Arts & Life

The Testaments
Amazon

 

“The Testaments “ 

Author: Margaret Atwood 

Publisher: Nan Talese/Doubleday 

A painting by Vincent van Gogh was stolen early Monday morning from a Dutch museum in what appeared to be a smash-and-grab from the institution's front entrance.

The painting, an 1884 work titled The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884, had been on loan to the Singer Laren museum near Amsterdam. It is part of the permanent collection of the Groninger Museum, in the northern part of the Netherlands.

Last week, when the Internet Archive announced its "National Emergency Library," expanding access to more than a million digitized works, the group explained the move as a goodwill gesture in the time of coronavirus.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies filling in today for Terry Gross. As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Americans and citizens of many countries are getting a new look at their national leaders, evaluating their performance in a moment of crisis. Our guest today, author Erik Larson, has a new book about one of the most renowned leaders of the 20th century, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and his leadership during some of the darkest hours of World War II.

Plácido Domingo has been hospitalized because of COVID-19-related complications, according to multiple reports.

He is in stable condition in an Acapulco, Mexico, hospital and will receive medical attention for "as long as the doctors find it necessary until a hoped-for full recovery," a spokesperson for Domingo told Opera News over the weekend.

"It's hard to focus right now."

I've heard versions of that sentence on the phone, in person (at a distance), on email, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, on Zoom and Skype and all the other devices and online platforms we're using to stay connected with each other these days.

It's hard to focus right now.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

NPR National Poetry Month: Nikky Finney

Mar 29, 2020

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

One final thought - if you are anything like me, you've probably been frantically exchanging messages with friends and family and memes and also...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CORONAVIRUS RHAPSODY")

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

As people adjust to this new lockdown normal, they're also trying to hang on to those moments that bring joy and comfort. And so people are celebrating life's big moments, with some adjustments.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Cameron Esposito couldn't have known her memoir Save Yourself would come out in the midst of a global pandemic. But her aptly titled book includes observations that feel eerily pertinent to this unsettling time.

"Humans are scared out of our minds and want to be saved," she writes. " We want to know why we are here, what we are supposed to do, and how to protect ourselves."

Esposito is a comic, writer and actor. When she titled her book, she had in mind queer kids, struggling to understand themselves — as she once did growing up in a strict Catholic household.

The sun shines as Felix Quintana cruises through South Central Los Angeles. He's always been inspired by what he sees out of his car window, from the strip malls to the street vendors. "I love the hustle," he says. "The hand-painted signs, the swap meets, the people making money washing windshields."

But those moments can fly by. And his ongoing series of cyanotypes make us pause on the often overlooked Angelenos who work and live in the less glitzy, more gritty neighborhoods of LA County.

In Berlin, reminders of the city's violent past are everywhere. Somber monuments, museums, stumbling stones and plaques dot nearly every block. "Germany is seen around the world as a model for how a country can face its past — and it has done that in a way few countries have," says journalist James Angelos.

Hippos can get hungry. Very hungry. So when zoos shut their doors to the public because of the coronavirus, zookeepers keep showing up to work to make sure everyone is fed.

Jenna Wingate feeds Fiona, the Cincinnati Zoo's 3-year-old, 1,300-pound hippo. Fiona was born premature, and Wingate has been looking after her since two hours after she was born.

Chance and Lily, Spy Cats [Flickr]

The mental health benefits of having a dog or cat include help with depression, stress, anxiety - not to mention the companionship they provide to ease our loneliness.  Sounds like just the right prescription for a time such as this!

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Tim Gunn is known for his style, his sharp opinions, his catch phrase – "Make it work!" – and for being impeccably dressed. He joins us this week by phone from his home, where he's probably wearing perfectly creased sweatpants.

Gunn's new Amazon show is called Making the Cut, so we've invited him to play a game called "Making the putt!" Three questions about golf.

Click the audio link above to find out how he does.

Let's ask Samantha Irby to introduce herself, with a passage from her new book, Wow, No Thank You: "I occasionally write jokes on the Internet for free because I'm the last person on Earth who still has a blog," she reads.

"Accuracy above all things. You will never remember the great if you do not remember the small."

What details are truly small? Who says they are? Ask yourself as you read The Empress of Salt and Fortune.

COVID-19 is keeping most of us inside, isolated from others, for days on end.

For kids (and parents!), school work can only extend so far into the day. Earlier, the NPR Arts team offered some of our favorite distractions when we are feeling worried. Now we have some heart-felt recommendations for how to enjoy the rest of the time you have in close-quarters with your family.

Adventure Time

Our Very First Work From Home Episode

Mar 27, 2020

Ophira and Jonathan chat about their lives during quarantine in this all-new, never been done, work from home episode from Ask Me Another.

Heard on Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode.

Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode

Mar 27, 2020

Emily Nussbaum has acted as The New Yorker's television critic since 2011, primarily contributing to the magazine's "On Television" columns.

Wrecking Ball Of Confusion

Mar 27, 2020

During this work-at-home audio quiz about combining song titles, the proceedings are continually interrupted by the participants' children.

Heard on Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode.

Lost In Translation

Mar 27, 2020

Songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen, Coco) play a game about very specific, foreign words without English equivalents.

Heard on Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode.

Degrees of Insanity

Mar 27, 2020

Ophira and Jonathan take contestants John Hodgman and Jackie Kashian back to school in this word game about college degrees.

Heard on Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode.

Brew Or False

Mar 27, 2020

Prost! Comedians John Hodgman (Judge John Hodgman, I, Podius) and Jackie Kashian (The Dork Forest, The Jackie and Laurie Show) have a round of beer-centric trivia.

Heard on Emily Nussbaum: The Watch From Home Episode.

You've seen it all over your Twitter feed. Half your friends are probably playing it — yes, Nintendo's Animal Crossing is the video game of the moment, and it is a great way to keep yourself soothed and distracted.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today we have Part II of our tribute to Stephen Sondheim, who turned 90 last Sunday. We made it a two-parter because we're big fans and because listening to Sondheim and his music seems like a great way to take a break and boost our spirits. Sondheim fans like me always wonder, how did he write those brilliant lyrics? He provided a lot of answers in his book "Finishing The Hat," which collects his lyrics from 1954 to '81 and tells the stories behind the songs.

David Biello
Elizabeth Zeeuw / TED

About The Episode

Music artist Alicia Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner, has a new self-titled album coming out — her seventh.

She also has written a forthcoming book, More Myself, that she prefers to call a "journey" rather than a memoir.

Keys spoke to NPR in February — an interview being aired for the first time now — about her latest projects.

Her book explores her arrival into adulthood while in the spotlight, and how she learned to be herself — and that it was OK to be herself.

With mass closings of theaters and museums, cancellations or postponements of exhibitions, concerts, dance performances and more, the arts industry is in "economic freefall" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the advocacy group Americans For The Arts.

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