Arts & Culture

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

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Who Gets To Be 'Hapa'?

Aug 8, 2016

Sunset in Waikiki: Tourists sipping mai tais crowded the beachside hotel bar. When the server spotted my friend and me, he seemed to relax. "Ah," he said, smiling. "Two hapa girls."

He asked if we were from Hawaii. We weren't. We both have lived in Honolulu — my friend lives there now — but hail from California. It didn't matter. In that moment, he recognized our mixed racial backgrounds and used "hapa" like a secret handshake, suggesting we were aligned with him: insiders and not tourists.

When author Colson Whitehead first heard about the Underground Railroad as a child he imagined a subway beneath the earth that escaped slaves could ride to freedom. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that when he found out that it was not a literal train, he felt "a bit upset."

Copyright 2016 American Public Media. To see more, visit American Public Media.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In Japan, nearly every interest has a manga dedicated to it, whether it's sports, music or shooting pool. So it's no wonder that food, which has always been tied to Japan's cultural identity, has skyrocketed as a genre of manga, which represents about 40 percent of all books published in that country.

In 1962, a Syrian-born Hollywood filmmaker named Moustapha Akkad watched the epic film Lawrence of Arabia, directed by David Lean. Akkad was riveted as he watched a scene in which actor Omar Sharif emerges from the sands like a wraith on horseback — an Arab screen hero.

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RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

With Hillary Clinton having made history last month by becoming the first female presidential nominee, could it be that today's gender roles are not as egalitarian as we think?

Irina Reyn's new novel, The Imperial Wife, raises such questions. The dual-narrative follows the marriages of two ambitious women immigrants: one, a rising Russian art expert in a high-end Manhattan auction house set in the present day; the other, a young Catherine the Great in imperial Russia.

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RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

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

For most of us, a road trip is a fun summer adventure — a time away from work, gorging yourself on gas station junk food, listening to audiobooks and your favorite songs.

But the situation is different when being on the road isn't your vacation, but actually part of your livelihood. Subsisting on fast food and sleeping at hotels isn't healthy or economical when you're doing it more often than not.

Many musicians spend their lives on the road. And the ones who want to stay healthy and keep their wallets intact have developed some tricks of the trade.

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How The VCR Began America's Love Of On-Demand Content

Aug 6, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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

RAY SUAREZ, HOST:

Actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key was a star performer with the improv comedy troupe Second City before he gained fame on MAD TV and then in the hit show Key & Peele. In 2015 he appeared alongside President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner in the role of "Presidential Anger Translator." He's now starring in Don't Think Twice, Mike Birbiglia's new movie about the improv comedy scene.

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