NPR stories about Books News & Features
October 11, 2012 Chinese writer Mo Yan is the 2012 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The 57-year-old writer has been compared to — and was inspired by — William Faulkner because of the way Mo creates an imaginary place and characters out of his hometown. He is a state-approved writer but some say there are subtle layers of social commentary in his writing.
October 11, 2012 The Swedish Academy praised the Chinese writer's work, which "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.
October 11, 2012 Mo Yan was one of three writers favored to win. He is perhaps best known in the West as the author of Red Sorghum, which was made into a film. He is only the second Chinese writer to win the Nobel — the other is poet Gao Xingjian, who won in 2000.
October 4, 2012 The Oxford English Dictionary has put out a call for help. Editors hope the public will be able to fill in the blanks about many English words and phrases. For example, "Can you provide evidence of 'bellini' before 1965?" and "Did John le Carre coin the phrase: 'Come in from the cold'"?
September 27, 2012 The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.
September 18, 2012 Since its founding more than a decade ago, Google has been trying to scan all the world's books to make them searchable online. But the effort has been stalled because of opposition from the Authors Guild. On Monday, a judge put the case on hold while Google appeals whether authors should receive class status.
September 3, 2012 Dating can be difficult at the best of times, but if you're the Man of Steel it's near impossible — until now. The latest edition of Justice League gives Superman a romantic break by pairing him up with Wonder Woman. According to Justice League writer Geoff Johns, the relationship will definitely cause tension around the office.
August 31, 2012 The Pentagon has alerted the Navy SEAL who wrote a book on the Osama bin Laden raid that he violated agreements not to reveal military secrets. The book describes in detail the raid that killed bin Laden. But the book's publisher and the author, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, did not seek Pentagon review as required.
August 25, 2012 After more than two decades on the force, retired police sergeant Derek Pacifico is teaching novelists and screenwriters how to create more realistic portrayals of police work. For one thing, he says, real cops never trample an investigation scene.
August 24, 2012 As of Friday morning, the book is No. 1 on Amazon's best-sellers list even though it's not due out until Sept. 11. The book's billed as a first-hand account by a former U.S. Navy SEAL who says he was part of that raid in Pakistan. It was written under a pseudonym Mark Owen.