Letters: Edwards, China, Arnold Listeners respond to Michele Norris' interview with Elizabeth Edwards and Melissa Block's reporting from China. Michele Norris and Robert Siegel also provide an update on Craig Arnold, the poet and essayist who disappeared on a Japanese island over two weeks ago.
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Letters: Edwards, China, Arnold

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Letters: Edwards, China, Arnold

Letters: Edwards, China, Arnold

Letters: Edwards, China, Arnold

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Listeners respond to Michele Norris' interview with Elizabeth Edwards and Melissa Block's reporting from China. Michele Norris and Robert Siegel also provide an update on Craig Arnold, the poet and essayist who disappeared on a Japanese island over two weeks ago.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now, your letters. And first, an unfortunate update of the story that we covered late last month.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

We heard about the mysterious disappearance of the poet and essayist, Craig Arnold. Arnold was in the middle of a five-month journey in Japan. He was following the trail of the poet and pilgrim, Matsuo Basho, when he visited a volcano and never returned. His disappearance prompted a search by both the Japanese government and a private American group hired by his family.

SIEGEL: On Friday, his family announced that Craig Arnold almost assuredly died in a fall while hiking. Craig Arnold was 41 years old, and as we were told by one of his colleagues at the University of Wyoming, he was a dynamic teacher and an enlivening presence.

NORRIS: Now, to some of your letters on a story which inspired a lot of mail. My interview on Thursday with Elizabeth Edwards dealt in large part with the infidelity of her husband, former Democratic presidential candidate and senator, John Edwards. Some of you found the interview too sensational.

SIEGEL: This comes from Nicole O'Donnell(ph) of Jacksonville, North Carolina. I am writing to share my disappointment that you chose to focus your interview solely on Elizabeth Edwards' struggle with her husband's affair.

Mrs. Edwards has had many struggles in her life, including cancer and the loss of her son. Yet in talking about her book, in which she discusses all of these, you only asked her about the affair. I am a devoted listener of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, and I found it distasteful that you would choose to only air the sexy side of her story. This strong woman deserves more respect.

NORRIS: Listener Jim Voorhees(ph) heard the interview differently. He wrote this on our Web site. I've heard a lot of interviews on NPR over the years, and I've never heard anyone so stunned into a total loss of words as Elizabeth Edwards was. Michele asked hard questions.

SIEGEL: Finally, you may have heard our co-host, Melissa Block, last week reporting from Sichuan Province, China, one year after a devastating earthquake. Well, she finished up her week of coverage with the story of "Afterquake." It's a benefit album by artists Dave Liang and Abigail Washburn, which mixes the songs and stories of displaced schoolchildren with the sounds of rebuilding.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Child: (Singing foreign language)

SIEGEL: Deborah Koslowski(ph) of Tujunga, California, wrote this: "Song For Mama," a boy's lament for his distant mother, had me in tears even before Abigail Washburn gave the translation. I'm also a middle school teacher, and I plan on sharing "Afterquake" with my students and finding out if we can help some of the Chinese students in some way.

NORRIS: We love to hear from you. Please write to us by going to npr.org and clicking contact us.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Child: (Singing foreign language)

SIEGEL: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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