Arts & Culture

You Must Read This
5:16 am
Sun July 28, 2013

A World A Few Degrees Of Whimsy Away From Our Own

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 11:11 am

Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena.

Ditie, the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's transcendent novel, I Served the King of England, is described in the jacket copy as "a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel." I first crossed paths with him when I, myself, was working as a night porter in a deluxe Edinburgh hotel.

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Art & Design
5:15 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 11:31 am

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:06 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Psst ... It's Class Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 11:31 am

On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."

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Author Interviews
4:25 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

In 'The Panopticon,' They're Always Watching

During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.

Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.

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Interviews
7:03 am
Sat July 27, 2013

What's It Take To Be A Polar Explorer?

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 11:59 am

From the TED Radio Hour, polar explorer Ben Saunders on what pushes adventurers like him to brink of human endurance. In 2004, Saunders became the third man — and the most recent — to ski solo to the North Pole.

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