Arts and Culture

 Early fall on the pond in "Walden, a game."USC Game Innovation Lab

Game developer Tracy Fullerton tells us why Henry David Thoreau would play her new game. It’s called “Walden.”More

Band A Part

Norway's acclaimed pianist Tord Gustavsen recommends another Norwegian classic, Masqualero's album "Bande a Part."More

Screenshot from "Desert Bus" playthrough by Phrasz013.

A simulated eight-hour bus drive earns you one point. Why would anyone want to play a game like that?More

Mark and Anne in front of Mark's home in "Animal Crossing"

Mark just built a new house. In fact, he built a whole town. And it's the one place we can actually visit, because it’s inside a game. He’s been taking refuge from the grim reality of a global pandemic...in Animal Crossing.More

sea wall on a cliff

British journalist John Lanchester’s recent novel “The Wall” paints a very chilly picture of climate catastrophe. It begins in the future, when rising sea levels and an immigration crisis pit children against parents.More

earth from space

Lidia Yuknavitch’s apocalyptic novel “The Book of Joan” is one of the most stunning examples of climate fiction. It’s the story of a near-future where Earth is decimated and the last few survivors are stranded out in space.More

a barren tree in Nambia

Lydia Millet mined Bible stories and parables to write her very contemporary novel about climate change, "A Children’s Bible.” She says that fiction can help us sort through hard feelings about climate change in a way daily news stories can't.More

Alissa Waters in her shop.

In Madison, Wisconsin, there’s a place a lot of women with scars go. It’s a studio run by a tattoo artist — Alissa Waters — who specializes in the scars left from breast cancer surgery. Her tattoos help women reclaim their bodies.More

Products for skin

Living through a global pandemic is giving us all a whole new awareness of skin. Producer Angelo Bautista has been thinking a lot about his own skin — how to claim it, care for it, and all the ways he lives in it.More

Teju Cole

Teju Cole grew up in Nigeria and then moved to U.S., joining millions of others in the African diaspora. He became an acclaimed novelist and photographer, and now celebrates the cosmopolitan culture of global cities, including Lagos and New York.More

When you’re visiting a new city, it helps to have a guide. Dejene Hodes took Anne and Steve on a tour of Addis Ababa, from the Mercato to the financial district. He says the city is bursting with entrepreneurial energy and ambition.More

A moment on the street in Addis Ababa.

Ghanaian post-colonial theorist Ato Quayson thinks a lot about globalization, diaspora and transnationalism. Because he’s a literary scholar, he decided to "read" a single street — Oxford Street in Accra — as a study of contemporary urban Africa.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

roller coaster

Writer B.J. Novak imagines a roller coaster that's modeled after real life, and designed by the artist Christo.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

Ghostly image

Kelly Link writes what she calls slipstream fiction — magical realist with a strong dose of weird.More

Walt Disney

Cultural anthropologist Scott A. Lukas describes the history and cultural significance of theme parks such as Disney World.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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