Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

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The writer Philip Roth died yesterday at 85. His career spanned more than five decades. Our former co-host Robert Siegel talked with Roth over the years about many of his books and often about the work of writing. Here he is in 2008.

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J.F. Riordan’s books are quiet in some ways and loud in others. Her character-driven series, called North of the Tension Line, plays out in the community of Washington Island, on the tip of Door County.

Bonnie North

The members of the Milwaukee band Various Small Fires are of different generations and different backgrounds. But they’re united in a remarkable ability to channel a sound that would have been right at home 40 years go. Even their original material has a soulful flavor of 1970s, brass-infused pop.

The Thistle & Shamrock: A Gentle Revolution

22 hours ago

After fading into obscurity, the Celtic harp made a steady resurgence beginning in the 1970s. We present an hour of inspirational sounds from harpers William Jackson, Wendy Stewart, Moya Brennan and Alan Stivell, the latter having been credited with sowing the seeds of this gentle revolution.

As people continue to feed more and more of their interior selves — our likes, dislikes, wants, needs, social cartographies — into digital networks that harvest and parse that information into profiles used to make money, a new frontier of monitoring that hones in on our physical features is ascendant.

Author Philip Roth was a hero of mine, and I interviewed him for NPR many times over the years.

The conversation I remember best was recorded in 1984. We covered several of his novels, including 1979's The Ghost Writer. In it, the book's hero, 23-year-old aspiring writer Nathan Zuckerman, turns a family fight about money into a story he'd like to publish. Zuckerman's father worries the story is bad for the Jews. I asked Roth if there were terrific stories that don't get written because they're bad for someone.

When James Clapper retired from his post as Director of National Intelligence in January 2017, a former colleague said: “I think history will be kind to Jim Clapper.”

And Clapper lived through quite a history.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Here's a hypothetical: Would you drop out of a prestigious school to pursue a music career? What if there was a huge buzz around your high school bedroom recordings — lush atmospheric pop with some of the most incisive lyrics about love and loss — that you never expected anyone to hear, but when people did hear it, they loved it?

Björk doesn't so much perform on a stage — she inhabits a space.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Missouri is at the vanguard of defining what meat is, thanks to legislation awaiting the governor's signature.

Paige Patterson, who has been under fire for weeks over his past advice to women concerning marital abuse and rape, has been quietly replaced as president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Patterson has been on the defensive since allegations surfaced that he once counseled women who suffered marital abuse to pray for their husbands. The Washington Post on Tuesday also reported an incident in which Patterson allegedly told a woman who said she had been raped to forgive her assailant rather than report the incident to police.

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