Arts & Culture

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

"Do you know how many words there are in 80 minutes?" asks actress Kathleen Turner. "My god!"

Turner is referring to The Year of Magical Thinking, a play based on Joan Didion's 2005 memoir. The book was written while Didion's daughter was in a deep coma, and after her husband of 40 years suffered a fatal heart attack. In her role as Didion, Turner is the only one on stage. "It's very lonely," she says.

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"No man is an island, entire of itself," John Donne famously reassured us in 1623, the same year Shakespeare's The Tempest was published in the First Folio. But "isolate" and "island" come from the same Latin root, and the truth is that we make our own islands where we daily maroon ourselves.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


The restaurant inside the National Museum of African-American History and Culture offers food that satisfies your hunger and a space that satisfies your mind. NPR's Wilma Consul gives us a taste of what's cooking inside Sweet Home Cafe.

Ex Fabula: Hidden

Oct 15, 2016
Art Montes

Is there a monster Hidden under your bed? Or living in your head? Have you found a hidden treasure in your grandmother’s old boxes? Perhaps you’ve kept a hidden secret that’s dying to be told. We’ve just the place for you to share these and many other stories. On October 18th we take the Ex Fabula stage to an exciting new venue, The Milwaukee Public Museum.

About one-third of all the food produced globally is either lost or wasted. Pests and infections destroy fruits and vegetables. Grains often rot in storage or during transport. And then there's food in consumers' kitchens and refrigerators that doesn't get eaten, and eventually discarded.

Such losses amount to more than $900 billion globally, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


In Philip Roth's acclaimed novel American Pastoral, Miss New Jersey and Mr. Former High School Football star get married, have a beautiful daughter, a lovely house in the country, and a peaceful, blessed, life. But then the 1960's strike, and their little girl, outraged by the war in Vietnam, becomes a bomber.

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature this week. His selection was surprising. He is the first artist to receive the award for a body of work that is almost entirely songs. But while there were critics, there was also a lot of acclaim, even from outstanding longtime novelists, including Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and Salman Rushdie, who called Mr. Dylan, "the brilliant inheritor of the Bardic tradition."

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Remember for a moment the days of your youth. Before you were a reader of Serious Literature. Before you cared about the big questions and thematic duality, Pynchon's latest or the spectacular weirdness of China Mieville. Bring to mind a simpler time when books existed either as pure, picture-heavy entertainment or (depending on your age) as a vehicle for Dick and Jane to teach you about manners or Ninja Turtles to school you on good oral hygiene.

Devin Pedde

One of public radio’s flagship shows is beginning a new chapter. Chris Thile officially begins his tenure as the host of A Prairie Home Companion with Saturday evening’s broadcast live from the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The show was created by Garrison Keillor in 1974. And except for a few years in the late 80s and early 90s, Keillor has remained its face and voice. But last year Keillor announced his retirement and the transition to the new host began.

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