WBEZ | Books http://www.wbez.org/tags/books Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The 'Amazing Fantastic Incredible' life of Stan Lee, now in comic form http://www.wbez.org/news/amazing-fantastic-incredible-life-stan-lee-now-comic-form-113759 <p><p>Stan Lee is a legend. Along with artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Lee helped populate the Marvel Comics universe with heroes like the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.</p><p>Their most famous creation &mdash; Lee calls him &quot;Spidey&quot; &mdash; is everywhere in this office, as a painting, a life-size doll, and even a pinball machine. &quot;Nobody plays pinballs anymore,&quot; Lee tells NPR&#39;s Renee Montagne. &quot;And it&#39;s really a good thing, because it doesn&#39;t work anymore.&quot;</p><p>The man who dreamed up lots of backstories for Marvel characters has now put out his own origin story: <em>A memoir,&nbsp;Amazing Fantastic Incredible</em>, in comic book form. It begins with Lee as a boy, transported to other worlds through books by Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and William Shakespeare. His real world was the Depression, a father mostly out of work and a dingy New York apartment with laundry hanging in the kitchen and a brick wall for a view. Lee says his mother doted on him; he remembers she&#39;d just watch him read. &quot;One of the best gifts I ever got &mdash; she bought me a little stand that I could keep on the table while I was eating, and I could put a book in the stand, and I could read while I was eating. I mean, I always had to be reading something,&quot; he recalls.</p><div><hr /></div><p><img a="" alt="" amazing="" and="" by="" class="image-original_image" colleen="" david="" fantastic="" incredible:="" marvelous="" peter="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/stanleecover.jpg" stan="" style="height: 608px; width: 400px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="" /><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong>On comics and picking a pen name</strong></p><p>I realized that people had no respect for comic books at all. Most parents didn&#39;t want their children to read comics. And I was a little embarrassed to be doing the work I did, and I figured someday I&#39;ll write the Great American Novel and I don&#39;t want to ruin my possibilities by having my name disliked this way. And I became Stan Lee.</p><p>The stories in the comic books then were a little bit different. My publisher was typical of all the publishers, and in the early days he would say to me, &quot;Just give me action! I want a lot of action in every panel! That&#39;s what the kids want.&quot; So I wanted the characters to have good personalities, I wanted provocative situations &mdash; I don&#39;t think he knew what the word provocative meant. Aside from the fights, there was nothing much to recommend the books.</p><div id="con455640956" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><div id="res455640955">&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>On creating the Fantastic Four</strong><br /><br />I was really ready to quit. I was getting sick of doing these one-character-punches-another and says, &quot;Take that, you rat.&quot; So my wife said to me, &quot;You want to quit. Before you do, why don&#39;t you get one story out of your system? Do one the way you want to do it. The worst that will happen, he&#39;ll fire you. But you want to quit anyway. So what have you got to lose?&quot; So that&#39;s when I did the Fantastic Four.</p><p><strong>On artist Jack Kirby&#39;s original vision for Spider-Man</strong><br /><br />Jack made him look very heroic and strong. But that isn&#39;t the way I wanted him. I wanted him to look like a typical, thin high school kid. And he doesn&#39;t get all the girls because of his athletic prowess. He&#39;s just kind of a shy high school kid who&#39;s a science major. It was no big deal. I said, &quot;Jack, forget it. I&#39;ll give it to someone else.&quot; And he was busy with a dozen other books. He didn&#39;t care. So I called Steve Ditko, and Steve gave him just the right look. And that&#39;s how Spidey was born.</p><p><strong>On whether he feels his creations around him</strong></p><p>Not really. I love those characters I&#39;ve done. But I&#39;ve moved on to other things. I love talking about them, I love people being interested in them. And I&#39;m interested in them too. But as I say, they&#39;re things that I had written. I&#39;m glad they turned out to be successful. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Uh_RucKz8" target="_blank">But today is another day.</a></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/12/455639075/the-amazing-fantastic-incredible-life-of-stan-lee-now-in-comic-form?ft=nprml&amp;f=455639075" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 14:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/amazing-fantastic-incredible-life-stan-lee-now-comic-form-113759 When it comes to counterterrorism, why Bush and Obama aren't so far apart http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/when-it-comes-counterterrorism-why-bush-and-obama-arent-so-far-apart-113603 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/President Barack Obama responds to questions on Russia&#039;s intervention in Syria during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res453253849" previewtitle="President Barack Obama responds to questions on Russia's intervention in Syria during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="President Barack Obama responds to questions on Russia's intervention in Syria during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/30/63374001_h39845986-1--154c244304a2fe7486dfb0cbb95e02b133e2af00-s800-c85.jpg" title="President Barack Obama responds to questions on Russia's intervention in Syria during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C." /></div><div><div><p>President Barack Obama responds to questions on Russia&#39;s intervention in Syria during a news conference in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 2, 2015, in Washington, D.C.</p></div>Mike Theiler /UPI /Landov</div></div><p>In a pile of books about the Obama presidency,&nbsp;Power Wars: Inside Obama&#39;s Post-9/11 Presidency&nbsp;stands out.</p><p>Author Charlie Savage&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Power-Wars-Inside-Obamas-Presidency/dp/0316286575" target="_blank">provides the most thorough look</a>yet at how this administration has handled counterterrorism and national security. There are sections on drones, detainees, spying, leak prosecutions and much more.</p><p>The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter with&nbsp;The New York Times&nbsp;tells NPR&#39;s Ari Shapiro why Obama&#39;s approach to national security differs from his predecessors.</p><p>&quot;All these years after 9/11, this is still a moment of flux,&quot; Savage says. &quot;You know, what are things going to be like later in the 21st century? Is this the new normal? Is this a &#39;forever war&#39;? Obama wanted to get us out of the war in Afghanistan and to sort of declare it over, but events made that impossible.&quot;</p><hr /><p><img alt="Power Wars" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/p/power-wars/9780316286572_custom-cf435b4a5a70d52f65157bee49b89e156ee74909-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(Power Wars: Inside Obama's Post-9/11 Presidency, by Charlie Savage)" /></p><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>On why it matters where the U.S. picks up terrorist detainees</strong></p><p>Typically we think of the world as being divided into two types of places &mdash; war zones where there&#39;s ground troops engaged in hostilities, and normal countries with functioning governments and police forces, where if there&#39;s a threat emanating from that country, the person can go and be arrested.</p><p>But especially in the 21st century, in the sort of &quot;War on Terror&quot; era, the world is encountering this problem of badlands &mdash; ungoverned, broken states, failed states. Places where there&#39;s neither a normal war happening in any kind of sustained way&nbsp;or&nbsp;a functioning government.