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Arts/Life

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Jennifer Croft is among the most accomplished translators working other languages into English today. She translates Polish, Spanish, and Ukrainian — and is perhaps best known for translating the Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk's Flights, a genre-straining work for which Croft and Tokarczuk won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

Croft's first non-translated work, Homesick, is similarly boundary-pushing, or boundary-expanding. On Homesick's website, Croft notes:

Today, it's almost hard to remember just how different the Texas government was back in the 1970s. That's when Molly Ivins scorched a trail through good-ol'-boy politics like a flamethrower through a cactus patch.

"The legislature was fairly corrupt in those days," she said to NPR in 2006. "And the fact that it was, and that everybody knew it, and that people laughed about it, struck me as worth reporting. And I thought: Why not put it in the way it is?"

Dystopian stories are, in essence, thought experiments. And few come as thoughtful as The Divers' Game.

There was once a time when MoviePass subscribers could see a movie every single day for the cost of $9.95 a month. Now, the company has officially shut down the service and its future is still undetermined.

MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics notified MoviePass subscribers on Friday that it would be interrupting the service effective Saturday.

Tina Charles has won two Olympic golds, the WNBA Rookie of the Year and MVP awards, and now is the starting center for the New York Liberty.

As a University of Connecticut alum, she's a proud Husky, so we'll ask her three questions about actual huskies — you know, the dogs that pull sleds through the snow.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

Don't You Forget About Me is a deep dive into memory — specifically, what the main character, Georgina Horspool, chooses to remember and decides to forget, and how secrets buried in those memories can ravage a young woman's self-esteem and lead her to misjudge those who care about her the most.

Weighty stuff, huh?

As politicians grapple with the best policies to ensure a better economic future for the country, it's essential to understand how the economy became so tilted against the middle class and poor in the first place.

María Fernanda Papa was 4 years old when she and her family arrived in Miami. She'd begun dancing back home in Venezuela, and when she and her parents settled in the U.S., she asked if she could continue practicing ballet. Eventually, they found a spot for her in an "amazing school," says María, now 16.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow's debut novel, is one for the favorites shelf. It will lead you on a journey through books within books, worlds within worlds, mysteries within mysteries, until, finally, you reach a deep breath taken after a perfectly satisfying last page. Your breath. The last page of the book in your hand. The kind of last page that bewitches your fingers and, yes, you are turning again to the first page before you've decided whether you'll reread the whole book now or just turn to a favorite part.

Everyone knows we live in a partisan age. It's hard to find any issue these days that people aren't ready to square off on, with sharp, snarky barbs.

While no one will be surprised to find these kinds of arguments playing out about immigration or the importance of NATO, finding it among staid physicists — and about the nature of physical reality — might not be so expected. But all too often over the last 100 years, this has been the case, as scientists have disagreed sharply over the meaning of their greatest and most potent theory known as quantum mechanics.

I don't remember when I first heard the false narrative according to which Jewish people murder Christian children and use their blood to bake matzo — but it always registered with me as a bit of a joke. Ridiculous, I thought. Surely no one could have ever believed that, not really.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Linda Ronstadt is the subject of a new documentary that opened today called "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice." We're going to listen back to the interview I recorded with her in 2013, a month after she revealed that she had Parkinson's disease and could no longer sing. The disease had ended her singing career years before it was diagnosed.

Do not adjust your radio as contestants answer questions about some of the earliest audio recordings ever made.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Nature Shows

Sep 13, 2019

In an adorable alternate reality, Animal Planet has taken over all of television. In this game, contestants replace words from popular TV shows with rhyming animal words.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Long before she appeared in the 2017 big screen reboot of Baywatch alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and the recent Netflix series She's Gotta Have It, Ilfenesh Hadera attended an after school theater program at The Harlem School of the Arts. Her mother hoped it would keep her out of trouble — but Hadera soon realized she enjoyed acting and wanted to pursue it. Now, the Harlem-raised Hadera stars in the new series Godfather Of Harlem.

Pardon My French

Sep 13, 2019

Sacré bleu! In this final round, every answer is a commonly-used French phrase.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Fact Bag

Sep 13, 2019

Fact Bag makes its triumphant return as Ophira and Jonathan ponder questions about Germany, Bob Ross and an early Corn Flakes marketing gimmick. Fact Bag!

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Cheesy Songs

Sep 13, 2019

This music parody is not for the lactose intolerant, as contestants guess which cheese musician Jonathan Coulton is singing about.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

Historic Tech Support

Sep 13, 2019

Ophira and Jonathan play tech support agents troubleshooting problems with old-timey inventions.

Heard on Ilfenesh Hadera: Spike Lee Alum And DJ School Dropout.

In this month's slate of romance novels, a suffragist takes on a duke, a small town renaissance faire is the setting for a sweet love story, and a writer's retreat is the beginning of a beautiful romance. No matter who, or when, or what they're wearing (or not!), love wins in these three must-read romances.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the movie hustler must always take the young upstart under her wing. In Hustlers, that moment comes when Jennifer Lopez, lounging on a New York roof in an elaborate white G-string, spreads her luscious fur coat and wraps Constance Wu's fresh-faced stripper inside with her. It's a glittery gesture of sisterhood, bestowed by the biggest star in the world, working a profession long derided by larger society as immoral.

The new series Unbelievable on Netflix tells the true story of a woman named Marie, who was raped when she was 18.

Instead of investigating the rape, the police investigated her. The man who assaulted Marie went on to rape several more women.

The story was the subject of a blockbuster investigation from ProPublica and The Marshall Project. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

When the commander of a squad of rag-tag teenage guerrillas calls them monkeys or scamps — Monos, in Spanish — he might as well also be addressing the movie's viewers. Director Alejandro Landes thrusts the audience into the action, making his second feature as immersive as the moist climes where it's set. To watch this fierce drama is to be welcomed to the jungle.

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed some of the agency's top surveillance programs, has a memoir slated to hit shelves Tuesday.

Permanent Record is part coming-of-age-with-the-Internet story, part spy tale and — his critics might say — an attempt to try to justify betraying his country.

Ken Burns is our great explainer, television's finest illustrator. He's a filmmaker who gives us what we know from fresh angles, so that we can learn more and appreciate topics on a deeper level. Whether his subject is the Civil War or baseball, Burns has made an art of divining what most Americans know about a subject and then putting an arm around our collective shoulder and murmuring, "Yes, but have you seen this?"

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. I don't know about you, but I've been really confused lately about how and what I should be recycling. And I'm confused about what happens to my recycling after it's carted away. I'm referring to plastics and paper as well as electronics, including old phones and computers. We used to ship a lot of our waste to China for recycling. But recently, China stopped taking it. Now what? What are governments doing and what is industry doing to deal with the problem of waste?

Sure, it's unlikely that the Japanese macaque you see above actually threw up a Wu-Tang sign. Probably by some providential mix of the photographer's skill, patience and plain old dumb luck, this deadpan monkey stumbled into a funny looking moment — not a lifelong appreciation for RZA & Co.

Still, though: Isn't it pretty funny to think so?

When fashion designer Tan France got the call to audition for the Netflix makeover series Queer Eye, his initial reaction was to say no. France, the gay son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants, didn't want to take on the burden of representing his community — especially on television.

"The thought of being one of the very first openly gay South Asian men on a major show. ... That pressure was so hard to handle," he says. "The pressure of being one of the first to do something is massively stressful."

Former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power writes that her motto has been "show, don't tell."

Her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, tries to show how she stayed true to her idealism, her belief that she could a make a difference for the better. However, the story she tells is much more complicated.

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