arts & culture

New Orleans Healing Center
12:27 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Joan Rivers to host New Orleans comedy show

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.

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Notes from New Orleans
5:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Global Piano Competition Takes Place at Loyola

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.

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The Sound of Books
7:50 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Widely-Praised New Memoir from California Writer and Grief Therapist Claire Bidwell Smith

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten: the widely-praised new memoir from California writer and grief therapist Claire Bidwell Smith, The Rules of Inheritance.

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The Reading Life
7:00 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

James Lee Burke

This week on The Reading Life, our entire show is devoted to a conversation with James Lee Burke, whose new novel in the Dave Robicheaux series is Creole Belle.

Books
4:27 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:35 am

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.

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Crime In The City
4:04 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Big Crime, Little State: Murder, Mystery In R.I.

Roger Williams, memorialized with a statue in Prospect Terrace Park, founded Providence in 1636. According to crime writer Bruce DeSilva, corruption set in not long after.
Will Hart via Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:20 am

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."

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"Help Me To Find My People"
1:15 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Piecing Together Stories Of Families 'Lost In Slavery'

While many families were ripped apart, some were preserved. Charlie Crump, a former slave from North Carolina, kept ties with his granddaughter.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:26 am

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.

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Arts & Life
10:48 am
Mon July 16, 2012

A Writer's 'Cold, Calculated Acts Of Kindness'

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.

Television
10:09 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Aaron Sorkin: The Writer Behind 'The Newsroom'

Aaron Sorkin's work includes A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War and The Social Network.
HBO

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?' "

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Around the Nation
6:15 am
Mon July 16, 2012

'Chain Reaction' Statue In Need Of Repair

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.

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