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Your Letters: Aldous Huxley For Kids

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Your Letters: Aldous Huxley For Kids

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Your Letters: Aldous Huxley For Kids

Your Letters: Aldous Huxley For Kids

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Host Scott Simon reads listener's letters about Aldous Huxley's only children's book and an interview last week with cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

Daniel Pinkwater joined us last week to read Aldous Huxley's 1944 children's book "The Crows of Pearblossom," the tale of a crow couple and a ravenous snake.

Mr. DANIEL PINKWATER (Children's Book Author): (Reading) Snake, said Mr. Crow. What snake? The one that ate all my darling little eggs, said Mrs. Crow, and once again burst into tears.

SIMON: Daniel said that Huxley wrote the book while living in Arizona. That jarred something loose for Steve Wynn of Denver. He writes: Daniel Pinkwater's mention of Huxley writing his story, while altering his consciousness amongst the saguaros of Arizona, triggered a recognition. The words Pearblossom, Little Rock, and Palmdale identify locales in the Antelope Valley of my native Southern California. And since Huxley was once a resident of Los Angeles, I'm wondering if perhaps instead, he wrote this tale sitting on his terrace beneath the Hollywood sign?

Daniel Pinkwater confirms Huxley was in California, but they're contiguous states. And if one were to walk across the border from one into the other, you could hardly tell the difference. For all we know, Aldous Huxley thought he was in Arizona.

Reporter Sarah Varney did a story about laws that require hospitals to disclose their methods of preventing post-operative infections. She reported that hospitals frequently focused on treating infections with antibiotics, rather than preventing them in the first place.

James Bashkin wrote on our Facebook wall: It's not the fault of hospitals that antibiotics are over-prescribed, often at the insistence of patients. This is what gave us antibiotic-resistant bacteria which are so dangerous, especially to people who are already sick. Still, it is essential to use effective preventative techniques in a hospital, and some places are clearly better than others at doing this.

Grace Eileen McConnell wrote on our Facebook wall: I nearly lost my life to a hospital infection. Found out later the hospital had a high percentage of post-surgical infections. Didn't realize at the time this should be a major factor in choosing a hospital.

We also spoke with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who first performed with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra when she was 13.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: Nancy McAfee of Rochester, New York, writes: It was wonderful to know Alisa Weilerstein has hit the big time. The story reminded me of a Cleveland master class I sat in on with her and the great Yo Yo Ma. She was 14 at the time. While praising her technique, Mr. Ma was also correcting her arm-bowing position. He told her that if she didn't keep her elbow down while she played, she would develop cellist's elbow. I hope she listened because she obviously has a long career ahead.

We welcome your comments. You can go to NPR.org and click on the Contact Us link. You can also post a comment on Facebook or Twitter at NPRWeekend, and you can send me a tweet at nprscottsimon - all one word.

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