NPR

'The Rope' Chronicles A Good Death, And A Bad Start

Kanan Makiya's new novel is named for the rope used to execute Saddam Hussein. It follows one Shiite militiaman from the day of Saddam's fall through the tumultuous years that follow.

'Putin Country' Offers A Glimpse Inside 'Real' Russia

Veteran foreign correspondent Anne Garrels takes us deep inside Russia, where citizens struggle with a shaky economy and widespread corruption, but seem supportive of their controversial president.

With Beauty And Wonder, 'The Winged Histories' Soars

Sofia Samatar returns to the world of her award-winning debut, A Stranger in Olondria, with a companion tale of four women caught up in war and turmoil, trying to preserve and pass on their stories.

Beautiful 'Breathing' Is A Nuanced Family Drama

Elizabeth Poliner's book takes a familiar dramatic trope — the death of a child — and makes it the linchpin for an intricate tale that follows a close-knit family at a cultural turning point.

'The Throwback Special' Tackles Middle-Age Manhood

Rachel Martin speaks with Chris Bachelder. His novel tells the story of a group of friends who gather each year to re-enact the gruesome injury sustain by quarterback Joe Theisman.

Bravery Among The Ruins In 'Noonday'

Pat Barker's latest novel completes the trilogy she began with Life Class. Her first foray into the World War II era is rich with evocative language, though it occasionally verges on soap opera.

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