In 1960, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize, and overnight became one of America's most beloved writers. But Lee was overwhelmed by the media blitz that followed. She retreated from the public eye, became wary of journalists, and never published another book.
Then, in 2001, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune showed up in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Ala., to work on a story about the town, which is the model for the fictional setting of Lee's novel.
Human beings have been drawn to stories for thousands of years. They captivate us. We yearn for them — “tell the one about … ” — ad infinitum. Sometimes we get the story right. Sometimes not. Stories break. Stories change. And sometimes it helps to turn a story upside down.
Our guest is writer and historian Rebecca Solnit. Her books explore ecology, landscape, community, art and politics.
The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.
The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.
One upon a time, historian Deborah Harkness was doing research at Oxford's Bodleian Library when she accidentally discovered a lost book that had belonged to 16th-century astronomer John Dee. A few years later, her first novel, A Discovery of Witches, told the story of Diana Bishop, a historian who accidentally discovers a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian Library, and realizes it's a magical text of crucial importance to the daemons and vampires that crowd the streets of Oxford — not to mention the witches (a group to which Diana reluctantly belongs).
Marcie Sillman sits down with librarian of the airwaves, Nancy Pearl, to discuss a Northwest writer she says merits a second read. Pearl recommends Chelsea Cain's new mystery novel "One Kick," as well as the author's first book, "Confessions of a Teen Sleuth," a re-imagination of the old Nancy Drew young adult books.
Author Sarah Lotz is terrified of flying, so naturally every time she gets on a plane she imagines the worst. "I imagine how it's going to smell if things start burning," she says. "I imagine the thunk of luggage falling out of the compartments at the top. ... I imagine it all in absolutely horrible detail."
All those horrible imaginings came in handy when Lotz was writing her new book The Three — the story of three children who are the only survivors of four separate plane crashes that occur in different parts of the world on the same day.
That’s what you might say after listening a while to our guest Simon Sinek this week on Speakers Forum.
It’s the little things he points out, like why checking your cell phone constantly during your kid’s baseball game (or your meeting with a colleague) is a bad idea. The little things add up, sometimes resulting in the makings of a leader.
Seattle poet Martha Silano found inspiration in an NPR story, "An Alien View of Earth," about an image of our planet taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. The poem she wrote in response to the news story, "Pale Blue Dot," not only became part of her newest collection, "Reckless Lovely," but led her work in a new direction.