Arts

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Mojo, Music And Semi-Divine Sibling Rivalry In 'Sister Mine'

It's like this: Makeda is trying to make a clean break from her old life by getting a super's gig in a bohemian Toronto warehouse of artsy up-and-comers. And it won't be easy — she's still riddled with guilt and uncertainty, after having struggled for years to care for her bedridden father and to get out from under the shadow of her twin sister, Abby, who's kind of a diva and has a lot of pull in the family.

The family of gods, that is.

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First Reads
6:03 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'The Burgess Boys,' By Elizabeth Strout

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Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 7:16 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Elizabeth Strout's newest book begins with crime. Zach, the youngest member of the Burgess family, throws a severed pig's head through the front door of a mosque in his quiet, rural Maine town. The mosque is run by a recently arrived community of Somali immigrants, who have already faced some hostility from the town. Everyone is shocked, but no one more so than Zach himself.

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Poetry
2:06 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Revisiting Iraq Through The Eyes Of An Exiled Poet

Dunya Mikhail is an Iraqi-American poet who teaches in Michigan. She has published five books in Arabic and two in English.
Michael Smith Courtesy of Dunya Mikhail

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:45 am

Poet Dunya Mikhail fled her homeland, Iraq, a few years after the first Gulf War. She had been questioned by Saddam Hussein's government, and state media had labeled her writing and poetry subversive. Mikhail escaped to Jordan and eventually reached the United States, where she made a home for herself — marrying, raising a daughter and becoming a U.S. citizen.

Mikhail never physically returned to Iraq. But she revisits her homeland again and again in her poetry — line by line, stanza by stanza.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Sketches From A War-Torn World: A British Illustrator In Syria

Ahmed, 10, was rocketed on Feb. 13., and lost his leg. There doesn't seem anything more mundane than drawing when you are standing next to a child that has lost his mother, his brother and his leg within the last 48 hours His father, Yassar's face, raked with worry sits in a clinic at Bab al Hawa. He keeps pulling his adult sized oxygen mask off his little face.
Courtesy of George Butler

George Butler lives between two worlds. One is his apartment in London, and the other consists of conflict-ravaged places like West Africa, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Syria.

The British illustrator recently returned from his second trip to Syria, and his reportage illustrations are a powerful account of life in the country's north, where the fighting is heavy and rebels now control many areas.

The illustrations are not just about the sorrows and pain of Syrian refugees and the wounded, but often about Syrians' stubborn insistence that life will carry on despite the pain.

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Author Interviews
12:06 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

'Sex And The Citadel' Peeks Inside Private Lives In The Arab World

Shereen El Feki is the author of Sex and the Citadel.
Kristof Arasim Pantheon

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 1:49 pm

"I know of young women who have been returned to their families by their husbands because, as you say, they did not bleed on defloweration," Shereen El Feki tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

El Feki, the author of the new book Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, spent five years traveling across the Arab region asking people about sex: what they do, what they don't, what they think and why.

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