February 14, 2013 Author and sociologist David Cunningham speaks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the origins of cross burnings and white hoods, and why North Carolina had more Klan members during the height of the civil rights movement than all other Southern states combined.
February 14, 2013 Also: The Knight Foundation apologizes; more bad news for Barnes & Noble; and discontinued candy heart slogans.
February 14, 2013 A lot of people think Valentine's Day is a commercial, made-up holiday — but even Chaucer noted it as a day to send sweets and gifts to loved ones. And what better than to read romance on such a romantic day? Author Bobbi Dumas has recommendations for great romance reads in every genre.
February 14, 2013 For those sick of roses and chocolates, we've got a bracing dose of Valentine's Day bitterness — featuring cartoon heartbreak, real life heartbreak, tumultuous relationships and just a touch of hope here and there. Plus a bonus playlist from our friends at NPR Music.
February 14, 2013 By the time Wendy Plump learned that her husband had a longtime mistress and an 8-month-old son, their union already bore the scars of adultery — both his and hers. Plump's marital post-mortem, Vow, is a frank, intelligent inquiry into the thrills and anguish of infidelity.
February 13, 2013 One of Kenya's most famous citizens is author and professor Ngugi wa Thiong'o. His criticism of that nation's post-colonial government led to his arrest and eventual exile. But he says he can't be knocked down. Host Michel Martin talks with Ngugi about his new memoir, In the House of the Interpreter.
February 13, 2013 In a new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, religious scholar and author John J. Collins tells the history of the scrolls and the controversies they have prompted, and explores the questions they ask and answer about Judeo-Christian history.
February 13, 2013 Charlie LeDuff's hard-boiled memoir, Detroit: An American Autopsy, gives readers a rough image of the decaying Rust Belt metropolis. But far from being belly up, the city is finally on the rise, as a recent transplant from Detroit explains.
February 13, 2013 Also: An award for the year's most cutting book review; how it feels to hold Sylvia Plath's hair; and Donna Tartt's new book will be out this fall.
February 13, 2013 The confounding title of the self-referential novel Percival Everett by Virgil Russell signals its method, which seeks to erase lines between author and subject, reality and fiction. For Alan Cheuse, Percival Everett's (or is that Percival Everett's?) postmodern mind games spoil what might have been a fine novel.
February 12, 2013 In a new memoir, James Lasdun describes how a former-student-turned-friend stalked and slandered him online. Give Me Everything You Have is a meditation on what it means to control your reputation on the Internet — and the book is Lasdun's attempt to fight back.
February 12, 2013 Domenica Ruta's new memoir chronicles her youth in a working-class Massachusetts town, the daughter of a wildly flamboyant mother, an addict and sometime dealer who thought nothing of bashing in the windshield of a woman who'd broken her brother's heart.
February 12, 2013 Swamplandia! author Karen Russell has a new story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Reviewer Michael Schaub says Russell puts the lie to the popular misconception that literary fiction must be boring and realistic, and fans of George Saunders will be right at home in these stories.