Arts & Culture

The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Book News: Apple Vs. DOJ As Ebook Price-Fixing Trial Begins

An Apple store in Beijing, China opens.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 6:33 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:18 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Litter

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I found your soul discarded in the street today.

On a three by five index card, you scrawled in heavy black permanent marker letters, "YOU NOW OWN MY SOUL." Initialed under that. Today's date under that. It's a neat little binding contract. I bet it would hold up in the highest court, even if you meant it as a joke. You shouldn't be so cavalier with your immortal essence. I spied it between a wad of chewing gum and a mangled plastic bottle. Anyone could have found this card where it laid half-in, half-out of the gutter with the collected effluvia of a thousand passers-by.

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:17 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

The Shirt

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She was cleaning out the closet, looking for items to give to Goodwill, when she found it. It was balled up at the back of the top shelf and had sat, collecting dust, for how long? Eight years? Nine? At least since they'd moved into the house and Will was a baby. It was Ted's old shirt from his single days, part of his "going out" outfit that he thought was so retro hip and cool, but which was really just fugly.

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From Our Listeners
4:09 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Litter' And 'The Shirt'

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Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 7:18 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Litter by Kalad Hovatter of Orange, Calif., and The Shirt by Jennifer Anderson of Shorewood, Wis. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Mapping 'The World' Of A Remote Afghan Village

In Oqa, Afghanistan, Boston weaves a saddlebag for her husband's donkey. The weavers of Oqa also weave large carpets, earning less than $1 a day for their work.
Courtesy Anna Badkhen

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 7:18 pm

When freelance journalist Anna Badkhen returned to Afghanistan in 2011, she set her eyes on a region so remote it doesn't exist on Google Maps.

In her new book, The World Is A Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village, Badkhen chronicles her time in Oqa - a rural, rainless village of 240 people and "40 doorless huts."

For many of its residents, survival hinges on the fingers of women and children. They engage in the local tradition of carpet weaving, earning about 40 cents a day for carpets that eventually sell for $5,000 to $20,000 abroad.

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