</p><p>And so when al-Qaida or its allies go into those places, the old rules don&#39;t really seem to apply.</p><div id="res453255736"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>On why Bush was a CEO president and Obama is a lawyer president</strong></p><p>A lot of the situations the government is encountering now in the sort of post-9/11 world are completely different than what the rules were written for. The rules were developed for 20th century situations &mdash; wars between nation-state armies and so forth. And the government is then encountering new problems for which they do not quite map onto very well. And the Bush administration responded to that disconnect by essentially saying &quot;there are no rules&quot;: The president as commander-in-chief, can do what he thinks is necessary &mdash; whether it&#39;s Geneva Conventions or domestic laws on things like interrogation or surveillance, we can just override those.</p><p>The Obama administration has taken a very different approach &mdash; in part because they are extremely &quot;lawyerly.&quot; Bush and Cheney were CEOs by background, not lawyers; Biden and Obama are lawyers, and they put a lot of lawyers into policymaking roles throughout their administration &mdash; and so they&#39;re trained to think like lawyers, and they&#39;re exceedingly interested in the law.</p><p>And so that has led them &mdash; when encountering this disconnect between what the rules were written for and the situations arising today &mdash; to think about things through a legal lens.</p><p><strong>On how Obama&#39;s approach is less transformational and more transitional</strong></p><p>All these years after 9/11, this is still a moment of flux. You know, what are things going to be like later in the 21st century? Is this the new normal? Is this a &quot;forever war&quot;? Obama wanted to get us out of the war in Afghanistan and to sort of declare it over, but events made that impossible: The Islamic State arose and now the Taliban is sort of coming back, and we&#39;re sort of getting &mdash; staying &mdash; sucked in over there.</p><p>And I think that the next president will have a lot to say about whether this was en route to the ... rolling back of some of this stuff, or was en route to the entrenchment and the normalization and the making permanent of all these post-9/11 policies that have such implications for individual rights and collective security.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/30/453217073/when-it-comes-to-counterterrorism-why-bush-and-obama-arent-so-far-apart?ft=nprml&amp;f=453217073" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 16:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/when-it-comes-counterterrorism-why-bush-and-obama-arent-so-far-apart-113603 Sandra Cisneros crosses borders and boundaries in 'A House of My Own' http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my <p><p>For many students, Sandra Cisneros is required reading. She tells stories of working-class Latino life in America, particularly Chicago, where she grew up, and where she set her well-known book,&nbsp;<em>The House on Mango Street.</em></p><p>The meaning of home has been a central theme in Cisneros&#39; life and work. And in her new memoir,<em>&nbsp;A House of My Own</em>, she writes about leaving home, her parents&#39; house &mdash; without getting married, which was a shock to her father.</p><p>&quot;Unless you&#39;re exiled from your father&#39;s house for some transgression, you really are expected to live there,&quot; she tells NPR&#39;s Ari Shapiro. &quot;And if you don&#39;t marry, you&#39;re expected to stay there and take care of your parents. I&#39;m an only daughter in the middle of six brothers. And I think I did things that were rather shocking if I had been a man.&quot;</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>On her father, an upholsterer</strong></p><p>My father was a craftsman, and I&#39;m a craftsperson, too. And I have the same standards of making things, putting them together and ripping the seams apart if they don&#39;t match. I think my father, as a&nbsp;tapiceros,&nbsp;an upholsterer, taught me a lot about mastering craft and taking the time to make something well if your name was going to be put on it. And, you know, I always admired that my father had this little business card that said &quot;Cisneros Upholstery: Custom Quality Furniture.&quot; And my dream was to have a card that said: &quot;Sandra Cisneros, Writer. Custom Quality Work.&quot; And I finally did it ... I showed it to my dad. And he was so &mdash; he looked like he was going to cry when he saw it.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cisneroscover.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 414px; width: 280px;" title="Cover of 'A House of My Own.The much-loved author of The House on Mango Street presents a collection of true stories and nonfiction pieces, spanning nearly three decades, that, read together, paint an intimate portrait of a literary legend's life and career." /></p><p><strong>On her mother, whom she describes as a &quot;prisoner-of-war mother&quot;</strong></p><div id="con446352246" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><div id="res446352245">&nbsp;</div></div><p>She was an unhappy camper. My mom really wanted my life and didn&#39;t realize that she was opening the path for me to follow my dream. And then at the end of her life, I think she felt so unhappy that she had wasted her life, that she hadn&#39;t achieved what she had aspired to as a young person. And that dissatisfaction and that person that used to exist before she became a mother &mdash; you know, I understood her better at the end of her life. I could understand who she wanted to be and how we came into the picture and kind of thwarted her plans. She didn&#39;t realize what she&#39;d done. She could only see what she had not done.</p><p><strong>On writing about women&#39;s lives and stories</strong></p><p>You know, when I was a child, I always felt that I wanted to rescue my mom from the slights of her mother-in-law. She had a lot of pain that she opened up to me about as a little girl. And I always wanted to come to her rescue and, as I became a writer, to tell her story. But I felt always that my mother knew so little about her own mother and her own grandmother, and all of the women in the family just got erased, that I wanted to honor them as much as I could. Write about them, think about them, even though I didn&#39;t know their names, to somehow imagine their lives.</p><p><strong>On crossing borders and boundaries</strong></p><p>I guess I didn&#39;t realize I was gonna be crossing borders my whole life. Even in Chicago when I grew up &mdash; because I lived in the border zone between black and white communities. Usually in Chicago, it&#39;s so segregated, you have a brown corridor, to create a wall. And I didn&#39;t realize that growing up in Chicago, even then, I was living on the borderlands.</p><p>Maybe my job is to be an amphibian so that the water people and land people can understand each other. And I think, especially in this time, climate of fear, who better to travel between these two worlds than those of us who are mixed race, or&nbsp;<em>mestizos</em>.&nbsp;We&#39;re the diplomats, the ambassadors, so to speak, during the age of <em>susto&nbsp;</em>[fear].</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/06/446301433/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-in-a-house-of-my-own" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my The Bloggess is determined to be "Furiously Happy" http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_the-bloggess-624x407.jpg" title="Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness in “Furiously Happy.” (Courtesy Maile Wilson)" /></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson&nbsp;is the creator of the wildly popular blog &ldquo;<a href="http://thebloggess.com/" target="_blank">The Bloggess</a>&rdquo; and author of the bestselling &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Pretend-This-Never-Happened/dp/0425261018?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Let&rsquo;s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir</a>.