In Chinua Achebe's novel The Anthills of the Savannah, one of the characters says, "Poets don't give prescriptions. They give headaches."
The same is true of novelists, and none more so than Philip Roth. If any writer has ever enjoyed rattling people's skulls, it's this son of Newark, N.J., who's currently enjoying something of a victory lap in the media on the occasion of his 80th birthday. The celebration reaches its peak with a new documentary — Philip Roth Unmasked — that will screen on PBS next week as part of the American Masters series.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 1:16 pm
Anaïs Mitchell has a knack for mythology that flies over the heads of most modern songwriters. From her adaptation of the Orpheus myth on Hadestown — an arresting "folk opera" wherein Orpheus and Eurydice struggle through a post-apocalyptic economic depression — to the nuanced interweaving of Biblical and Greek mythology in last year's Young Man in America, she's proven adept at mingling the ancient and the contemporary.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 12:59 pm
If the idea of sharing your personal medical troubles with your doctor and a bunch of total strangers gives you sweaty palms, you're not alone.
Yet, a growing number of people are swallowing hard and doing it. Along the way, they're discovering that they can get more time with the doctor and learn a few things from their fellow patients by forgoing a one-on-one appointment for a group medical visit.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:02 am
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.
"It could have been a very bad day for everyone here."
That's University of Central Florida Police Chief Richard Beary's conclusion after seeing the evidence that a former student at the school "drafted plans to kill others in his dormitory but changed his mind early Monday and took only his own life," The Orlando Sentinel writes.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:46 am
Another South by Southwest festival has come and gone. And, as usual, there's been no shortage of media coverage for the events. But here's a slightly different perspective from Tamir Kalifa. By day, he's a photojournalist based in Austin, Texas. But he's also a member of the band Mother Falcon, a "17-piece rock orchestra of sorts," NPR's Stephen Thomspon says.
Lawmakers in Cyprus are trying to ease rage over a proposed tax on all bank deposits by exempting people who have relatively small accounts. It's part of a bailout plan for that Mediterranean country negotiated with the E.U. and IMF over the weekend, but the compromise on taxes may not be enough for Cyprus' parliament to pass the plan.