Arts & Culture

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

The dedication of Don Winslow's novel The Cartel is nearly two pages long: a list of journalists who were either murdered or "disappeared" in Mexico between 2004 and 2012 — the period covered in this hugely hypnotic new thriller.

'Death' Uncovers The Secret History Of Mr. Pickwick

Jun 24, 2015

"One of my life's greatest tragedies," said George Orwell, "is to have already read Pickwick Papers. I can't go back and read it for the first time." The serialized novel of 1836 was one of the first commercial blockbusters of the English-speaking world. The author? A virtual unknown, a 24-year-old hired gun writing under the penname "Boz." The illustrator? A then well-known caricaturist, Robert Seymour, who provided a series of gently satiric etchings to illuminate the text.

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It's not just the Lucky Charms that are getting a makeover at General Mills. The company's announcement Monday that it is removing artificial colors and flavors from its cereal line is part of a much bigger overhaul at the food giant.

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And it's summer - time to tackle all the books piling up on your nightstand, right? Well, Saeed Jones says let go of the guilt, and let your interests and curiosity guide your summer picks.

Michelangelo is known for masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel and the statue of David, but most people probably don't know that he actually got his start in forgery. The great artist began his career as a forger of ancient Roman sculptures, art scholar Noah Charney tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

By the time Michelangelo's forgery was revealed, the Renaissance master was famous in his own right. But many other artistic forgers continue to copy the work of past artists in the hopes of passing their creations off as authentic.

Back in college English, I was taught that it was foolish to think that fictional characters have any reality beyond the page. You shouldn't speculate about how many children Lady Macbeth had or what job Holden Caulfield wound up doing as a grown-up.

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photo courtesy Cathleen Burnham

Kids and animals make for a good mix. Whether you are a parent who thwarts the constant question of "can we get a puppy?" or you see the fascination on children's faces when you go to the zoo, it's obvious that kids have and seek a connection with all kinds of animals.

"I think we're born with this love of animals," says author Cathleen Burnham. "For some reason, whether it's because we live kind of pushing nature away from us, we lose contact with that."