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Standing Out

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We're beginning today's show by re-airing two interviews with National Book Award winners—first, Katherine Boo on her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, about life in a Mumbai slum. Then with Louise Erdrich, who talks about her novel, The Round House. And Carol and Joe Reich talk about their education advocacy work and their Brooklyn charter school. And we’ll take a look at the rise in allergies and auto-immune disorders and new ways of treating them.

Katherine Boo on Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo tells the story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a slum in Mumbai, India. Her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity was awarded the National Book Award for nonfiction. It's based on three years of reporting on the lives of Annawadi residents, including Abdul, a Muslim teenager who scavenges for recyclables; Asha, who is seeking a route to the middle class through political corruption; and her daughter Manju, who will soon become Annawadi’s first female college graduate. When terrorism and the global economic recession shake Mumbai, suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal.

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Louise Erdrich's The Round House

Louise Erdrich discusses her new novel, The Round House, which was awarded the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction. The story is set on a reservation in North Dakota, and is about a 13-year-old boy whose life is irrevocably transformed after his mother is attacked.

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Carol and Joe Reich on Education Reform

Carol Reich and Joe Reich talk about their role in the education reform movement. Getting to Bartlett Street: Our 25-Year Quest to Level the Playing Field in Education is the story of how they started one of the first charter schools in the country in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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An Epidemic of Absence: Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases

In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the use of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for thousands of years. But growing evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections have also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. Science journalist Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest research into the prevalence of allergies and autoimmune disorders, explores new treatments, and looks at the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. His book is An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases.

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