Howard Norman's memories of the strange incidents of his life compose his memoir. In 2003, his family rented their house to a poet, who killed her son and then herself in the Normans' home. Norman, his wife and daughter decided to continue living there, giving a certain weight to the title of his memoir, I Hate To Leave This Beautiful Place.
But his book begins in a very different place, with the story of Norman's childhood, a bookmobile and a swan.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
In 1982, Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson were convicted of a brutal rape and murder in a small town in Oklahoma. The victim was 21-year-old Debra Sue Carter, a waitress at the Coachlight Club. Williamson and Fritz each spent more than 11 years in prison for a crime that DNA evidence later proved they did not commit.
Another American who listened intently to President Obama's remarks Friday was linguist and commentator John McWhorter. He's written several books about race in America, including "Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority." McWhorter says Mr. Obama's emphasis on the police and criminal justice hit an essential problem of black inequality in America.
Every year for the past four decades, comic book fans dressed as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman - anything, really - have descended upon the city of San Diego for Comic-Con. The convention has grown as fast as a speeding bullet in the last decade. This year, an estimated 130,000 Con-goers are walking the floor, sitting on panels, and boosting their geek credentials at various workshops.
We are right in the middle of a long, hot summer, and that means this past week while we were hunkered down next to the air conditioner, Major League Baseball had it All-Star Game, and NPR's Mike Pesca was there sweating it out for us. He's here to tell us what caught his eye. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: I did have a shirt that wicks away moisture so...
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
Pope Francis is headed to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow for World Youth Day. It's actually a week-long gathering for young Catholics held every few years in a different part of the world. The event is meant to inspire and energize the faithful, and more than a million young pilgrims are expected to attend this year. Pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America and he's making his first papal visit overseas. It is to Latin America.
Wildfires were once essential to the American West. Prairies and forests burned regularly, and those fires not only determined the mix of flora and fauna that made up the ecosystem, but they regenerated the land.
When people replaced wilderness with homes and ranches, they aggressively eliminated fire. But now, scientists are trying to bring fire back to the wilderness, to recreate what nature once did on its own.
One place they're doing this is Centennial Valley, in southwestern Montana.