One night in 1910, a little girl is born during a snowstorm in the English countryside. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck; she turns blue and gasps for life. The doctor can't make it through the snow, and the little girl dies.
That same little girl is born on another version of that night in 1910, but this time the doctor makes it through the storm, delivers the baby and stays for breakfast.
David Sheff wrote a book in 2008 that became a kind of landmark. Beautiful Boy was a painful, personal story of the battle he tried to fight with and alongside his son, Nic, who was addicted to methamphetamines. The book became an international best-seller and made David Sheff one of the country's most prominent voices on addiction — not as a doctor, an addict or an academic expert, but as a father.
Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for more than 60 years — beginning as an ingenue chirping a novelty tune called "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in one of her first films, a Jane Powell/Ricardo Montalban vehicle called Two Weeks With Love. That was 1950. Today, she's indisputably a grand dame of show business, working with names like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.
Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 5:52 am
Pharis and Jason Romero live in a tiny town called Horsefly. This might sound like some relic of the old west, preserved through Hollywood movies and antiquated lore, but it's a real live town in British Columbia. And the music they make – though it, too, sounds like it's been pulled from long ago and far away – is a product of their authentic creative spirit.
Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:52 pm
For an actor whose latest television roles are all about death - a funeral director on Six Feet Under and a vigilante serial killer on Dexter - Michael C. Hall is an awfully fun partner in crime. At least when you're doing a photo shoot with him anyway.
He came by NPR West five years ago when Dexter first aired, and was interviewed on Talk of the Nation. Seven seasons later, he was here to talk with the CBC about the same show.
How do you play a character who's been depicted more than nearly any other character in all of Western civilization?
That's the challenge currently facing Irish actress Fiona Shaw, who in the past has played such well-known fictional characters as Harry Potter's Petunia Dursley and Marnie Stonebrook on HBO's True Blood -- not to mention titanic classical roles from Euripides' Medea to Shakespeare's Richard II.
The other day I heard a remarkable conversation between Lawrence Weschler, the journalist and author, and Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's On the Media. The topic was accuracy and honesty, truth and fiction, in reporting. Weschler remarked that when he was working on a story, he never recorded interviews and rarely made verbatim notes, and yet he'd never once been accused of misquoting or in any way misrepresenting a source. "I write what people remember having said."