removes oxygen from the room).

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Dean Koontz for Penguin Random House

The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more

In Her Own Words

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Over at NPR, authors Claire Vaye Watkins and Marlon James talk about Watkins’s recent essay, “On Pandering,” which she describes as:

…internalizing the sexism that I’d encountered in the writing world, and the world beyond, and adjusting what I wrote accordingly so that it would be more well-received … by the people I wanted to impress, which was a white male voice that I had in my mind.

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The Rumpus Interview with Debra Monroe

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Debra Monroe talks about her new memoir, My Unsentimental Education, the future of the genre, and how the Internet has changed what it means to be human. ...more

Love Letters and the Long Con

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This is a story is about a con that unfolded very slowly over two decades. When the con was finally exposed, some of the victims defended the people who had been fooling them. They preferred to believe the lie.

NPR’s Hidden Brain podcast recently featured an episode called “The Heart Wants What It Wants,” a moving story about loneliness, love letters, and illusions.

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An Experiment in Fiction

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Atwood says this is not the time for realistic fiction — and it’s no coincidence that dystopia and fantasy are on the rise now. “I think they’re coming out of people’s feeling that things are going haywire, and you cannot depend on a stable background for ‘realistic fiction.’ And when there’s perceived instability that’s happening you can’t write that kind of novel and have people believe it.”

In a conversation with NPR, Margaret Atwood talks about her new novel, The Heart Goes Last, a book which NPR describes as difficult to define.

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Mary Karr, Queen of the Memoir, on that “Low-Rent Form”

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I stopped putting things in quotation marks because I really wanted the reader to continue to understand or believe or think that he or she was in my head.

Listen up as Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club, Cherry, and Lit, talks to NPR’s Terry Gross about the art of memoir, the purpose of prayer, and the ambitions she and David Foster Wallace shared.

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Grace Jones and Yo La Tengo

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No supergroup rumors here (sadly), but both delivered performances this week that you may have missed. First, Grace Jones killed it at the Afropunk festival, topless, in full body paint, and wielding a hula hoop through the entirety of “Slave to the Rhythm.” A crowd member did us all a favor by catching a short clip of the performance, which you can watch via Dazed Digital.

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Hugo and the Sad Puppies

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The Hugo Award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon science fiction, a genre which is (finally) broadening to include a diversity of authors and views. That’s not a good thing, according to many white male writers and fans, who have banded together as the “Sad Puppies” to fight against what they see as affirmative action for women and writers of color who are dominating the nominations for the Hugos.

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keretEtgar (credit) Yanai Yechiel

The Rumpus Interview with Etgar Keret

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Writer Etgar Keret talks about his new memoir The Seven Good Years, the early criticism he faced as a writer, and the surreal that is always waiting. ...more