There's a popular misconception that literary fiction is supposed to be staid, boring, realistic to a fault. Like all stereotypes, it's deeply unfair, but it endures, perhaps because readers keep having traumatic flashbacks to novels, like Sister Carrie, that they were forced to read in high school.
Domenica Ruta's memoir, With or Without You, chronicles her youth in a working-class Massachusetts town, the daughter of a wildly flamboyant mother who drove a beat-up lime green hatchback, and held impromptu storm-watching parties on the porch.
Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 6:06 am
North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it had successfully conducted a third nuclear test. It's an important step toward North Korea's goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile that could reach United States.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
Catholics and the rest of the world are grappling with the implications of Pope Benedict's stunning announcement that he will resign on the evening of February 28th. The abdication is the first in many centuries, and it puts the church in uncharted territory for the first time in modern history.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:08 am
The credit reporting agency TransUnion says people who took on mortgages well after the housing bust are keeping up with their payments. In part, that's because lenders have tightened borrowing criteria.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 6:57 am
The Catholic church continues to grow in Africa, and analysts say that there is a good chance the next pope will be from Africa. In Mexico, Catholicism remains the predominant religion though the percentage is falling.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest in the U.S. and Latinos make up a majority of its parishioners. Latino Catholics there are hopeful a new papacy will bring an end to the child sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the archdiocese.
Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 6:24 am
The fired Los Angeles police officer who has been targeting other officers remains a fugitive. Chistopher Dorner is wanted in connection with three murders. Dorner claims he was fired because of racism. That claim has struck a chord with many of the city's Black and Latino residents
Minutes after he was re-elected in November, President Obama vowed to fix the long lines that many voters faced at the polls. He mentioned the problem again in his inaugural address. And now, the president is expected to raise it once more in the State of the Union address on Tuesday — this time with some possible solutions.
Jack Lew, the man President Obama has chosen to help oversee the country's biggest banks, has said it plainly — he's no expert on banking. Lew said as much when the Senate was vetting him to head the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2010.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Lew if he thought deregulation of Wall Street caused the financial crisis. Lew said he didn't consider himself the best person to answer that question.
If you can't find pennette, use the small bulging crescents that are chifferi, or regular elbow macaroni, instead.
Credit / Courtesy Random House
Instead of going to the butcher and asking for a huge hunk of steak cut specially, you can make one supermarket strip steak (it still should be good meat, or don't bother) stretch to feed two of you with no suggestion of scrimping.
Credit Courtesy Random House
Serve this handmade coffee ice cream with a chocolate sauce, or squidge it into little brioches, like sweet burger buns, as they do in the south of Italy.
Credit Courtesy Random House
Don't be tempted to let the cheesecake come to room temperature before serving. It slices and eats better with a bit of refrigerator chill on it.
Before the roses and the romance, Valentine's Day commemorated the Roman Saint Valentine — Valentinus, in Latin. And in her new cookbook, Nigellissima: Easy Italian-Inspired Recipes, chef Nigella Lawson offers up simple recipes that celebrate the cuisine of the country Saint Valentine called home.
Lawson joins NPR's Renee Montagne to share some recipes for a romantic dinner for two, and describes the time she spent in Italy.
Throughout his career, English musician Bryan Ferry has been one of popular music's most forward-looking performers. His band Roxy Music remodeled rock into an artsy, cosmopolitan sound in the early '70s and spearheaded the New Romantic style of the '80s.