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img 2015="" a="" about="" alt="" book="" by="" class="image-original_image" flatiron="" funny="" furiously="" happy:="" horrible="" jenny="" lawson.="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/1005_furiously-happy.jpg" style="height: 304px; width: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(Cover, &quot;Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things&quot;, by Jenny Lawson. 2015 Flatiron Books.)" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">In her latest book, she writes that clinical depression, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, mild OCD and trichotillomania (the urge to pull one&rsquo;s hair out) are all part of her life. But Lawson is determined to be what she calls &ldquo;furiously happy&rdquo; in the moments when things are fine and to find joy, in spite of her illnesses and ailments.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In being open not only about her moments of joy but also her moments of terror and depression, Lawson has found a community on the Internet that&nbsp;supports her and each other.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Jenny Lawson joins&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s Robin Young to talk about her book &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Furiously-Happy-Funny-Horrible-Things/dp/1250077001?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things</a>.&rdquo;</p><h4>&nbsp;</h4><h4><strong><em>Book Excerpt: &lsquo;Furiously Happy&rsquo;</em></strong></h4><h4><strong><em>Excerpted from the book FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson. Copyright &copy; 2015 by Jenny Lawson. Reprinted with permission of Flatiron Books.</em></strong></h4><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_91459" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/283704871/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" width="615"></iframe></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/05/jenny-lawson-bloggess-furiously-happy" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-05/bloggess-determined-be-furiously-happy-113184 A new book recounts the forgotten history of autism http://www.wbez.org/news/science/new-book-recounts-forgotten-history-autism-113006 <p><p>In&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/books/review/neurotribes-by-steve-silberman.html?_r=0">NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity</a>,</u> Silberman takes us back to Vienna before World War II, where he introduces us to a young doctor named&nbsp;Hans Asperger.</p><p>In the 1930s, Asperger was already studying what he believed to be a widespread condition among the children of his day &mdash; a mostly heritable condition composed of a whole spectrum of symptoms.</p><p>&ldquo;Asperger was an extremely visionary and humane clinician,&rdquo; Silberman says. &ldquo;His clinic was not just the sort of place where parents would bring their children for evaluation and a diagnosis, but it was also like a residential school.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Hans%20Asperger%20with%20patient.jpg" style="height: 338px; width: 600px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;" title="Hans Asperger and children at the University of Vienna, 1930s. (Courtesy of Dr. Maria Asperger Felder)" /></div><p>Asperger and his colleagues lived with the children they treated. They held classes each day, like geometry or history. They had PE classes with music in the mornings. They designed an environment, Silberman says, that would &ldquo;both allow the clinicians to observe the children very closely, but also allow the children to become more comfortable with themselves and with each other. ...&nbsp;It was a very, very humane environment and way ahead of its time in that way.&rdquo;</p><p>More importantly, Asperger&rsquo;s ideas about autism were decades ahead of their time, Silberman says. Asperger and his colleagues conceived of autism as a lifelong condition, lasting from birth to death, requiring special forms of support from family, teachers and the community.</p><p>What Asperger described &quot;was mapped pretty closely to what we now call the &#39;autism spectrum,&#39;&quot; Silberman says.&nbsp;Some children, he observed, were unable to speak and might require individual support for the rest of their lives, while others would thrive in advanced classes in math and science.</p><p>The rise of Nazi Germany disrupted&nbsp;Asperger&rsquo;s work and changed the course of autism diagnosis and treatment for much of the rest of the 20th century.</p><p>By the late 1930s, when the Nazis annexed Austria to Germany, they had also started passing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/feb/06/race.usa">eugenic laws</a>, which compelled doctors, nurses and clinicians to report disabled children to Berlin.</p><p>&ldquo;In fact, the Nazis eventually undertook a secret extermination program of disabled children and adults as part of their effort to purge the gene pool of hereditary forms of illness,&rdquo; Silberman explains. &ldquo;This program became the dry run for the Holocaust. [It]&nbsp;was where the Nazis developed methods of mass murder that they would eventually use on the Jews.&rdquo;</p><p>In addition, Jewish clinicians were forced to flee the country. One of them&nbsp;was George Frankl, Asperger&#39;s chief diagnostician. Frankl was rescued from the Holocaust by an American child psychiatrist named Leo Kanner. Frankl started working for Kanner in 1938.</p><p>Donald Triplett also arrived in Leo Kanner&#39;s world in 1938. Triplett is considered Leo Kanner&#39;s first autistic patient. But initially, Kanner didn&#39;t know what to do with him. &ldquo;He had seen some of these symptoms before in children &mdash; that he called pre-psychotic &mdash; but he basically wasn&#39;t able to make a diagnosis. So, he sent Donald Triplett to George Frankl for evaluation,&rdquo; Silberman says.</p><p>Having just spent 11 years working in Asperger&#39;s clinic, seeing scores of autistic children at all levels of ability, Frankl understood Triplett. In fact, Frankl evaluated Kanner&#39;s first three autistic patients.</p><p>Then, in 1943, a year before Asperger published the results of his own work, Kanner wrote the paper that made him the world&#39;s leading authority on autism.</p><p>&ldquo;The problem for autistic people and their families was that Kanner defined autism much more narrowly than Asperger had done,&rdquo; Silberman explains. &ldquo;For one thing, he called it &lsquo;early infantile autism,&rsquo; so it was definitely a condition of early infancy, not a lifelong condition.&rdquo;</p><p>What&rsquo;s more, Kanner eventually blamed parents for triggering autism in their children. &ldquo;The image of the &lsquo;refrigerator mother&rsquo; came from Kanner&#39;s work,&rdquo; Silberman says. &ldquo;Bruno Bettelheim sort of made a career out of it later, but it was really Kanner who thought up that horrible idea.&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pbs.org/pov/refrigeratormothers/fridge.php">&lsquo;Refrigerator mother&rsquo;</a>&nbsp;refers to the mothering of autistic children by cold, emotionally distant mothers, resulting in a dysfunctional mother-child relationship.</p><p>Because Kanner and his colleagues&nbsp;viewed the disorder largely in emotional and psychological terms, the recommended course of treatment for autism became institutionalization. By contrast, Asperger believed the disorder was genetic and therefore had to be adapted to, not cured.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/NeuroTribes-cover-300.jpg" style="margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right; height: 453px; width: 300px;" title="NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Future of Neurodiversity, cover (Penguin Publishing)" /></p><p>In addition, Asperger understood &lsquo;autistic intelligence,&rsquo; Silberman says &mdash; that is, the &ldquo;bold suggestion that autistic people have played an unappreciated role in the evolution of culture.