February 20, 2013 Pakistan's Karachi Literature Festival wrapped up earlier this week amid fresh reports of sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. NPR's Steve Inskeep says that despite the violence, the festival was an intensely relevant and vibrant discussion of Pakistan's troubled path.
February 21, 2013 Dr. Sam Parnia researches the experiences of cardiac arrest patients in the time between when their hearts stop and when they are brought back to life. Parnia thinks of these experiences as actual-death experiences as opposed to near-death experiences.
February 20, 2013 There are an increasing number of LGBT characters in mainstream superhero comics — but visibility isn't everything. NPR's comic-book guy Glen Weldon has a roundup of manga and independent graphic novels that offer a deeper and more nuanced portrayal of LGBT life.
February 20, 2013 Laura Kasischke offers her signature blend of the mundane and the uncanny in her first story collection, If a Stranger Approaches You. In these tight, dark stories, unease and impotence lurk behind tidy suburban facades.
February 20, 2013 Also: Ron Paul is writing a book; Patricia Cornwell wins a $50.9 million lawsuit; and Kelly Clarkson is not pleased.
February 19, 2013 In a speech earlier this month, author Hilary Mantel said the Duchess of Cambridge "appeared to have been designed by committee and built by craftsmen." Britain's tabloids were outraged, and even the prime minister weighed in.
February 19, 2013 In her new book, Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn't, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging. "It really can make bullying feel like it's 24/7," she says.
February 20, 2013 In a new book, the CNN anchor tells the story of Combat Outpost Keating. The ill-fated American military base was in a remote Afghan valley, and on Oct. 3, 2009, it became the site of one of the deadliest attacks against U.S. troops in the history of the war in Afghanistan.
February 19, 2013 When Dara-Lynn Weiss saw her daughter gaining a lot of weight, she put her on a strict diet. That decision made Weiss the target of criticism from her daughter, her friends and people who didn't even know her. Weiss talks about the experience, which she chronicled in her new memoir, The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.
February 19, 2013 Journalist Jess Bravin's new book details the secretive system of military tribunals used to try terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Reviewer Jason Farago says the book reads like a thriller — but the violation of American values inherent in the tribunals is a true tragedy.
February 19, 2013 Also: What the royal family and panda bears have in common; Ben Percy dons a pregnancy suit; and classicist Mary Beard wards off online attackers.
February 18, 2013 Blanco, who read his poem "One Today" at Obama's second inauguration, is the first immigrant, Latino and openly gay poet chosen to read at an inauguration. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that while he was on the podium, "I really embraced America up there like I never had before."