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Author Interviews
5:35 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Author Of 'Bridge To Terabithia': Messages Are Poison To Fiction

Stories of My Life book cover

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 9:07 am

Katherine Paterson is the winner of two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. Her best-sellers include The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, and her most famous book, Bridge to Terabithia.

Paterson was born in China to missionary parents. She tells NPR's Arun Rath that she had an idyllic childhood until about the age of 5, when Japan invaded China. "Those years were very scary years," she says.

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Asia
3:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

'A Universe Beneath Our Feet': Life In Beijing's Underground

Zhuang Qiuli and her boyfriend Feng Tao sit on the bed in their basement apartment two floors below a posh condominium. Since this photo was taken, the couple has moved above ground.
Sim Chi Yin VII

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 12:26 pm

In Beijing, even the tiniest apartment can cost a fortune — after all, with more than 21 million residents, space is limited and demand is high.

But it is possible to find more affordable housing. You'll just have to join an estimated 1 million of the city's residents and look underground.

Below the city's bustling streets, bomb shelters and storage basements are turned into illegal — but affordable — apartments.

Claustrophobic Living Quarters

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Food
9:40 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Siblings Build A Butcher Shop For 'Meat'-Loving Vegans

No need to wonder what's in this bologna; The Herbivorous Butcher lists every ingredient on its website: Tofu, vital wheat gluten, tomato juice, tapioca flour, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, vegan beef bouillon, canola oil, soy sauce, agar agar, red beet powder, sugar, salt, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder and celery seed.
Jonathan A. Armstrong Courtesy The Herbivorous Butcher

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 12:44 pm

Take a moment to imagine platters of andouille sausage, barbecue ribs and bacon. Now think of all of those dishes without meat.

It might seem like a contradiction, but brother and sister Kale and Aubry Walch — yes, Kale — are opening the first vegan butcher shop next spring in Minneapolis, to be called the Herbivorous Butcher. They plan to bring their customers all of those delicious meat flavors, minus the meat.

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StoryCorps
8:30 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Growing Up Gender-Nonconforming Amid Scolding, Awkward Silences

Kiyan Williams (right) told friend Darnell Moore about the struggle of growing up as a gender-nonconforming kid in Newark, N.J.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 11:25 am

StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative records stories from the LGBTQ community.

Kiyan Williams, 23, grew up in a rough neighborhood in Newark, N.J. During childhood, Williams felt isolated and different from other kids — something Williams' family began to notice around age 4.

"Me and my mother are at a friend's house, and Mary J. Blige is playing," Williams tells his friend Darnell Moore during a StoryCorps interview in New York City. "Mary was my girl at that moment — she knew all my life struggles."

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Author Interviews
6:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Billions Of Years Go By, All In The Same 'Room'

A two-page spread from Here.
Courtesy of Pantheon

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 12:50 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
4:18 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

At 86, Poet Donald Hall Writes On, But Leaves Verse Behind

Donald Hall is a former U.S. poet laureate and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2010.
Linda Kunhardt Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 4:36 pm

At 86 years old, the poet Donald Hall can no longer write poetry. Not enough testosterone, he says. But the former U.S. Poet Laureate and recipient of the National Medal of Arts still has prose in him: He has just published a collection titled Essays After 80.

The book spans Hall's entire career, his family life, his addiction to smoking and his thoughts on his own beard.

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Music Interviews
7:03 am
Sat December 6, 2014

All Possibilities: The 'Purple Rain' Story

Prince celebrates his birthday and the release of Purple Rain at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis.
Paul Natkin Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:47 pm

Here's a recipe for disaster: a low-budget movie with a cast that's never acted before, a first-time director, and a star who refuses to do publicity.

That's the story of Prince's iconic 1984 film Purple Rain. Music critic and journalist Alan Light provides the details in his new book, Let's Go Crazy.

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Author Interviews
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

First-Generation 'Boston Girl' Becomes Career Woman In Diamant's Latest

cover crop
Scribner

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

Anita Diamant's new novel Boston Girl begins with a question: a granddaughter asks her grandmother, "How did you get to be the woman you are today?"

Addie Baum was "the other one"-- an afterthought — the youngest of three sisters, born in 1900 in Boston's North End to Jewish immigrant parents. It was a time when most women didn't finish school, couldn't vote, and worked at low-level jobs just until they were married, to men they likely didn't choose for themselves.

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Movie Interviews
6:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

From Chic Manhattanite To 'Monk With A Camera'

Before becoming a monk, Nicky Vreeland apprenticed with the great photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
Asphalt Stars

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:51 am

When we first see Nicky Vreeland in the new film Monk with a Camera, he's a middle-aged man in a burgundy robe and with a shaved head. In other words, he's a Buddhist monk — the abbot of Rato Dratsang, one of the Dalai Lama's monasteries, and director of The Tibetan Center in New York City.

But as Vreeland maneuvers through his present, we get glimpses of his past as the grandson of fashion icon Diana Vreeland. Once upon a time, he was a chic, young Manhattanite who hobnobbed in posh zip codes and apprenticed with the great photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

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Code Switch
3:53 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Chris Rock On Standup, Sellouts And Defining Success

Chris Rock talked with Audie Cornish from NPR's New York bureau.
Brian McCabe

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:34 pm

Quick: Can you name your top five favorite singers? What about authors? And comedians? Chris Rock plays this game in his new movie, Top Five. The film, which Rock wrote, directed and stars in, tells the story of Andre Allen, a marquee comedian who has abandoned his standup roots for blockbuster film glory.

"He's languishing," Rock tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "He's not as edgy as he once was. He's kind of watered down; he's kind of sold out."

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