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Asperger always appreciated that autism was a condition that conveyed both profound disabilities and very special gifts,&rdquo; Silberman says. &ldquo;Kanner, on the other hand, interpreted even the gifts of his patients through the lens of psychopathology. He thought, for instance, that one of the kids in his clinic who could instantly identify 18 symphonies before he turned two, was just trying to impress his parents in a kind of desperate plea for their affection.&rdquo;</p><p>Silberman believes the world can and should adapt to meet the needs of autistic people, in the way we have done for people with physical disabilities.</p><p>&ldquo;We can make a cognitively accessible world by, say, presenting lessons and curricula in different formats for visual or audio learners,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We can provide quiet spaces in schools so that kids who are facing a meltdown from sensory overloaded can go chill out. We can do autism-friendly performances on Broadway, which have already been a fantastic success &mdash; with less pyrotechnics and social stories beforehand so the kids don&rsquo;t get surprised.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We know how to deal with disability,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We just have to rise to the challenge, instead of thinking that we can make autism go away if we throw enough money at it.&rdquo;</p><p><em>This article is based on an&nbsp;<a href="http://sciencefriday.com/segment/09/04/2015/the-forgotten-history-of-autism.html">interview</a>&nbsp;that aired on PRI&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://sciencefriday.com/">Science Friday</a>&nbsp;with Ira Flatow.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-09-20/new-book-recounts-forgotten-history-autism">via ScienceFriday</a></em></p></p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/science/new-book-recounts-forgotten-history-autism-113006 A panel discussion on the Syrian refugee crisis http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-09-10/panel-discussion-syrian-refugee-crisis-112895 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Petros%20Giannakouris.jpg" title="(Photo: Asoociated Press/Petros Giannakouris)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/223272110&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 22px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Syrian Americans give their view on the refugee crisis</span></font></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">The president of the European Commission has urged the 28 members of the EU to take a &quot;swfit, determined and comprehensive&quot; response to the refugee crisis in Europe. He wants the member countries to increase aid and impose mandatory quotas reuiring them to accept more refugees. Last week the picture of a dead Syrian child whose family was attempting to get to Greece drew international attention to the ongoing cisis in Syria and the flood of refugees seeking to escape that conflict. We&#39;ll discuss the response to the Syrian conflict and the ongoing humanitatian crisis with a panel of Syrian Americans- all of whom have been directly impacted by the war in Syria and have been working on the refugee issues since the conflict began.</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Guests:&nbsp;</span></strong></div><ul><li class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d306a438-b8d4-19f7-df87-d7c9b7ebdc7a"><span style="font-size: 13.3333px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Hana Tom is a Syrian American.</span></span></em></li><li class="image-insert-image "><em><span><span style="font-size: 13.3333px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><a href="http://twitter.com/sahloul">Dr. Zaher Sahloul </a>is the president of the Syrian American Medical Society. </span></span></em></li><li class="image-insert-image "><em><span style="font-size: 13.3333px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Lina Sergie Attaris is the co-founder of the <a href="http://twitter.com/karamfoundation">Karam Foundation</a>. </span></em></li><li class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d306a438-b8d4-d8d2-d766-4ede45d2a6db"><span style="font-size: 13.3333px; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Suzanne Akhras Sahloul is founder and director of the <a href="http://twitter.com/SCN_Network">Syrian Community Network</a>.</span></span></em><div>&nbsp;</div></li></ul><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/223272800&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 22px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: an update with Bookwallah</span></font></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Global activist, Seena Jacob, is founder and CEO of Bookwallah Organization. &quot;Bookwallha&quot; is a Hindi word that means &quot;book peddler&quot;. The group gives books and provides libraries to orphans in India. Seena just came back from India and for our Global Acitvism segment, she&#39;ll update us on her trip and her work.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Guest: Seena Jacobs is founder and CEO of Bookwallah Organization.&nbsp;</span></div></p> Thu, 10 Sep 2015 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-09-10/panel-discussion-syrian-refugee-crisis-112895 Harper Lee says new biography is unauthorized http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/harper-lee-says-new-biography-unauthorized-110510 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/harper-lee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former <em>Chicago Tribune</em> reporter Marja Mills says her just-released biography of Harper Lee, <em>The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee,</em> was written with &quot;the trust, support and encouragement&quot; of Lee and her older sister, Alice.</p><p>But in a statement this week, the 88-year-old Lee countered, &quot;Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood.&quot;</p><p>In 2004, Mills moved next door in Monroeville, Ala., and befriended the sisters, who, according to the book&#39;s description, &quot;decided to let Mills tell their story.&quot;</p><p>Lee says that, in fact, she &quot;cut off all contact&quot; with Mills after realizing her intentions: &quot;It did not take long to discover Marja&#39;s true mission: another book about Harper Lee. I was hurt, angry and saddened, but not surprised.&quot;</p><p>Mills points to a letter from Alice that &quot;makes clear that Nelle Harper Lee and Alice gave me their blessing.&quot;</p><p>In her statement, Lee notes that her sister &quot;would have been 100 years old&quot; when that letter was written.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/16/331941601/book-news-harper-lee-says-new-biography-is-unauthorized" target="_blank">via NPR&#39;s <em>The Two-Way</em></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/harper-lee-says-new-biography-unauthorized-110510 25 inspiring authors for writers http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/25-inspiring-authors-writers-109352 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" dominique="" penguin="" press="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dominique%20Nabokov.jpg" title="Press photo for Zadie Smith, author of &quot;NW.&quot; (Dominique Nabokov/Penguin Press)" /></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The great endeavor of writing a novel, I have discovered, is equal parts exhilarating, exasperating, and exhausting. One day can bring a huge breakthrough, with ideas overflowing and fingers flying across the keyboard, while the next can amount to nothing more than a tiny black cursor blinking desperately on a blank page.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In these moments, I search for traces of kinship in the literary giants who came before me.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Did Hemingway ever struggle with writer&#39;s block when he was scribbling away in those Paris cafés? Did Salinger obsessively re-write sentences and anguish over syntax, too? Did Woolf realize her writing would continue to be read and cherished by women in the 21st century&mdash;that a lonely girl from Texas would pick up &quot;A Room of One&#39;s Own&quot; and yearn for the freedoms she described?