Arts & Culture

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

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Almost a year ago, via a seemingly innocuous tweet, the very funny comedian and very funny actor Kumail Nanjiani and I discovered a shared enthusiasm for, and very deep feelings about, the romantic comedies of the 1990s. At our recent tour stop in Los Angeles at the Regent Theater, Kumail was in our fourth chair, and the topic was ... romantic comedies.

The sweet potato has a secret identity.

It's not just the food upon which marshmallows are heaped and maple syrup is poured to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving.

It is also a staple of the African diet. And Africans who eat it feel passionately about it. For some, it kindles warm memories. For some, it's a neglected food that deserves a higher profile because of its nutritional value.

And some people can't stand it!

Museum's 1770s Artifact Smells Of Rum

Nov 23, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In most ways, Of Fire and Stars treads over very familiar ground. We find ourselves in a fantasy kingdom where magic is feared, and a princess must hide her powers in order to fulfill her destiny as a future king's bride. There are schemes and plots and romantic agonies aplenty, especially when the princess begins to fall in love with the wrong person. All of this would make an enjoyable enough read, but then Audrey Coulthurst elevates the story with a refreshing twist: The princess doesn't fall in love with a stable boy or the captain of the guard.

This is the time of year when donations to food banks spike. But, some food banks are getting pickier about what they'll accept.

Earlier this year the Capital Area Food Bank announced it would "dramatically" cut back on junk food it receives and distributes. This means saying "no" to donations such as sheet cakes, holiday candy, sugary sodas and other processed, bakery items.

It's Thanksgiving, which means you'll be seeing Aunt Martha's sweet potato casserole encased in a marshmallow cloud that has drifted too close to the sun. Cousin Joe, who's just here for the game, will bring his famous can-shaped cranberry sauce that looks like it's been attacked by a Slinky. Then your sister will arrive with her sad concoction of green beans drowning in cream-of-mushroom soup, flecked with floating onion strings that have been flung like debris from the Titanic.

The city of Utica in upstate New York has been a model of refugee resettlement for 40 years.

Local leaders say immigrants from war-torn countries, including thousands of Muslim immigrants, have helped stabilize the population and economy. But now Utica is bracing for president-elect Donald Trump, who has promised big changes to America's refugee program.

Shelly Callahan, who runs the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, looked in on a class of refugees studying one of the most mysterious of skills: how to drive on icy roads in upstate New York.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

President-elect Trump lets it be known when he'd like something and when he doesn't. And he does not like the way Alec Baldwin plays him on "Saturday Night Live."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

It's around 6 o'clock on a Sunday evening, and Anne-Charlotte Mornington is running around the food market in London's super-hip Camden neighborhood with a rolling suitcase and a giant tarp bag filled with empty tupperware boxes. She's going around from stall to stalll, asking for leftovers.

Mornington works for the food-sharing app Olio. "If ever you have anything that you can't sell tomorrow but it's still edible," she explains to the vendors, "I'll take it and make sure that it's eaten."

As the child of a black mother and a white father in apartheid-era South Africa, Daily Show host Trevor Noah was the living, breathing evidence that a crime had been committed.

Under apartheid, interracial couples who had engaged in sexual relations could be punished with years-long prison sentences, and biracial children like Noah could be taken away from their parents. As a result, Noah spent much of his early life in hiding.

Every holiday season, things get a "bit tricky," says Risa Greene, 53, from New York City. "You have one child who is a human garbage disposal and will eat anything you put in front of him, and you have another child who is more restricted than [the] TSA."

Greene's son is an omnivore — he eats everything. Her daughter, Jessica, is a vegan. She stopped eating meat when she was in high school years ago, then dropped dairy products and eggs in college and eventually gave up gluten, too.

As resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, N.D., concludes its seventh month, two narratives have emerged:

  1. We have never seen anything like this before.
  2. This has been happening for hundreds of years.

Both are true. The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protect not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.

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