Posts Tagged: NPR

YA Novels Help Parents Talk Sex

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A discussion with your kid about the birds and the bees might be one of the more intimidating moments of parenthood, but YA novelists can lend a hand. When YA writers confront modern issues of sex, rape, consent, abuse, and gender, they help parents—and schools—introduce these sensitive topics:

Consent doesn’t even have to be about sex, per se, says Earl Sewell, who has written several young adult novels, including one where a boy pressures a girl to send explicit photos after they start sexting.

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Visible: Women Writers of Color #1: Desiree Cooper

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Desiree Cooper discusses her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, what mother-writers need, and why motherhood is the only story she’s ever told. ...more

Song of the Day: “Misunderstood”

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The incredible cacophony of the bridge on Wilco’s definitive ballad “Misunderstood” is all the more striking because of its contrast with the rest of the tender, harmonious song. The brilliance of songwriter Jeff Tweedy is on full display here as the speaker laments his own bad attitude with a self-deprecating tone.

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A Love Born of Mystery

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“I was looking at books… Gary and I had seen each other. We didn’t know one another. And he walked over to me in this particular bookstore and handed me a book by Teran and said, ‘You’ve gotta read this book, it’s really good.'”

NPR shares the love story of Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp, retiring owners of Once Upon a Crime, a mystery bookstore in Minneapolis.

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An Urban Sort of Loneliness

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The Lonely City bristles with heart-piercing wisdom. Loneliness, according to Laing, feels “like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast.” Later, she admits that at one point during her own hermetic existence in New York, “I felt like I was in danger of vanishing.” Thankfully The Lonely City goes far beyond a cry for connection in an overcrowded, overstimulated world.

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Crime Girls

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NPR explores whether and how putting “girl” in the title of your crime novel will garner favorable comparisons to heavy-hitters like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Trainand therefore benefit from an increase in sales:

So in a way, the girl insignia is trying to tie it into this larger marketing purpose, but sometimes it can be a disservice.

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Food Fit for a Pope

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He loves Argentinian empanadas and dulce de leche. In 2015, he said that if he had only one wish, it would be to travel unrecognized to a pizzeria and have a slice—or two or three. In other words, he may be protected by the world’s smallest army and be responsible for the spiritual governance of 1.2 billion people, but when it comes to eating, Pope Francis loves comfort food as much as the next person.

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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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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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