&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Meanwhile, Buzzfeed is running a wonderful&nbsp;<a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/colinwinnette/aimee-bender-there-is-such-genuine-happiness" target="_blank">interview series</a>&nbsp;on writers recalling and dissecting the books that have formed them, which prompted me to further examine which authors have had the most profound impact on my life.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">When did I realize that I wanted to be a novelist? At first, I thought it must be around the time that I first read &quot;To Kill A Mockingbird&quot; (my first classic, age 8) or &quot;Harry Potter&quot; (my first serial obsession, age 11), but then remembered a host of other novels written by authors who still feel like old friends, though we&#39;ve never met.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Turns out, I have many to thank for shaping me into the writer that I am today.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In no particular order:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>1. Zadie Smith.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;White Teeth&quot; (2000), &quot;On Beauty&quot; (2005), and &quot;NW&quot; (2013)&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else. 2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.&quot;&nbsp;<em>&mdash;&nbsp;</em><em>Smith, from her &quot;10 Rules of Writing&quot; published in the <a href="http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/19/zadie-smith-10-rules-of-writing/" target="_blank">New York Times</a>.</em></div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>2.&nbsp;Gabriel García Márquez.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;One Hundred Years of Solitude&quot; (1967) and &quot;Love in the Time of Cholera&quot; (1985)</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;If I had to give a young writer some advice I would say to write about something that has happened to him; it&rsquo;s always easy to tell whether a writer is writing about something that has happened to him or something he has read or been told. Pablo Neruda has a line in a poem that says &#39;God help me from inventing when I sing.&#39; It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there&rsquo;s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality.&quot; &mdash; <em>Márquez, interviewed for <a href="http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3196/the-art-of-fiction-no-69-gabriel-garcia-marquez" target="_blank">The Paris Review</a> after winning the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature for &quot;One Hundred Years of Solitude.&quot;</em></div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>3. Nick Hornby.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Fever Pitch&quot; (1992), &quot;High Fidelity&quot; (1995) and &quot;About a Boy&quot; (1998)</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;One of the questions that is probably troubling you at the moment is this: How do I know whether I&rsquo;m a writer? And the question can only be answered with another question: Well, do you write? If you don&rsquo;t, you&rsquo;re not. If you do, you are. There&rsquo;s nothing else to it...Walk into a bookshop and you will see books that you love and books that you hate, books that were written in three weeks and books that took thirty years, books that were written under the influence of drugs and alcohol, books that were written in splendid isolation, books that were written in Starbucks. Some of them were written with enormous enjoyment, some for money, some in fear and loathing and despair. The only thing they all have in common&mdash;and actually there is the odd honourable exception even to this rule&mdash;is that their authors finished them, sooner or later.&quot; - <em>Hornby, in an excerpt from his <a href="http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks/nick-hornby" target="_blank">Pep Talk</a> for National Novel Writing Month, 2013. &nbsp;</em></div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>4. Chuck Palahniuk.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Fight Club&quot; (1996), &quot;Survivor&quot; (1999) and &quot;Choke&quot; (2001)</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don&#39;t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts. My personal theory is that younger readers disdain most books &mdash; not because those readers are dumber than past readers, but because today&#39;s reader is smarter. Movies have made us very sophisticated about storytelling. And your audience is much harder to shock than you can ever imagine.&quot; &mdash; <em>Palahniuk, from his &quot;<a href="http://chuckpalahniuk.net/features/essays/13-writing-tips" target="_blank">Essays on Writing</a>.&quot;</em></div></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>5. Joan Didion</strong></span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Joan Didion.jpg" style="height: 213px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Joan Didion in 1977. (AP Photo/File) " /><strong>. Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Slouching Towards Bethlehem&quot; (1968), &quot;Play As It Lays&quot; (1970) and &quot;The Year of Magical Thinking&quot; (2005)</div><blockquote><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;Of course I stole the title for this talk, from George Orwell.&nbsp;One reason I stole it was that I like the sound of the words: Why I Write. There you have three short unambiguous words that share a sound, and the sound they share is this: I,&nbsp;I,&nbsp;I. In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It&rsquo;s an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions &mdash; with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating &mdash; but there&rsquo;s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer&rsquo;s sensibility on the reader&rsquo;s most private space.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Didion, from &quot;<a href="http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/10/16/why-i-write-joan-didion/" target="_blank">Why I Write</a>&quot; in the New York Times Book Review, 1976.&nbsp;</em></div></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>6. Ernest Hemingway.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works: </strong>&quot;The Sun Also Rises&quot; (1926), &quot;A Farewell to Arms&quot; (1929), &quot;For Whom the Bell Tolls&quot; (1940) and &quot;The Old Man and the Sea&quot; (1952)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you, so try to remember it.&quot;&mdash;<em>&nbsp;Hemingway, in an October 1935 article about writing for <a href="http://www.openculture.com/2013/02/seven_tips_from_ernest_hemingway_on_how_to_write_fiction.html" target="_blank">Esquire</a>.</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>7. J.D. Salinger.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Catcher in the Rye&quot; (1951), &quot;Nine Stories&quot; (1953) and &quot;Franny and Zooey&quot; (1961)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I have to know my character thoroughly before I start, and know how he&rsquo;d act in every situation. If I am writing about Mr. Tidwinkle&#39;s golf game, I must also know how he would act when drunk, or at a bachelor dinner, or in the bathtub or in bed &mdash; and it must all be very real and ordinary.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Salinger, to journalist Shirley Ardman in New York,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedrum.com/news/2012/01/26/top-tips-writers-jd-salinger-advice-beyond-grave" target="_blank">1941</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>8. Mary Shelley.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable work:</strong> &quot;Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus&quot; (1818)&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;How dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Shelley, &quot;Frankenstein&quot; (written at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein" target="_blank">age 19</a>) &nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>9. George Orwell.