Arts

The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

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Book Reviews
3:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success

Cover Detail
Random House

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:10 pm

Meg Wolitzer's most recent novel is The Interestings.

What's potentially more troubling than a memoirist out for revenge? One who's only out for truth. Gary Shteyngart's dazzling, highly enjoyable book is the story of his life — a story that he owns, along with all the details. Yet, as an only child who immigrated from Leningrad to Queens with his parents in 1979, with no brothers or sisters to provide narrative distraction, he not only provides an intimate look at himself, he also by necessity put his parents under a fairly strong magnifying lens.

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Remembrances
9:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

The Incredible Versatility Of Photographer John Dominis

Butterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954
John Dominis Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:59 pm

Photographer John Dominis died Monday at age 92 and left behind one of those archives that are hard to comprehend. Over the course of a few decades at Life magazine, Dominis not only worked in just about every photographic genre but also seemed to have mastered them.

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New In Paperback
6:02 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Dec. 30- Jan. 5: Tsunami Survival, A Tokyo Diarist And The Vietnam War

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:44 am

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You Must Read This
6:02 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Crossroads And Coins: Naomi Mitchison's 'Travel Light'

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:10 am

When I was 7 years old, living in a flat overlooking Hamra street in Ras Beirut, I read The Hobbit. I fell in love with it. I memorized all the songs and made up tunes to them; I memorized all the riddles and asked them of whoever would listen; I made up my own adventures in Mirkwood, my own encounters with Gandalf and Beorn and the Elves. I also read everything I could about Tolkien, and went in search of anything else he'd written. I decided that I too would be a writer, and that I would start with poems and work my way into fiction the way he did.

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