David Rakoff was a mainstay on public radio's This American Life, and the best-selling author of Fraud, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty. He died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47, shortly after finishing Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, a short novel in verse that jumps from decade to decade, tracking a panoply of American characters across the 20th century: 1920s slaughterhouse workers, 1950s office girls, AIDS victims and '80s yuppies.
Before his death in 2012, Peter Evans wrote for the <em>Daily Express</em>, the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>, <em>Vogue</em> and many British newspapers. His other books include <em>Peter Sellers </em>and <em>Nemesis.</em>
A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.
Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Credit Ikea Foundation
Millions of refugees, such as these at the Zataari camp in Mafraq, Jordan, call the canvas tents provided by the UNHCR home. But the tents are hot during the day, cold at night, afford little privacy, and only last about six months. Ikea and the U.N. refugee agency are working together to come up with an alternative.
Credit Muhammad Hamed / Reuters/Landov
...into a temporary shelter that is designed to last up to three years and provide electricity via solar panels.
All week, we are looking at demographic changes in the currently very red, very Republican Lone Star state. Democrats hope the growing size and potential voting clout of the Latin population will turn Texas blue.
Whether that happens or not, the Texas Democratic Party already bears little resemblance to what it looked like when it last dominated Texas politics decades ago.
NPR's Don Gonyea brings us the latest in our series Texas 2020.