Junot Diaz is a public intellectual who writes about love, sex, community and culture. The Pulitzer Prize-winner and MacArthur Genius talks with Steve Scher about the story of the government shutdown and the emerging Latino identity in America.
There are 7 billion people on this planet today needing water, food and shelter. There will be another billion in 12 years. How many humans can the earth sustain? Steve Scher talks with Alan Weisman about strategies to ease the human impact on earth. Weisman has written “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope For A Future On Earth.”
The classic observer of human behavior would tell you all of our decisions have a rational basis. But new research indicates that “rational” may not be based on any conscious factors, but instead, is more deeply hardwired in our DNA. Vladas Griskevicius is co author of a new book called “The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think.” He talks with Marcie Sillman.
In Jennifer Maier's poem, "Responsible Person," a young boy practices constructing a self by building a paper version of the man he hopes to be in the future.
His father and the poem's speaker, "not his mother, the woman after his mother" look on, noting that he looks "like someone // you could count on, one of the numbered / good on which the world depends."
Duke Ellington is regarded as perhaps the greatest jazz composer of the 20th century. The conductor Andre Previn once compared him to Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev. Ross Reynolds talks with Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout, author of the new Ellington biography, "Duke."
The Record's Steve Scher speaks with writer Richard Dawkins about his new memoir, The Making of a Scientist. To get his points across to the general public, he uses, science of course, as well as math and sometimes, poetry, like this one by the writer, Aldous Huxley.
The Record’s Ross Reynolds interviews Thomas Patterson, a professor of government and the press at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, whose new book is Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism. The book began as a look at what journalism schools need to do to train the new generation of reporters.
November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Journalist Dean R. Owen collected interviews from notable civil rights leaders, White House staff and others connected to Kennedy for his book, “November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy.”
Owen spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on September 14, 2013. He was joined by Patricia Baillargeon, a contributor to his book who served as assistant to Eleanor Roosevelt.
Canadian author <a href="http://www.npr.org/books/authors/137943757/alice-munro">Alice Munro</a> has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:31 pm
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."
Eli Hastings remembers his first writing experience. "My mom had given me a diary," he recalled. Hastings was in elementary school, and he scrawled down a little poem, the kind of insulting ditty that schoolboys hurl at one another on the playground.