Arts and Culture

Vijay Iyer

Celebrated jazz pianist Vijay Iyer has a Ph.D in music cognition and a penchant for asking big questions - like, what is music? And what does it do for us? Steve Paulson caught up with Vijay backstage before a recent concert, where they talked about improvisation and the parallels between jazz and basketball.More

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Chuck Palahniuk has made a very successful career out of writing transgressive fiction. So maybe it's not surprising that Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" had a huge impact on Palahniuk.More

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We take a closer look at one of Shirley Jackson's most haunting short stories, "The Daemon Lover." Joan Wylie Hall is our guide.  She's the author of "Shirley Jackson: A Study of the Short Fiction."More

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In addition to her haunting short stories and novels, Shirley Jackson also wrote comic essays about her struggles to balance her writing career with family life. Her children Laurence Jackson Hyman and Sarah Hyman DeWitt have assembled a collection of that writing called "Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings."More

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Ruth Franklin is the author of "Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life." In her book, Franklin argues that Jackson's body of work channeled women's anxieties at the time, representing "nothing less than the secret history of American women of her era."More

Phoscheck drop during the 2013 Springs Fire, one of an ever growing list of wildfires in California due to hot, dry conditions and drought.

Reflecting on the devastating fires in California, we revisit a conversation with a longtime "hotshot" crew firefighter, Mary Pauline Lowry.  More

Early fall on the virtual Walden pond.

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”  More

The Foo Show set, in virtual reality.

What's it like to host a talk show in virtual reality? We talk avatars with Will Smith, host of “The Foo Show.”More

Making music online and off

If you’re a music-loving teen in a tiny town with no music scene, Bandcamp is a lifesaver. Jes Skolnik, editor of the Bandcamp Daily, weighs the pros and cons of online music communities.More

Death By Audio

Matt Conboy, co-founder of one of NYC’s most famous indie music venues, tells us how “Death By Audio” died.More

Mark and Laurie, The Wedding

Our digital producer, Mark Riechers, tells us why he got married in a movie theater.More

Wooden Japanese figures

Author Min Jin Lee grew up Korean-American and she thought she knew her ancestors.  But when she moved to Tokyo, she discovered a history she didn’t know. The history of Koreans in Japan.More

 Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel prize. Here's the best stuff he's said to us.More

"Prayers for the Stolen" by Jennifer Clement

The recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature recommends Jennifer Clement's novel about teenage girls surviving the violence of cartel-controlled Mexican border villages in "Prayers for the Stolen."More

paint brushes

Humanities programs are under siege. Their budgets are getting slashed as critics say schools should focus on job skills. But essayist Mark Slouka believes this is a tragic mistake.More

Ulixes mosaic at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. 2nd century AD.

Daniel Mendelsohn was surprised—and unnerved—when his 81-year father enrolled in his seminar on "The Odyssey." And then delighted to see how his dad’s cranky comments excited his students. The experience also brought Daniel closer to his dad.More

Student activist and Raza studies student Pricila from the film "Precious Knowledge."

Teachers Curtis Acosta and Jose Gonzalez explain the origins of Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program—and how their personal histories in school led them to teach these courses.More

listening intently

A listener reminds us that it wasn't just teenage boys listening to Pink Floyd in 1973. More

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