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;1984&quot; (1949) and &quot;Animal Farm&quot; (1945)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.&nbsp;This sounds easy, but in practice is incredibly difficult. Phrases such as&nbsp;toe the line,&nbsp;ride roughshod over,&nbsp;stand shoulder to shoulder with,&nbsp;play into the hands of, an axe to grind, Achilles&rsquo; heel, swan song,&nbsp;and&nbsp;hotbed&nbsp;come to mind quickly and feel comforting and melodic. For this exact reason they must be avoided. Common phrases have become so comfortable that they create no emotional response. Take the time to invent fresh, powerful images.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Orwell, from his <a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/george-orwells-5-rules-for-effective-writing/" target="_blank">1946 essay</a>,&quot;Politics and the English Language.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>10. Toni Morrison.&nbsp;</b></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Beloved&quot; (1987) and &quot;Song of Solomon&quot; (1977)</p><blockquote><p>&#39;&#39;I am not able to write regularly. I have never been able to do that&mdash;mostly because I have always had a nine-to-five job. I had to write either in between those hours, hurriedly, or spend a lot of weekend and predawn time [doing it].&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Morrison, in an excerpt from her 1993 interview with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1888/the-art-of-fiction-no-134-toni-morrison" target="_blank">The Paris Review</a>.</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>11. Virginia Woolf.&nbsp;</b></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Mrs. Dalloway&quot; (1925), &quot;To the Lighthouse&quot;(1928) and &quot;A Room of One&#39;s Own&quot; (1929)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to.&nbsp;Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.&rdquo; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Woolf, in an excerpt from &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Room_of_One%27s_Own" target="_blank">A Room of One&#39;s Own.</a>&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>12. Dave Eggers.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius&quot;(2000) and &quot;The Circle&quot; (2013)</p><blockquote><p>&#39;&#39;And here is where I spend seven or eight hours at a stretch. Seven or eight hours each time I try to write. Most of that time is spent stalling, which means that for every seven or eight hours I spend pretending to write&mdash;sitting in the writing position, looking at a screen&mdash;I get, on average, one hour of actual work done. It&rsquo;s a terrible, unconscionable ratio.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Eggers, from the 2010 article &quot;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121003215.html" target="_blank">Dave Egger&#39;s Writing Life</a>,&quot; published in the Washington Post.</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>13. Mark Twain.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works: </strong>&quot;Adventures of Huckleberry Finn&quot; (1885) and &quot;The Adventures of Tom Sawyer&quot; (1876)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.&#39;&#39; &mdash; <em>Twain, on how <a href="http://www.rebellesociety.com/2012/11/14/writing-lab-11-juicy-tips-from-mark-twain/" target="_blank">writing is re-writing</a>.</em></p></blockquote><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ROALD_DAHL_AP_.jpg" style="height: 433px; width: 320px; float: left;" title="Roald Dahl in 1964. (AP Photo/File)" /><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>14. Roald Dahl.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;James and the Giant Peach&quot; (1961), &quot;Charlie and the Chocolate Factory&quot; (1964) and &quot;Matilda&quot;(1988)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;The prime function of the children&rsquo;s book writer is to write a book that is so absorbing, exciting, funny, fast and beautiful that the child will fall in love with it. And that first love affair between the young child and the young book will lead hopefully to other loves for other books and when that happens the battle is probably won. The child will have found a crock of gold. He will also have gained something that will help to carry him most&nbsp;marvelously&nbsp;through the tangles of his later years.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Dahl on the power of <a href="http://scribblepreach.com/2013/04/25/how-to-write-like-roald-dahl/" target="_blank">children&#39;s books</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>15. Margaret Atwood.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works: </strong>&quot;The Handmaid&#39;s Tale&quot; (1985), &quot;Cat&#39;s Eye,&quot;(1988), &quot;Blind Assassin&quot; (2000) and &quot;Oryx and Crake&quot; (2003)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Sometimes people are surprised that a woman would write such things.&nbsp;<em>Bodily Harm</em>, for instance, was perceived as some kind of incursion into a world that is supposed to be male. Certainly violence is more a part of my work than it is of Jane Austen&rsquo;s, or George Eliot&rsquo;s. They didn&rsquo;t do it in those days. Charles Dickens wrote about Bill Sikes bludgeoning Nancy to death, getting blood all over everything, but if a woman had written that, nobody would have published it. Actually, I grew up violence-free and among people who were extremely civilized in their behavior. &quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Atwood, on writing violence, from her 1990 interview for the <a href="http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2262/the-art-of-fiction-no-121-margaret-atwood" target="_blank">The Paris Review</a>.</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>16. Vladmir Nabokov.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable work: </strong>&quot;Lolita&quot; (1955)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;After waking up between six and seven in the morning, I write till ten-thirty, generally at a lectern which faces a bright corner of the room instead of the bright audiences of my professorial days. The first half- hour of relaxation is breakfast with my wife around eight-thirty... Around eleven, I soak for 20 minutes in a hot bath, with a sponge on my head and a wordsman&rsquo;s worry in it, encroaching, alas, upon the nirvana. A stroll with my wife along the lake is followed by a frugal lunch and a two-hour nap, after which I resume my work until dinner at seven. An American friend gave us a Scrabble set in Cyrillic alphabet, manufactured in Newtown, Conn.; so we play&nbsp;<em>skrebl</em>&nbsp;for an hour or two after dinner. Then I read in bed&mdash; periodicals or one of the novels that proud publishers optimistically send us. Between eleven and midnight begins my usual fight with insomnia. Such are my habits in the cold season.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Nabokov, when asked how he works and relaxes in an 1968 interview with the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/03/02/lifetimes/nab-v-things.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>17. Richard Wright.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Uncle Tom&#39;s Cabin&quot; (1938), &quot;Native Son&quot; (1940) and &quot;Black Boy&quot; (1945)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Wright, from &quot;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_boy" target="_blank">Black Boy.</a>&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>18. Hunter S. Thompson.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works: </strong>&quot;Hell&#39;s Angels&quot; (1967), &quot;Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas&quot; (1971) and &quot;The Rum Diary&quot; (1998)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I&#39;m not sure that I&#39;m going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says &#39;you are nothing&#39;, I will be a writer.