Arts & Culture

First Reads
6:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena'

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 12:13 pm

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Until last week, when the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings were revealed to be Chechen, you might not have spent much time thinking about Chechnya. It's far away. It might not even be the country you're picturing as you read this.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Woman Upstairs': Friendly On The Outside, Furious On The Inside

Claire Messud's cosmopolitan sensibilities infuse her fiction with a refreshing cultural fluidity. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady (1995), followed two midlife sisters in search of new beginnings, one in Bali and the other on the Isle of Skye. In her second novel, The Last Life (1999), a teenager reacting to a family crisis pondered her father's origins in Algeria and southern France, and her mother's New England roots.

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Author Interviews
2:26 am
Thu April 25, 2013

First Western War In Afghanistan Was An 'Imperial Disaster'

Knopf

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:46 am

The year is 1839, and two great empires — Great Britain and Russia — are treating the world map like a chessboard, trying to outmaneuver one another for territory. For no reason other than geography, Afghanistan gets caught in the middle.

Today, as the U.S. ends its war in Afghanistan, historian William Dalrymple recounts the first time a Western power fought in that country. In Return of a King, Dalrymple details Great Britain's attempt to control Afghanistan by putting an ousted king back on the throne — a plan that went famously wrong.

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Theater
2:23 am
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pippin' Revival Is A Circus Of A Show

The role of the Leading Player (Patina Miller) becomes a kind of circus ringmaster in the new Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz's 1972 musical Pippin.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:46 am

When Pippin opened in 1972, it was a sensation. Directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, who was coming off his Academy Award-winning film version of Cabaret, it was a showbiz triumph of jazz hands, sexy dancing and theatrical magic.

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Arts & Life
1:58 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Getting The Gig: The Life Of A Career Poet

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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