Arts and Culture

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Ngugi wa Thiong’o — the renowned Kenyan author — believes African writers should write in their native language, not the colonial language of English or French. He says the best way to decolonize the mind is to reclaim native languages.More

 Practice dummy, Cryonics UK standby team training | Tim’s house, Sheffield, UK 2010

Photographer Murray Ballard says he expected a cryonics facility to look like something out of a sci-fi movie scene. But in visiting one, Ballard says he was intrigued by the contrast between such an ambitious endeavor and the somewhat unremarkable architecture and equipment.More

 Social gathering and sharing a meal during Russian Easter honoring the dead, Spring Valley, New Jersey, 1997

Between 1996 and 1998, Bastienne Schmidt and her husband Philippe Cheng traveled throughout the United States photographing the diverse services and ceremonies Americans use to mark the death of family members and friends. According to Cheng, one of the goals was to "show some of the poetry of death and dying in America."More

elderly woman

Nicholas Nixon has devoted a significant amount of his long career — which stretches back to the 1970s — to taking portraits of people who are sick and dying. He continues to work with people coming to the end of their lives, including those in palliative care and hospice.More

Children in Addis Ababa.

Dagmawi Woubshet and Julie Mehretu were both born in Addis Ababa and then moved to America. They wonder what the city's explosive growth will mean for its unique character — one rooted in Ethiopia's history as the only African nation never colonized.More

Woman waiting for moment to speak at a meeting

Veronica Rueckert, a vocal coach and public radio producer and host, shares the ways women are silenced and offers advice for how to best tap into the power of their voice.More

Why are so many women criticized for "vocal fry"? Anne Strainchamps talks to podcaster Ann Friedman and NPR pioneer Susan Stamberg about critiques of female voices.More

A wolf eyes the horizon

Horror writer Stephen Graham Jones loves werewolves. He redefined the genre with his 2016 novel "Mongrels," about a family of werewolves on the run in a hostile American landscape — a story drawn from his own background.More

the raven

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.More

bomb shelter

Mary Laura Philpott's memoir is called "Bomb Shelter." It is also an apt metaphor. When the world is on the brink, what do you and your family need to survive?More

television

Critic Alissa Wilkinson has found that artists have been responding to the pandemic by doing what they do best: creating and making things that — for at least some people — helped them feel like they are still alive even as they face grief and trauma.More

duality

Susan Cain is the author of "Bittersweet." She says the experience of sadness can help us feel whole. Cain said "bittersweet" is one of those words we use, but don't know what it means.More

"You're not ok, that's ok" yard sign

During the height of the pandemic, producer Charles Monroe-Kane made a yard sign — 300 of them, in fact. They read "You're not ok. That's ok." He put a few in his yard and the rest on his porch. Soon they were gone.More

Earth

N.K. Jemisin’s “Broken Earth” trilogy — set in a futuristic world grappling with power, racism and oppression, with a dash of magic thrown in — is rooted in the historical moment we’re now living in.More

rainforest

Ann Patchett's "State of Wonder" is a story about medical ethics and self-discovery when everything seems lost. Patchett tells Anne about her own experience visiting the Amazon while researching her novel.More

A false bull

Mark Sundeen tells Anne he accepted an advance to write a travel book about bull-fighting in Spain. What he wrote instead was an over-the-top fake documentary.More

A scene from the last phase of Ragnarök

Writer Neil Gaiman retells the ancient Norse myth of the Twilight of the Gods and apocalyptic end of the world in his stunning new collection, “Norse Mythology.”  We added some dark radio magic.More

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