The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books This week: Meg Wolitzer's latest, Charles Frazier returns to the Civil War, the pressures of being the only black person in the room, a new Macbeth, and marriage-saving tips from a divorce lawyer.
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The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books

This week: Meg Wolitzer, Charles Frazier, Jo Nesbo, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and James Sexton.

An excerpt from The Arab of the Future about growing up in Libya in the 1980s, where housing was free. But another family moved into the author's home while he and his family were away. Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co. hide caption

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Courtesy of Henry Holt and Co.

Syrian Author Finds 'The Arab Of The Future' In His Own Past

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Disney's Snow White has a scene in which the beautiful queen/stepmother turns into an old hag. Scholar Maria Tatar says it's "probably more frightening for adults than children because it compresses the aging process into about 20 seconds." Disney hide caption

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Disney

Why Are Old Women Often The Face Of Evil In Fairy Tales And Folklore?

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After 40 Years, Dungeons & Dragons Still Brings Players To The Table

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Emily Bogle/NPR

Lauren Groff Used 'Fates And Furies' To Bring 'Feminine Rage' Into Light

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Generations of children have leaned over the side of this bridge for a game of Poohsticks in the real-life Hundred Acre Wood. Rich Preston/NPR hide caption

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Rich Preston/NPR

'Natural World': In Which We Make An Expotition To The Hundred Acre Wood

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Pamuk himself drew this illustration; he says at the time, all the buildings existed only in his imagination. Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

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Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Orhan Pamuk Takes A Fresh Look At His Beloved Istanbul In 'Strangeness'

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Transgender student Nicole Maines (accompanied by her father, Wayne, and her twin brother, Jonas) speaks to reporters after winning on appeal a discrimination lawsuit against her school district. In 2014, Glamour magazine named Maines one of its 50 inspiring women of the year. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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Robert F. Bukaty/AP

'Becoming Nicole' Recounts One Family's Acceptance Of A Transgender Child

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"There's over 40 monsters in the movie, but I think my favorite has got to be Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy," Jack Black says. "He's just a little doll. But he has that cruel intention behind the eyes." Hopper Stone, SMPSP/Courtesy of Columbia Pictures hide caption

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Hopper Stone, SMPSP/Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Brie Larson as Ma and Jacob Tremblay as Jack in the new movie adaptation of Room. Caitlin Cronenberg/A24 hide caption

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Caitlin Cronenberg/A24

A Mother Balances Truth And Survival In 'Room'

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Beyond 'Aunt Jemima': A Taste Of African-American Culinary Heritage

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Courtesy of Blue Rider Press

Elvis Costello: 'There Is No Absolute Right And Wrong About Music'

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Ernest Hemingway revises For Whom The Bell Tolls, in Sun Valley, Idaho, in November 1940. Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos hide caption

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Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

Exhibition Delves Below Deceptively Simple Surface Of Hemingway's Prose

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Donna Karan On Motherhood, Fashion And Designing The Perfect Pair Of Jeans

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To mark his 90th birthday, Dick Van Dyke has published a book with tips on how to stay young. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP hide caption

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Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Dance, Sing, Just 'Keep Moving,' Dick Van Dyke Tells Seniors

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Alder branches form a bridge in a Dumfriesshire, Scotland, stream. (Jan. 17, 2014) Andy Goldsworthy/ Abrams hide caption

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Andy Goldsworthy/ Abrams

Sculptor Turns Rain, Ice And Trees Into 'Ephemeral Works'

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