Arts and Culture

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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Junot Diaz — the Dominican-born, MacArthur genius, Pulitzer Prize-winning author — has written some of some of the most brilliant contemporary fiction about the immigrant experience. He spoke to Steve about his book "This Is How You Lose Her."More

Konya, Turkey.

Orhan Pamuk is Turkey’s most famous writer and a cultural ambassador for Turkey around the world.  He talks with Steve Paulson about his novel “Snow,” in which a secular poet is confronted by Islamic fundamentalists in a provincial town.More

Junot Diaz recommends Samuel R. Delany's reverse-chronology novel that captures the tragic story of a closeted poet who struggles to reckon with his desires.More

Anna Karenina

The Turkish writer and Nobel laureate says his favorite novel — the 800-plus-page Russian novel bursting with characters living the life of imperial Russian society — is a complex miracle of a book.More

David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece — Infinite Jest — is famously difficult to read. Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood are climbing the literary mountain of a book, and sharing their experience on a podcast called "And But So."More

woman on beach

It's summertime and the living is easy — but the reading shouldn't be. "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" producers compile a reading list for those seeking a challenge as their beach read. More

Syna So Pro

Musical guest Syna So Pro explains how her classical music training informs her electronic loops.More

Nicole Paris

Father-daughter beatboxers Nicole Paris and Ed Cage take vocal percussion from the cradle to the stage.More

Sam Coster

How a brush with cancer inspired three brothers — Sam, Seth and Adam Coster — to build a bigger game.More

How painting radium on watches and instrument dials killed more than 50 young women working in Ottawa, Illinois.More

Moby Dick

Ricardo Pitts-Wiley is the director and writer of the theatrical production of “Moby Dick: Then and Now,” which re-imagines Melville's tale in a context relevant to its cast — inmates at Rhode Island’s state juvenile correctional facility.More

From the Codex Seraphinianus

The "Codex Seraphinianus" has a magical air to it, full of bizarre illustrations and beautiful calligraphy in a made-up language. Publisher Charles Miers told Charles why he published the book, and why trying to understand it isn't really the point.More

Borges

When Steve was handed the assignment of interviewing Jorge Luis Borges — but with less than 24 hours to prepare — the opportunity felt like more of a curse than a blessing.More

ipad reading

Are we losing the ability to read difficult books? Cognitive scientist Maryanne Wolf says we need to develop a "bi-literate reading brain" so that we can switch back and forth between the deep reading of print and the skimming of electronic texts.More

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