Arts & Culture

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

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that narratives about witchcraft — whether real or imaginary — are usually narratives about women surviving under circumstances that entirely justify the practice. That is, whether embracing the lush thrum of nature or signing one's name in the devil's book, it is never idle, never not-warranted.

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It’s a rule of thumb around public radio that many of us got into the field so that we wouldn’t have to dress up.  Compared to other professional positions, the number of days in which I come to work wearing a tie is pretty low.

Lake Effect essayist Jonathan West takes a different view of dressing up:

Since you never asked...

When orchardist Eliza Greenman walks through a field of apple trees and gazes upon a pocked array of blemished and buckled fruits — scarred from fighting fungus, heat and pests — she feels a little thrill of joy. "I'm absolutely infatuated with the idea of stress in an orchard," says Greenman, who custom grafts and grows pesticide-free hard cider apples in Hamilton, Va. These forlorn, scabbed apples, says Greenman, may actually be sweeter.

In his new film, A Hologram for the King, Tom Hanks plays a middle-aged American businessman who is sent to Saudi Arabia, where the king is planning to build a new city in the middle of the desert. Hanks' character, Adam Clay, must persuade the Saudis to let the company he works for provide IT technology and support for this new city.

When it comes to reversing the obesity epidemic, there have been glimmers of hope that the U.S. might be making headway, especially with young children.

On Tuesday, April 19, the news broke that Michael Strahan would leave Live with Kelly and Michael to join Good Morning America. Strahan, who had been with Live since 2012, had been doing some work for GMA for a while, but now was making the switch full-time for good. A week later, the titular Kelly and Michael did their first show together since the announcement.

'Sleeping Giants' Kicks Off A New Series In Style

Apr 26, 2016

A kid who finds something incredible in her backyard: It's not quite the most original setup imaginable for a science fiction story. What Sylvain Neuvel does with that setup, though, is nothing short of masterful. His debut novel, Sleeping Giants, begins when 11-year-old Rose Franklin falls into a hole that has opened up near her home in South Dakota. She's found soon after — sitting on top of a mechanical hand that's over 20 feet long from wrist to fingertip.

Writer Michael Schulman conducted 80 interviews for Her Again, his new biography of Meryl Streep. He talked with her friends and colleagues, read articles, letters and commencement addresses — but he never actually talked with Streep herself.

When it comes to introducing babies to solid foods, rice cereal is often first. And rice is a staple in many baby and toddler foods.

But, as we've reported, multiple studies have found that rice-based foods contain traces of arsenic, and sometimes levels are surprisingly high.

Maayan Silver

Birds of Chicago seek to harness the power of music and words to reassert their place in a world filled with insignificant online communication.

The term that sometimes gets used to describe their music is “secular gospel,” but there’s really a lot more in evidence from the music cooked up by husband-and-wife JT Nero and Allison Russell.  They came together in Chicago from different parts of the continent and different musical projects and pulled together a band that is figuratively (and literally) family.

The "monoculture" has supposedly been dead for at least a decade, but it ain't necessarily so. World-devouring pop music phenomena do still exist, but today that universe is made entirely of Beyoncé — a Michael Jackson/Madonna/Prince figure whom everyone who cares about popular culture is supposed to grapple with and have big thoughts about.

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

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

When he was 2 years old, Ocean Vuong's family immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that he didn't learn to read English until he was 11. Now 27, he's making his mark in the world of poetry.

Vuong is the 2016 winner of the Whiting Award for poetry and published a new book of poems called Night Sky with Exit Wounds, weaving his personal stories of growing up with his family memories of life in Vietnam.

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