Arts & Life

Americans like to think of our country as the land of the free — but that's not the case for everyone: More than 2 million Americans are in jails or prisons in the U.S.

Khaled Hosseini is known for his books about Afghanistan: The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And The Mountains Echoed.

His latest work Sea Prayer is a departure from those best-selling novels — it's a short work of fiction that captures the heartbreak of the Syrian refugee crisis. It's told as a poetic letter, from a father to a son as they prepare to embark on a journey across the sea, and features the illustrations of Dan Williams.

When Linda Kay Klein was 13, she joined an evangelical church that prized sexual "purity" and taught that men and boys were sexually weak.

According to Klein's faith, girls and women were responsible for keeping male sexual desire in check by wearing modest clothing, maintaining a sexless mind and body and taking a "purity pledge," in which they promised to remain virgins until marriage.

“Points of Honor: Short Stories of the Great War by a U. S. Combat Marine”

Author: Thomas Boyd  

Edited and with an Introduction by Steven Trout

Publisher: The University of Alabama Press

Pages: 180

Price: $19.95 (Paper)

In just a few weeks it will be the hundredth anniversary of Armistice Day, 11-11-11, that is, 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918, when the shooting in the first world war officially stopped.

“Southern Writers on Writing”

Edited by Susan Cushman 

Foreword by Alan Lightman

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Pages: 200

Price: $28.00 (Cloth)

Susan Cushman of Memphis, Tennessee has assembled 26 essays by Southern writers, on writing. There are 13 by women, 13 by men, from 9 states; four contributors are African-American, four are poets. I guess poets constitute a kind of group needing representation.

Rush: A Novel

Author: Lisa Patton  

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 352

Price: $26.99 (Hardcover)

Lisa Patton has three previous novels, all overtly “Southern,” in fact called the “Dixie Series,” with Leelee Satterfield as protagonist.

In her first, “Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter,” for example, Leelee, a Southern belle, the fish out of water, has to cope with Vermont winters. She also has the struggle of opening an inn and has her heart broken.

Civil War Alabama

Author: Christopher Lyle McIlwain Sr.   

Foreword by G. Ward Hobbs

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

Pages: 435

Price: $59.95 (Hardcover)

Tuscaloosa attorney Chris McIlwain, for 25 years, has been practicing law all day and in the evenings and weekends researching the Civil War in Alabama. He read journals and diaries, the military records and, most especially, the many, many newspapers published all over Alabama during the conflict.

The result of this Herculean effort is, so far, three books.

"Penelope Lemon: Game On" By: Inman Majors

22 hours ago

“Penelope Lemon: Game On”

Author: Inman Majors 

Publisher: LSU Press

Pages: 218

Price: $25.95 (Cloth)

Inman Majors has become a productive, professional novelist. A Tennessee native, he took his MFA in creative writing at the University of Alabama, went to work at James Madison University in Harrisonburg and lives with his family in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Majors has published his young man novel, “Swimming in Sky,” and a very fine serious novel, “The Millionaires,” centering around the World’s Fair in Knoxville.

“South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land”

Author: Julia Reed  

Foreword by Jon Meacham

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 238

Price: $25.99 (Hardcover)

I had no plans to review this book. I was tired of reading serious history and long novels and picked up Julia Reed just for fun. I had enjoyed “Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena,” so I knew what to expect: humor and anecdote, lighthearted stuff. I read half the book in one sitting, the rest the next day.

The title of Jill Lepore's new history of the United States should be instantly recognizable to all Americans.

It comes from, of course, the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It's hard to think of a single passage more emblematic of the American ethos.

Luce D'Eramo's Deviation, first published in Italian in 1979, went on to become a worldwide bestseller. Though considered a novel, the book's story and structure untangle its author's complicated life through a combination of autobiographical fiction and memoir. As such, it defies neat categorization. Finally, 39 years after its debut, comes its first-ever English edition, vividly translated by Anne Milano Appel.

Rarely has the opening of an awards show felt as inauspicious as the first 10 minutes or so of Monday night's Emmy Awards. An opening number called "We Solved It," making light of the idea that Hollywood's meager progress toward greater diversity constitutes a meaningful resolution to the issue, featured a number of appealing TV personalities: Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon, Tituss Burgess of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kristen Bell of The Good Place, RuPaul, Sterling K. Brown of This Is Us, and Ricky Martin.

