Arts and Culture

books

Can we ever know how people used to read, say, 500 years ago? Princeton historian Tony Grafton is obsessed with that question.More

Boxing gloves hung up.

Jonathan Gottschall's dangerous idea? Remove the padded gloves from boxers and other fighters. That will reduce the brain damage to fighters.More

Ronda Rousey

At the peak of her fighting career, Ronda Rousey blew through her competition, winning nearly all of her fights in under a minute. She told Charles Monroe-Kane she’s been fighting as long as she can remember.More

When she moved back to Jordan, molecular biologist Rana Dajani realized that children there didn't read for pleasure. So she started a reading program at her local mosque. Since then, her reading program has reached more than 10,000 kids in Jordan and has spread across the Middle East.More

Jennifer Shahade is the author of "Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport." She tells Anne Strainchamps where the title of her book came from. More

James Wood is often called the best critic of his generation. He looks back at his own career, from writing brutal take-downs at the Guardian to his current perch at The New Yorker, and tells us why genre fiction makes him "anxious." 

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Shields (left) vs. Yenebier Guillén Benítez, 2015

Claressa Shields has been boxing since she was 11 years old. Today she’s the world middleweight champion — earning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics — and is the subject of the documentary “T-Rex.”More

Why are so many women criticized for "vocal fry"? Anne Strainchamps talks to podcaster Ann Friedman and NPR pioneer Susan Stamberg about critiques of female voices.More

Woman waiting for moment to speak at a meeting

Veronica Rueckert, a vocal coach and public radio producer and host, shares the ways women are silenced and offers advice for how to best tap into the power of their voice.More

David Thorpe

David Thorpe is a filmmaker who went in search of his voice. For his documentary "Do I Sound Gay?" he investigated why he and many other gay men ended up with a "gay voice"—one with precise enunciation and sibilant "s" sounds.More

Keith Powell in "Keith Breaks His Leg"

Before and since Keith Powell's breakthrough role as Toofer on the sitcom "30 Rock," he has confronted Hollywood's penchant for stereotyping black male voices.More

Why the filmmaker is still outraged by the famous philosopher of science.More

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard has published six volumes of intensely personal descriptions of his daily life. But his “honesty” cost him some of his closest relationships, including his marriage.More

Terese Marie Mailhot's brave and beautiful memoir about life on a Pacific Northwest reservation is making waves. She originally intended to tell her story as fiction, but ultimately made the difficult decision to write the whole, painful truth.
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Laura Ingalls Wilder insisted that every detail in her beloved "Little House" books was true. But Caroline Fraser, her biographer, says Wilder heavily edited the story of her family's life on the Great Plains. And in the process, created an American myth based on a lie or two.
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Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys takes up a "mad" wife’s story in “Wide Sargasso Sea,” an overlooked novel recommended by “Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood.More

Choreogapher Bill T. Jones recommends Lawrence Weschler's biography of Robert Irwin, an artist who spent his career attempting to capture the subjectivity of the act of experiencing the world around us.More

"Conversation in the Cathedral."

Diplomat and writer Emily Parker say by Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa uses fiction to uniquely depict what it actually looks like living day-to-day under a authoritarian regime.More

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