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Thompson, from &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gonzo-Hunter-S-Thompson/dp/097860766X" target="_blank">Gonzo.</a>&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>19. Kurt Vonnegut</strong></span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/kurt_vonnegut_ap_img.jpg" style="float: right; height: 212px; width: 320px;" title="Kurt Vonnegut in 1979. (AP Photo/File)" /><strong>. Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Cat&#39;s Cradle&quot; (1963), &quot;Slaughterhouse-Five&quot; (1969) and &quot;Breakfast of Champions&quot; (1973)</p><blockquote><p>&quot; 1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. 2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. 3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. 4. Every sentence must do one of two things &mdash;reveal character or advance the action. 5. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them&mdash;in order that the reader may see what they are made of.&quot; &nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;<em>From Vonnegut&#39;s &quot;<a href="http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/538" target="_blank">8 Basics of Creative Writing</a>&quot; in the preface of his short story collection, &quot;Bagombo Snuff Box.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>20. Elie Wiesel.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable work:</strong> &quot;Night&quot; (1955)&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Why do I write? Perhaps in order not to go mad. Or, on the contrary, to touch the bottom of madness...There are easier occupations, far more pleasant ones. But for the survivor, writing is not a profession, but an occupation, a duty. Camus calls it &#39;an honor.&#39; As he puts it: &#39;I entered literature through worship.&#39; Other writers have said they did so through anger, through love.&nbsp; Speaking for myself, I would say &mdash; through silence.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Wiesel, in an excerpt from &quot;<a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CC4QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.litjunkies.com%2FWhy%2520I%2520Write.doc&amp;ei=gbWpUr2NAuamygGVqoDoDg&amp;usg=AFQjCNGSnkS4wm30rmI_li7l-ILEuIDfVA&amp;sig2=mqauA92_eJtyi_KE1ZtopQ&amp;bvm=bv.57967247,d.aWc">Why I Write: Making No Become Yes</a>.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>21. Jack Keroauc.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;On the Road&quot;(1957) and &quot;Big Sur&quot; (1962)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy, 2. Submissive to everything, open, listening, 3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house, 4. Be in love with yr life, 5. Something that you feel will find its own form.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Keroauc, from his 30 essentials in &quot;<a href="http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/464" target="_blank">Belief and Technique for Modern Prose.</a>&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>22. Harper Lee.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable work:</strong> &quot;To Kill a Mockingbird&quot; (1960)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.&quot; &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Lee in <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/thick-skin" target="_blank">Writer&#39;s Digest</a>, September 1961.&nbsp;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>23. Stephen King.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Carrie&quot; (1974), &quot;The Shining&quot; (1977) and &quot;Misery&quot; (1987)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it &#39;got boring,&#39; the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.&quot;<em>&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em><em>King, from &quot;<a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/stephen-kings-top-20-rules-for-writers/" target="_blank">On Writing</a>.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>24. John Steinbeck.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> &quot;Of Mice and Men&quot; (1937), &quot;The Grapes of Wrath&quot; (1939) and &quot;East of Eden&quot; (1952)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.&quot; &mdash; <em>Steinbeck, from his &quot;<a href="http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/03/12/john-steinbeck-six-tips-on-writing/" target="_blank">Six Tips on Writing</a>&quot; in the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.</em></p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>25. J.K. Rowling.&nbsp;</strong></span><strong>Most notable works:</strong> the &quot;Harry Potter&quot; series (1997-2007)</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me...And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.&quot; &mdash; <em>Rowling, on living as a single mother on welfare before publishing the first &quot;Harry Potter&quot; book at age 32.</em></p></blockquote><p><strong>Honorable mentions:</strong> Marya Hornbacher, David Sedaris, the Brontë sisters, and the poets: Whitman, Poe, Dickinson, Plath, Silverstein, Frost, Ginsberg, Yeats, Angelou, Emerson, and Wilde.</p><p><strong>Which authors, poets, and essayists have inspired you?</strong></p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about art and popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-12/25-inspiring-authors-writers-109352 Libraries: Beyond the books http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/libraries-beyond-books-108170 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117674644" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Shanlie Ann Stead says she&rsquo;s had a lifelong love of libraries and, as she recollects it, she personally experienced how far that love could go &mdash; straight from a library to her own apartment&rsquo;s walls.</p><p>She tells a story of being at the Waukegan library several years ago and noticing stacks of paintings. She says she perked up when a passing librarian said &ldquo;&lsquo;You know, you can check those out.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Shanlie took the library up on the offer.</p><p>&ldquo;That made a huge difference for me,&rdquo; Shanlie said, &ldquo;because &nbsp;I could actually check out paintings and decorate my apartment.&rdquo;</p><p>This nugget of curiosity about libraries stuck with her, and she wondered how other libraries handle checkouts and what&rsquo;s beyond books on the shelves. Figuring that there must be &ldquo;some unique things&rdquo; available for the taking, she asked us:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>&ldquo;What are some of the most curious and surprising things one can check out from a public library?&rdquo;</em></p><p>Well, we talked to staff at dozens of area libraries and posed them your very question, which led many librarians to talk about what role the public library plays for all of us today.</p><p>&ldquo;It used to be about the physical object and now it&#39;s about the knowledge,&rdquo; said Kelly Cuci, head of outreach services in Orland Park. &ldquo;It&#39;s about exporting knowledge to anybody. &hellip; It&#39;s about the knowledge package given to the person or the skill program, rather than the book.&rdquo;</p><p>You can see this principle across our area&rsquo;s libraries. Take the one in Orland Park, which is set to unveil a collection of nearly 200 artifacts from NASA on Sept. 15. The Waukegan Public Library recently inherited the personal library of native son Ray Bradbury. Of course, several librarians brought attention to their e-books and devices like the Nook, which would allow the contents of a basic book to be read in a digital format.</p><p>Nonetheless, the three most curious and surprising things we found available to take home from local libraries are physical &mdash; not digital &mdash; objects. In their own way, these objects can be used to impart knowledge in library patrons, just like books.</p><p><strong>Fishing pole</strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fishing rod OUTSIDE FOR WEB.jpg" style="float: right; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="Nine of the 79 Chicago Public Library branches offer fishing poles for check-out. