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Andrew Solomon on Unique Children; Unconventional in the 17th Century; Ruth Ozeki's Novel; Coach Bobby Knight

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Monday, July 01, 2013

On today’s show: National Book Award-winning author Andrew Solomon looks into how parents learn to cope with unique children. John Glassie talks about about the life of Athanasius Kircher, an unconventional 17th-century priest-scientist who was seen as either a great genius or a colossal crackpot—or both. Ruth Ozeki talks about her new novel, The Tale for the Time Being. And legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight talks about his career and explains the power of negative thinking.

Andrew Solomon on Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

National Book Award–winning author Andrew Solomon tells the stories of families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. In Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, he looks at how these parents not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.

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A Man of Misconceptions

John Glassie tells the unconventional story of Athanasius Kircher, the legendary 17th-century priest-scientist whose interests ranged from optics to music to magnetism to medicine. His inventions and theories for everything made him famous across Europe. Glassie’s book A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change traces Kircher's rise, success, and eventual fall as he attempted to come to terms with a changing world.

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Ruth Ozeki's Novel A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki talks about her novel, A Tale for the Time Being. It connects a 16-year-old in Tokyo with a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. 

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Coach Bobby Knight Praises Negative Thinking

Legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight talks about his rebuttal to Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking - he explains why negative thinking will actually produce more positive results, in sports and in daily life.

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