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Arts Life

Today's Irish Dancers Step Away From Stereotype

Monday, October 27, 2014

If you haven't been paying attention to Irish dancing since Riverdance, you might be surprised by the ethnic diversity on display as the All Ireland Dancing Championships kick off this week.

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Morning Edition

Watch This: Crime Writer James Ellroy Recommends — What Else? — Noir Films

Monday, October 27, 2014

The author of L.A. Confidential discusses his favorite flicks, including a 1963 Akira Kurosawa film he says may be the greatest crime movie he's ever seen.

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Morning Edition

Love Is Saying 'Sari': The Quest To Save A South Asian Tradition

Monday, October 27, 2014

Commentator Sandip Roy says the traditional sari has been falling out of fashion in the new India, but designers are turning to pop art prints and other changes to boost its appeal.

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LeVar Burton Reads 'Go The [Expletive] To Sleep'

Sunday, October 26, 2014

To any over-exhausted parents who suspect they're hallucinating, we assure you: Former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton gave a reading of the 2011 best-seller this weekend.

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All Things Considered

After The Blackwater Convictions, A Book On Iraq's Nightmarish Reality

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Four former Blackwater guards were found guilty last week in connection with a fatal shooting in 2007. Author Brian Castner recommends a book on the toll violence has taken on Iraq.

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The Freaky, Fabulous, Feminist 'Secret History' Of Wonder Woman

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Jill Lepore's new book about Wonder Woman reveals the unconventional life of her creator, William Moulton Marston, who invented the lie detector, championed feminism, and lived with two women at once.

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The Serious History Of Hocus Pocus In 'Penguin Book Of Witches'

Sunday, October 26, 2014

In Colonial America, a witch was not a Halloween costume, but a criminal. NPR's Rachel Martin revisits this moment in history with Katherine Howe, editor of the new Penguin Book of Witches.

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A New Lending Library — For Your Kitchen

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fondue sets, ice cream makers and juicers are fun to have, but they take up a lot of cash — and counter space. A new Toronto start-up offers subscription-based access to borrowed appliances.

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All Things Considered

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

Saturday, October 25, 2014

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.

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All Things Considered

Cartoonist Looks Back On Career Built On Unnerving Visions

Saturday, October 25, 2014

As a young man, Jim Woodring was looking for a sign — and he found it in a huge, green hallucinated amphibian. His new book of old drawings, Jim, includes many works inspired by such "apparitions."

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Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me!

Not My Job: Brady Bunch's Florence Henderson Gets Quizzed On Weird Science

Saturday, October 25, 2014

For decades, Florence Henderson, who presided over the Brady Bunch, was America's perfect Mom. We'll ask Henderson three questions about the Ig Nobels — awarded for real, if ridiculous, research.

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'Beautiful You' Makes Sex And Death Boring

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Chuck Palahniuk aims for piquant social satire in his new novel, but reviewer (and longtime fan) Jason Sheehan finds his fandom severely dented by lazy characterizations and lack of actual satire.

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Novelist Nuruddin Farah: Facing A Blank Page Is 'Bravest Thing' A Writer Does

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Farah's latest is called Hiding in Plain Sight. It's the story of Bella, a Somali photographer living in Rome who gets drawn into the lives of her niece and nephew after her half-brother is killed.

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Music To Keep You On The Edge Of Your Seat

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Conductor John Mauceri's latest album is filled with renditions of the most-chilling music from Alfred Hitchcock's films. He talks with NPR's Scott Simon.

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Rare Silent Film With Black Cast Makes A Century-Late Debut

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A 1913 romantic comedy starring black actors is finally hitting the big screen, after decades in the Museum of Modern Art archives. It's paired with an exhibit called 100 Years in Post-Production.

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New Shakespeare Movie Puts Hamlet In Kashmir

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shakespeare's Hamlet has been turned into a Bollywood film, but this time, the story is set in Indian-controlled Kashmir. NPR's Scott Simon talks to screenwriter Basharat Peer.

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The Life Of De Niro, From 'Mean Streets' To 'Meet The Parents'

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shawn Levy's brick-sized new biography of screen legend Robert De Niro was produced without cooperation from the actor — but Levy says that just forced him to do better research.

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'Heap House' Is A Treasure Of A Trash Tale

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Edward Carey's illustrated young adult novel about the keepers of mystical trash heaps (yes, you read that right) in an alternate Victorian London combines thrills with intelligence and compassion.

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Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.

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All Things Considered

For The Midterm Elections, A Book On 'What It Takes' To Win

Friday, October 24, 2014

The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it's like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs.

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