Arts & Culture

Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Visible And Invisible: 'Servants' Looks At Life Downstairs

Early 20th century British maids worked long, hard days with little time off.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:28 pm

Many Americans were introduced to the world of early 20th century British servants through the PBS series Downton Abbey, which premieres its fourth season Sunday. The show is set in an era when domestic service was the largest single occupation in Great Britain.

"In 1900, it was calculated to comprise a third of all women who were in the workforce," writer Lucy Lethbridge tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

Read more
Beauty Shop
11:07 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Apologies Needed For Beyonce's Song?

Critics are slamming Beyonce for using an audio clip from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song "XO." Was she being insensitive, or artistic? Host Michel Martin hears from the beauty shop ladies: journalists Bridget Johnson and Keli Goff, and Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino.

Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
8:03 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Day 9: Ophira Eisenberg, The 1980s Girl Guide

Isn't she cute?
Astrid Eisenberg Courtesy of Ophira Eisenberg

This is the ninth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Yes, this is Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, circa 1980, as a Girl Guide.

What's a Girl Guide, you ask? We'll let Ophira explain:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success

Cover Detail
Random House

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:10 pm

Meg Wolitzer's most recent novel is The Interestings.

What's potentially more troubling than a memoirist out for revenge? One who's only out for truth. Gary Shteyngart's dazzling, highly enjoyable book is the story of his life — a story that he owns, along with all the details. Yet, as an only child who immigrated from Leningrad to Queens with his parents in 1979, with no brothers or sisters to provide narrative distraction, he not only provides an intimate look at himself, he also by necessity put his parents under a fairly strong magnifying lens.

Read more

Pages