May 10, 2013 Debuting at No. 5, Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs explores a quiet woman's furious inner life.
May 10, 2013 Alt.latino guest DJ Eduardo Halfon, author of The Polish Boxer, answers a few questions about literature and the important books in his life. Halfon, who is Guatemalan, recommends Time Commences in Xibalba by Mayan author Luis de Lion for readers looking for a better understanding of his country.
May 10, 2013 Baz Luhrmann's extravagant adaptation of The Great Gatsby makes two fatal and contradictory errors of adaptation.
May 10, 2013 Also: rare footage of William Faulkner; drag and Virginia Woolf; and the art of translation.
May 9, 2013 Researchers at the University of Reading are speculating that today's languages share a common root dating as far back as the last Ice Age. Words like "mother," "man" and "ashes" are categorized as "ultraconserved," meaning they are survivors of a lost language from which many modern tongues are descended.
May 9, 2013 In her new novel, Emperor's Children author Claire Messud explores the complicated relationship between two women: Nora, who longed to be an artist and have a family but failed, and the woman Nora befriends, who puts her art first and built a family as well.
May 9, 2013 Lucas Mann's Class A combines baseball and sociology in this chronicle of a farm team from a fading Iowa factory town. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Mann "uses the full tool kit of literary nonfiction" in a book that "encompasses nostalgia, hope and failure."
May 9, 2013 Also: poems by New York City taxi drivers; Imelda Marcos and the power of spectacle; and USA Today is losing books staffers.
May 8, 2013 Many people are racking their brains to find a Mother's Day gift. But a group of women wrote about gifts their mothers gave them. Their essays are part of the book What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Host Michel Martin speaks with the editor and a contributor.
May 8, 2013 Also: Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro is put on the spot; a short film inspired by David Foster Wallace; the legacy of Samuel Johnson.
May 8, 2013 In the multilayered graphic novel Red Handed, an ace detective solves a series of odd and seemingly unrelated crimes, only to find that they're all part of a grand design. Critic Glen Weldon admires artist Matt Kindt's mastery of the comics medium.