Some writers you read and move on, but every now and then you read one whose work knocks you back against the wall. This happened to me with the great Italian novelist Elena Ferrante.
I first encountered her through her scalding 2002 novel, The Days Of Abandonment, whose narrator, Olga, may be the scariest jilted wife since Medea. What makes Olga scary is not what she does, but what she thinks and feels, and her ferocious precision in describing everything from lousy sexual encounters to her not-altogether-maternal feelings about her children.
Monday is the 34th anniversary of the 1979 storming of the American Embassy in Tehran, when Iranian militants took 66 hostages and held them for more than a year. U.S.-Iranian relations have been contentious ever since, but recent events have stirred hopes for progress.
Iranian voters overwhelmingly chose a more moderate president in June, and American and Iranian mediators are meeting to try to resolve disputes about Iran's nuclear program.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:50 pm
Catherine Chung went from mathematics to writing, though she says words were always her first love. She was named one of Granta's New Voices in 2010, and her first novel, Forgotten Country, received honorable mention for a PEN/Hemingway Award last year.
In Forgotten Country, Chung writes of a family with a curse that stretches back generations — from their time in Korea to their life in America. Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, each generation of the family has lost a daughter.
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:00 pm
Like professional baseball, the drug industry may need to slap asterisks next to some of its standout sales accomplishments.
Johnson & Johnson became the latest drugmaker to reach a costly agreement with the federal government over charges of improper marketing. The widely anticipated settlement, unveiled Monday, covers Natrecor, a drug for congestive heart failure, and antipsychotics Risperdal and Invega.
If you sell food, this is the time of year you have no choice but to sell something with pumpkin spice flavoring. This has been especially hard on Taco Bell, which — nationwide — has sold only one Pumpkin Spice Dorito Loco Taco. Today, we try the Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffle, washed down with the classic Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Eva: In the Fall, never ask a woman if she's pregnant. She might just have Pumpkin Spice Latte Belly.
Peter: I think these are a great fall treat, redolent as they are of death and decay.
Johns Hopkins Medicine says it will suspend and review its black lung program, following joint investigative reports last week from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News that found the program "helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefi
Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 2:28 pm
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with a guilty plea.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: SAC Capital Advisors is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud today. The hedge fund company has agreed to pay $1.8 billion to settle charges of insider trader. It's said to be the biggest fine ever in a case like this. The settlement will be announced at a news conference later today in New York City. And that's where we've reached NPR's Jim Zarroli. And Jim, explain for us, if you can, what SAC has actually agreed to here.
India's launch Tuesday of a satellite bound for Mars is the latest milestone in a space race among Asian nations. China, though, is still seen as the leader. A decade ago, China became the third nation to put up a manned spacecraft; it has worked on a lunar rover, a space station as well as its own unmanned mission to Mars.