At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.
Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.
Eurovision attracts more viewers than the Super Bowl. And yet, a lot of Americans have scarcely heard of it. Probably more people know that BJ Leiderman does our theme music. Winners of this pan-European song contest generally become one-hit wonders, if even that, and even more rarely do they make a name for themselves over here. But Sidsel Overgaard reports there have been a few exceptions. The most notable, the band that won 40 years ago this weekend.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: First it helps to understand what came before ABBA.
Iran's reported decision to name Hamid Aboutalebi as its ambassador to the United Nations has ignited anger in the U.S. That's because the diplomat was part of the student group that held Americans hostage in 1979. Now, dozens of lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to deny him a visa.
It's the latest sign of just how difficult it will be for Washington and Tehran to overcome decades of mistrust.
This week, the federal government announced a record-breaking $5 billion settlement in a remarkable environmental case. The toxic legacy of the company involved, Kerr-McGee, stretches back 85 years and includes scores of sites across the country.
Kerr-McGee ran uranium mines in the Navajo Nation, wood-treating businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, and a perchlorate plant on a tributary of Lake Mead, the nation's largest reservoir — and it was messy.
Writing a biography of John Updike is a tricky thing: The acclaimed American writer of elegant essays and elegiac novels and short stories may have been a genius, but he was also disconcertingly normal. He liked to drink, but wasn't a drunk; he had two marriages, but wasn't a womanizer; he could be wistful, but rarely depressed. He was a straight, white, Christian man who liked golf.
This, I would think, should be self-evident: Generally speaking, big creatures eat smaller creatures that, in turn, eat even smaller creatures, like this ...
And just as obviously, one would expect the food chain to be pyramid-shaped: a few big creatures at the top eating more middle-sized creatures in the middle, that eat many, many, many little creatures at the bottom, like so:
Kurt Cobain died 20 years ago today. It's hardly news. You've probably already seen plenty of tributes to his career and what might have been, along with, perhaps, a criticism of the impulse to memorialize his death simply because it's been a round number of years since the event.
Afghan Election: NPR's Sean Carberry Reports From Kabul
Millions of Afghans lined up to vote for a new president Saturday, despite warnings of violence from the Taliban.
Saturday's historic vote begins what would be the first democratic transfer of power for Afghanistan; President Hamid Karzai has served for two terms and is not allowed to run for a third under the country's constitution.
The Taliban launched a number of attacks that killed dozens in the weeks before the election, but no major violence was reported after polls opened Saturday.
People love to complain about their internet service, but the thing that seems to make people the craziest is they can't switch. No matter how slow. No matter how bad the customer service. There isn't much choice. But, this isn't true for people in lots of other countries. In Europe, in parts of Asia, there is a real choice of who brings your internet to you.
Today on the show: Why do Americans have so few options when buying internet service? Where's my internet jetpack?
Now on to our final game - Lightning fill in the blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl can you give us the scores?
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: Roxanne Roberts has the lead, Peter, she has four points. Paula Poundstone has three, P.J. O'Rourke has two.
Coming up, its Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on-air, call or leave a message at one 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That is 1-888-924-8924 or click the Contact Us link on our website, WaitWait.NPR.org. You can find out there about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago.
CARL KASELL, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Roxanne Roberts, Paula Poundstone, and P.J. O'Rourke. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you Carl.
SAGAL: Right now it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME bluff the listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our games on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.
We've invited comedian Amy Schumer to play a game called "Play ball!" It's the first week of baseball season, so we'll ask three questions about the House of David baseball team — one of the weirdest and most religious teams in the history of the game.
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