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></p><p>Out of the Chicago Public Library&#39;s 79 branches, <a href="https://www.chipublib.org/eventsprog/programs/nature_conn.php">nine offer fishing poles </a>with a tackle and bait set. (Worms not included.)</p><p>Unsurprisingly, the nine branches are close to the fishing waters of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River or lagoons.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important because people who are normally in the inner city don&rsquo;t normally get an opportunity to go fish,&rdquo; said Lala Rodgers, who manages the Sherman Park branch, where 30 poles can be taken out on loan.</p><p>Just like most materials, poles can be checked out for three weeks at a time.</p><p>The poles can be checked out of the following branches: Albany Park, Blackstone, Douglass, Hegewisch, Humboldt Park, McKinley Park, Rogers Park, Sherman Park and Uptown.</p><p><strong>Sculptures</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.aurorapubliclibrary.org">Aurora Public Library</a> had spent decades building a catalog of art (all copies, not originals), but for the past dozen years or so, it&rsquo;s been disbanding it.</p><p>Life goes on, though, for the library&rsquo;s 30 sculptures, almost all of which cost less than $100. They&rsquo;re still available for checking out for eight weeks at a time.</p><p>Becky Tatar, the library&rsquo;s audiovisual head, chose the collection based on what she thinks would interest her patrons, both from an aesthetic and educational standpoint.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/STATUE FOR WEB.jpg" style="float: left; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="You can check out sculptures at the Aurora Public Library for eight weeks at a time. (WBEZ/Billy Healy)" />&ldquo;There&#39;s things for all interests,&rdquo; Tatar said. &ldquo;People can check things out for their office. They can check things out for their home.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Why do people have art in their home?&rdquo; she asked, rhetorically. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the same thing for why we would have art in the library. Because it makes people think. It looks nice. It creates interest.&rdquo;</p><p>The sculptures used to be a popular option to spruce up office spaces back in the 1990s. But the sculptures aren&rsquo;t checked out very often anymore. Tatar says just one item &mdash; an angel holding two vases, a copy of a 14th century French original &mdash; has been checked out multiple times this year.</p><p>Other sculptures include busts of Martin Luther King Jr., Beethoven and the University of Illinois&rsquo; Chief Illiniwek. There&rsquo;s also a miniature edition of Rodin&rsquo;s <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thinker">The Thinker</a>.</p><p><strong>A green screen (and other video producing equipment)</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.skokielibrary.info/s_about/how/Tech_Resources/DML.asp">Skokie&rsquo;s Public Library&rsquo;s digital media lab</a> is outfitted with the latest tech, &nbsp;from computers to drawing tablets to guitars that patrons can use for their creative needs.</p><p>&quot;It is a really awesome place because it&#39;s a place where people can create knowledge,&quot; said Mick Jacobsen, who oversees the lab. &quot;We create a space where people can use really great computers, really great equipment, really great software and create some amazing media.&quot;</p><p>Much of that gear can&rsquo;t be checked out due to licensing arrangements, but there among the items you can walk out with are: hard drives, audio recorders and simple video cameras. The latter include the GoPro, which can be attached to a person&rsquo;s head or body for action shots.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GREEN SCREEN for web.jpg" style="float: right; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="In an effort to keep up with the YouTube age, Skokie Public Library has a green screen available for checkout. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></p><p>But perhaps the oddest thing that can be taken home from this lab is the green screen, which costs no more than $80.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&#39;ve got a family photo &mdash; you didn&#39;t make it to Paris this year, you know, you never know what happened &mdash; you can still get to Paris,&rdquo; Jacobsen said. &ldquo;Well, not really, but you can certainly take your picture.&rdquo;</p><p>Jacobsen said in the age of YouTube, his library is stepping into the role of &ldquo;community access television&rdquo; by giving patrons equipment they might otherwise use at most twice in their lives.</p><p>Asked if patrons find a library offering this kind of equipment on loan as &ldquo;weird,&rdquo; Jacobsen replied: &quot;Weird is not really what they say. It&#39;s more surprise like &#39;Really?&#39; We are just branded books and that&#39;s just the way we are seen.&quot;</p><p><strong>How did Shanlie take this?</strong></p><p>After getting a preview of our list, Shanlie Ann Stead called the idea of public libraries stocking sculptures as &quot;cool&quot; and fishing poles as &quot;romantic.&quot; She also recognized the significance of libraries like Skokie moving to offer equipment like green screens for media production.</p><p>&ldquo;I find that very progressive. Personally I think that was a really great thing for them considering the age of technology we live in,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Compare that to a fishing pole. There&#39;s a lot of area in between there.&quot;</p><p><strong>The honorable mentions</strong></p><p>Here are other interesting items available in metropolitan Chicago libraries:</p><ul dir="ltr"><li><p>At the Joliet Public Library, <strong>two American Girl dolls</strong>, Addy and Josefina, are hot items.</p></li><li><p>At the Waukegan Public Library, people can check out <strong>3D puzzles</strong>.</p></li><li><p><strong>Video games</strong> are available at various libraries including Libertyville&rsquo;s Cook Memorial Public Library and in Aurora.</p></li><li><p>Though Aurora has disbanded its <strong>art print collection</strong>, the Des Plaines Public Library still lends out similar art.</p></li><li><p>Aurora also has about 20 file cabinets of <strong>sheet music</strong>.</p></li><li><p>Skokie lends out <strong>animal puppets</strong> to go along with certain children&rsquo;s books.</p></li><li>Along the lines of creation at the public library, Chicago&rsquo;s Harold Washington Library Center recently became home to a &quot;maker lab,&quot; which allows those taking classes to use software to create objects using <strong>3D printers and computerized wood carving machines.</strong></li></ul><p>Did we miss anything Shanlie Ann Stead should know about? Drop a comment below if you&rsquo;ve checked out something notable from a Chicago area library. What was it? Where did you check it out from? When?</p><p><em>Tanveer Ali is a freelance producer who has worked for organizations that include WBEZ, the Chicago News Cooperative and DNAinfo.com. Follow him @tanveerali.</em></p></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/libraries-beyond-books-108170 Morning Shift: Get your summer book bag ready http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-21/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready-107794 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Reading Books Train-Flickr-mootown.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Literary critic Donna Seaman is always excited to share new book ideas. Summer is officially upon us on Friday so she discusses some titles that you can take on road trips or to the beach. What are you excited to read this summer?</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Get your summer book bag ready" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 08:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-06-21/morning-shift-get-your-summer-book-bag-ready-107794