When comedian Joan Rivers thought her New York apartment was haunted about 15 years ago, she called on New Orleans voodoo priestess Sallie Ann Glassman to perform a "spiritual cleansing" of the brownstone.
Glassman says the pair became friends during that meeting, at which Glassman wore a flowing white gown and chased off the disturbing spirits in a night of rituals.
Rivers says Glassman's efforts worked.
Next month, the comedian is heading to New Orleans to return the favor.
After an arduous application process a group of piano players from around the world are set to contend against each other at Loyola University's Roussel Hall. Sharon Litwin brings us this story of diligence, passion, and competition on this week's Notes from New Orleans.
Donald Sobol, the creator of the beloved character Encyclopedia Brown, died last week of natural causes, his family says. He was 87. The first in the Encyclopedia Brown series book was published in 1963, and the series has never gone out of print.
Crime novelist and forensic pathologist Jonathan Hayes has this appreciation of the character Sobol gave young readers.
While other boys got hooked on books about sports legends and race car drivers, there was something about Donald Sobol's boy detective Encyclopedia Brown that spoke to me right away.
Providence, R.I., has a history of mob violence rivaling that of New York or New Jersey, but it comes with a gritty intimacy that could only be found in the nation's littlest state. Author Bruce DeSilva says that's what makes Providence the perfect place to set his crime fiction.
"It is big enough to have the usual array of urban problems," he says. "But it's so small that it's claustrophobic. It's very hard to keep a secret in places like that."
For decades, slavery tore apart African-American families. Children were sold off from their mothers, and husbands were taken from their wives. Many desperately tried to keep track of each other, even running away to find loved ones. After the Civil War and emancipation, these efforts intensified. Freed slaves posted ads in newspapers and wrote letters — seeking any clue to a family member's whereabouts.
After he was laid off in 2008, writer T.M. Shine adopted a unique approach to finding a job. He says his new goal is being nice to people, and he put that right at the top of his resume. Host Michel Martin speaks with Shine about his journey from unemployment back to work, which he wrote about for this week's Washington Post Magazine.
Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 11:16 am
Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama The Newsroom follows the inner workings of a fictional cable network trying to challenge America's hyperpartisan 24/7 news culture. It's a typical Sorkin drama, complete with fast-paced dialogue, witty scenes and a strong ensemble cast.
So why a newsroom?
"It suits my style," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I like writing about heroes [who] don't wear capes or disguises. You feel like, 'Gee, this looks like the real world and feels like the real world — why can't that be the real world?' "
The late Paul Conrad's 1991 work "Chain Reaction" is a mass of black chain link shaped into a mushroom cloud. It's in Santa Monica, Calif., where people either love or hate it. Now the end of the world has been delayed long enough for the statue to decay.