Neda Ulaby

Angeline Boulley did not win a Newbery or a Caldecott medal this year from the American Library Association.

Those are the two oldest and arguably most prestigious awards in children's literature. But they're among 22 awards the ALA handed out this week to books for kids, and a few names kept coming up during the ceremony, Boulley's among them.

You couldn't miss André Leon Talley.

Six foot six. Bedecked in splendid capes and caftans, classic bespoke suits, fur coats and record-album-sized sunglasses. The legendary fashion editor died suddenly and unexpected at age 73, reportedly of a heart attack.

"André was hard to ignore," says Karen Grigsby Bates, of NPR's Codeswitch podcast . "He was tall and large with a big voice."

Happy first anniversary to when sea shanties briefly took over the internet.

NPR was among the media organizations hyping the charming online phenomenon in January 2021 of people belting out maritime folk songs. After the inevitable wave of remixes and parodies, the trend quickly died.

One of the great cultural critics of the past half-century has died. Terry Teachout was an acclaimed author, a jazz connoisseur, a dance scholar and a drama critic for the Wall Street Journal. The paper reported that Teachout died on Thursday at a friend's home in Smithtown, N.Y. He was 65 years old.

Lionel Richie may be planning to party, karamu, fiesta all night long on May 17 this year. That's when he'll be awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Your imagination does the work at The Great Animal Orchestra – you just sit in a dark room and listen.

Currently at the Peabody Essex museum in Salem, Mass., through May 22, the exhibition immerses visitors into soundscapes from remote parts of the planet: seven of them, from the tropics to the tundra. No wildlife footage accompanies this symphony of wild animals. It's audio first, in a visually overstimulating world.

Updated January 4, 2022 at 11:29 AM ET

Cue "Changes."

Warner Chappell Music has bought the publishing rights to David Bowie's catalog of songs for what may be more than $250 million, according to some reports. The musician died almost exactly five years ago, on Jan. 10, 2016, after a diagnosis of liver cancer.

Every year, the Library of Congress adds 25 new movies to the National Film Registry. It's a way to draw attention to the Library's efforts to protect and archive American film history.

As usual, a few big blockbusters have made the cut. Thanks in part to online lobbying by fans, Star Wars Episode VI—Return of the Jedi, from 1983, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, from 2001, will be preserved for posterity.

Of all the terrible times to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama, the worst was surely April 2020. Every theater was shuttered and dark when playwright Michael R. Jackson's shattering debut musical, A Strange Loop, took the prize.

"It was pretty surreal," Jackson admits. "My producers got on Zoom and got everyone involved on the production together, and they sent me some champagne."

Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmüller was the first woman ever nominated for an Oscar in directing. The films she made were extravagant and eye-popping, and she used to say she wasn't surprised to be the first woman nominated for an Oscar in directing — she was only surprised that she didn't win.

Wertmüller has died at the age of 93, according to a Dec. 9 statement from Italy's minister of culture.

This week, NPR Music shared their picks for the best music of the year, ELLE banned fur from its pages and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia returned for its 15th season. It's the longest running live action sitcom on TV.

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Updated November 26, 2021 at 3:42 PM ET

The hits just keep coming for an elite team of British archaeologists.

On a new Apple TV+ show called The Shrink Next Door, a depressed and anxious businessman is convinced by his sister to go to therapy.

"He's not a stranger!" she exclaims. "Rabbi Goldberg recommended him!"

Their strong accents reflect who their characters are: New York Jews. But neither of the actors who play them — Will Ferrell and Kathryn Hahn — are Jewish in real life.

There are five big publishing houses in the United States right now, and one of them, Penguin Random House, wants to buy Simon & Schuster, one of its most robust rivals, for $2.75 billion dollars. But that presents a problem, says U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. He said the merger would create a "publishing behemoth," in a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

A bohemian self-styled witch who hobnobbed with the leading jazz luminaries of her era was also an accomplished painter. Gertrude Abercrombie lived in a ramshackle frame house on Chicago's South Side, sweeping around in pointy black hats and capes. Now, nearly 50 years after her death in 1977, Gertrude Abercrombie is enchanting a new generation of art lovers.

Halloween can hurt, a little.

It's a harvest holiday that marks times of transition. But when so many Americans are already feeling uncertain and unstable — and in mourning — the traditional celebration of the macabre can feel a little, well, off.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


The celebrated illustrator Jerry Pinkney has died. According to his long-time agent Sheldon Fogelman, Pinkney suffered a heart attack today; he was 81.

Landscape architecture has never quite gotten the adulation of capital-A architecture, but perhaps a new prize can help change that — especially since it's being given to an innovative designer who's been respectfully referred to as "the toxic beauty queen of brownfield remediation."

Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital has hosted many luminaries of the arts and letters over the years ... as patients in its famous psychiatric ward, and in its morgue. Norman Mailer, Edie Sedgewick, Eugene O'Neil, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie — all spent time at Bellevue, says Dr. Danielle Ofri, who co-founded the Bellevue Literary Review 20 years ago this fall.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit


The winner of the most prestigious prize in world literature was announced this morning in Sweden.


Updated September 22, 2021 at 7:33 PM ET

Influential director Melvin Van Peebles died on Tuesday night at home in Manhattan. The 89-year-old director was best known for his independent films Watermelon Man (1970) and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971).

In an industry filled with boundary-breaking visionaries and spectacularly accomplished eccentrics, Lee "Scratch" Perry stood out. The legendary producer of reggae and dub music has died at the age of 85. No cause of death was given; Jamaican media reported that Perry died in a hospital in Lucea, in the northwestern part of the country. His passing today was confirmed in a series of tweets from from Jamaican prime minister Andrew Holness.

The first words greeting visitors to the digital Museum of Black Joy are simple and affirmative:

"I see you. You are beautiful."

After weeks of celebrity tryouts, leaks and heated speculation by game show fans, current executive producer Mike Richards and actor Mayim Bialik have been named permanent co-hosts of Jeopardy!, marking the first time two people will host one of television's most popular game shows.

Richards will host the daily syndicated program, while Bialik hosts the primetime series and new spinoffs. The announcement was first reported by The Daily Beast.

Harvey Weinstein has lost his attempt to have three charges of sexual assault thrown out at a hearing today at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, but his attorneys did get the judge to agree that one of the charges should be amended.

Plenty of mere mortals want to host Jeopardy!

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, for example. And actor Mayim Bialik. And Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings. All intelligent, charismatic ... and in the running as the legendary trivia show tries out hopefuls before naming a new host.

But they're not LeVar Burton.