Writer Arthur Allen describes how a WWII scientist in Poland smuggled the typhus vaccine to Jews — while his team made a weakened version for the Nazis. Originally broadcast July 22, 2014.
On this week's show, a beloved author of books for kids writes another one for adults, and Lifetime sets a drama behind the scenes of a reality dating show.
The OED unveils some modern coinage and explains a Supreme Court justice's choice of words.
Blume says her time in Miami Beach in the late '40s was the most important time in her childhood. Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself is a slightly fictionalized autobiography of Blume's life there.
Longtime film writer Richard Schickel's unsatisfying collection of movie musings deems pleasure and intellectualism mutually exclusive.
Dean Bakopoulos' darkly humorous novel Summerlong features a cast of Midwestern suburbanites suffocating from adulthood.
Mike Cummings and Jorja Leap are working with men in Los Angeles — many of whom are former gang members — to help them find something that was missing from their lives as they grew up: fatherhood.
In his new book, Scott Sherman describes how bottom-line business logic nearly gutted New York's preeminent public library. Maureen Corrigan calls it a "slim, smart book" full of colorful characters.
Stephen Jarvis's debut novel explores the creation of Charles Dickens' classic serial, back when he was an unknown writer going by the name of "Boz," and the real star was illustrator Robert Seymour.
With the "pace and feel of an exploded documentary," says review Alan Cheuse, Don Winslow recounts a 10-year odyssey of revenge set in Mexico against the stark history of the drug wars.
NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Saeed Jones, literary editor at BuzzFeed, about his picks for summer reading. He recommends books where a character goes on some sort of journey.
In his first novel, The Meursault Investigation, Kamel Daoud retells The Stranger from an Arab perspective. John Powers says Daoud's retelling will forever change the way you read the Camus classic.
The art world is "fertile ground for criminals," says art scholar Noah Charney. In his new book, The Art of Forgery, he traces a tradition of fakes and forgeries that dates back to the Renaissance.
Daniel Clowes is one of the greatest artists in modern comics, and now his seminal '90s work is out in a deluxe box set — not just Ghost World but his fascinatingly autobiographical gripe sessions.
Erika Swyler's generous yet somewhat disappointing debut follows a young man and a mysterious book — but despite rich language and observations, it suffers from going in too many directions at once.
Our favorite medieval advice columnist returns, dispensing knowledge on everything from avoiding sunburn to glamping to road trip etiquette. And "slushy icye thinges," the best of all summer treats.
Mia Alvar's new short story collection spans the globe — from Manila to New York to Manama, Bahrain — to offer a more complicated narrative of Filipino exiles, emigres and wanderers.
In our Weekend Reads series, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Meg Medina about Skila Brown's novel, Caminar. The story is inspired by the Guatemalan civil war.
A dedicated group of fathers in Los Angeles is working to help neighborhood dads do better by their children and their community.
No American writer has been able to pin down the intersection of faith, prayer and art like Flannery O'Connor. Critic Juan Vidal reflects on her Prayer Journal, and the faith that words can live.