The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony is airing Monday night on NBC. But before presenters took to rattling off nominees, before award winners began their acceptance speeches — even before this year's hosts, Colin Jost and Michael Che of Saturday Night Live and Weekend Update fame, started cracking jokes — the stars first streamed down the red carpet. Here's a look at what they wore.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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When Burt Reynolds died earlier this month, he was remembered as a charismatic movie star ready with a wink and a smile on and off screen. Sally Field's memories of him are more complicated.

Emmys 2018 Winners: The Complete List

Sep 17, 2018

Updated at 10:59 p.m. ET

The 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards were broadcast Monday night on NBC. Below is the list of winners. (Winners are in bold italics.)


Outstanding drama series

The Americans (FX)

The Crown (Netflix)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)

Stranger Things (Netflix)

This Is Us (NBC)

Westworld (HBO)

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Reese Witherspoon says that if there's one misconception about Southern women it's that when they say "Oh, bless your heart" they don't really mean it. They do mean it, she insists ... or at least, usually they do.

Witherspoon, who was raised in Nashville, celebrates her Southern upbringing in a new book called Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits. The book is full of memories, recipes, design ideas and cheerful photographs, celebrating small moments with family and friends.

The 2018 Emmy Awards are airing Monday night on NBC beginning at 7:30 PM. How can you remember they're on NBC, should you forget? Well, for one thing, the hosts are Saturday Night Live cast members and Weekend Update co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che, two guys who fit more into the category of "the Emmys will be good for them" than into the category of "they will be good for the Emmys."

Toronto has been called the "raccoon capital of the world."

In the past year, women have come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse by men across politics, business and journalism. Multiple media organizations have fired or suspended male executives accused of harassment, including NPR.

But the photojournalism world has largely been absent from the #MeToo conversation — and not because there's no aching for one.

"Photojournalism needs to face its #MeToo moment" — that's according to Kainaz Amaria, a visuals editor at Vox and formerly with NPR.

Sarah Smarsh grew up in rural Kansas — the fifth generation to farm the same land, riding tractors where her ancestors rode wagons. There was never enough money and prospects were few. She was part of the what has become popularized as the white working class. But back then, she didn't know it.

Copyright 2018 CPR News. To see more, visit CPR News.

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"Great Achilles. Brilliant Achilles, shining Achilles, godlike Achilles ... How the epithets pile up," begins The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker's tart retelling of the Iliad from the perspective of Achilles' concubine, Briseis.

"We never called him any of those things," she continues, "we called him 'the butcher.'"

Apocalypse? Naw. 'Woman World' Is a Laid-Back Utopia

Sep 15, 2018

When the apocalypse comes, it might be harrowing, astonishing or simply unimaginable. But Aminder Dhaliwal doesn't think so. In Woman World (a compilation of her wildly popular Instagram comic), the apocalypse is so low-key, it's downright forgettable. It's given a scant two-page spread early in the book with the explanation, "the world was ... distracted by a series of natural disasters.

CaseyFay (Casey Robbins) [Flickr]

You can put together an emergency kit for your pet in a hurry.  Most of what you need will fit in a plastic zip bag.  Food and necessary medications are at the top of the list.  And - some folks might pack their best friend's rain gear!

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Jose Antonio Vargas is an activist, journalist and filmmaker. In 2008, he was part of a Washington Post team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings.

But the kind of recognition that would make most journalists proud worried Vargas. It could lead to revealing a secret at the heart of his life — a secret that he himself didn't discover until he was 16.

Anna Kendrick is the star of the Pitch Perfect movies, but how much does she know about pitching perfectly? We've invited her to answer three questions about a no-hitter thrown by Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis in June 1970.

Kendrick is now starring in the film A Simple Favor.

I miss Bill Cunningham. There. I said it. I miss opening the Thursday and Sunday pages of the New York Times and seeing a whole cross-section of humanity, courtesy of Cunningham's photos, that had become a documentation of how New Yorkers lived and what they wore.

In the pre-dawn darkness on Friday morning, work crews removed a controversial statue from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, after the city's arts commission unanimously voted to take down the "racist and disrespectful sculpture."

The statue depicts "the degradation and genocide of Native American peoples" using stereotypes that "are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist," the arts commission said in February.

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