Writers & Writing

Author interviews, poetry and storytelling.

With his new book of poetry about race in America, Morning Edition poet-in-residence Kwame Alexander hopes to "shine a little light for the world."

In the book, Light For The World To See: A Thousand Words On Race And Hope, Alexander writes three poems on three events: the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protests before NFL games, and the election of Barack Obama as president.

In a new book of essays, No One Asked For This, Cazzie David writes about struggles with depression and anxiety, the perils of social media, and her excruciating breakup with SNL star Pete Davidson.

Pope Francis, never one to shy from controversy, wades boldly into the coronavirus debate with a new book in which he criticizes those who blame the virus on foreigners and people who protest church closings and mask mandates.

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The 2015 book "Between The World And Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates was an intimate letter between a father and son about being Black, being a man, being American.


Hookworm is an intestinal parasite often associated with poor sewage treatment and the developing world. It was long thought to have been eradicated from the United States — until a 2017 study revealed otherwise.

According to the study, more than one in three people in Alabama's Lowndes County tested positive for hookworm infection.

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HBO is out with its adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates' best-selling book "Between The World And Me." NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says it's a story of Black survival within white supremacy.

The Qualla Boundary is not technically a reservation, but everyone around here calls it one. The ancestral home of the Cherokee people sprawls across western North Carolina, a mountainous region thick with yellow birch and red maple forests, Dollar Generals, and ancient ceremonial mounds dating back to at least 1000 BCE. It's also home to first-time author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle.

"My Cherokee ancestors have been here, we would say, since the beginning of time," Clapsaddle says. "Other people would say over ten thousand years."

One of the epigraphs in Simon Han's debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened is a line from "Epistle," a Li-Young Lee poem: "Before it all gets wiped away, let me say, there is wisdom in the slender hour which arrives between two shadows." Nights When Nothing Happened is very much about the private, shadowy parts of ordinary lives, but Han's evocative writing is anything but ordinary.

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Romeo and Juliet gets a hardboiled makeover in this historical drama set amid the turmoil of a city torn apart by colonialism: In 1920s Shanghai, where we lay our scene, two rival gangs must join forces to hunt down a monster.


Artist and writer Lauren Redniss creates books like no one else's.

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The winner of this year's Booker Prize is Douglas Stewart for his debut novel, Shuggie Bain. Based on his own life, the book tells the story of growing up in Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1980s with a mother struggling with addiction.

Former President Barack Obama still has faith in the American system. Even as his successor, Donald Trump, refuses to acknowledge defeat in the recent presidential election, Obama maintains: "I don't believe democracy's broken."

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

As anyone who has seen the 1981 film classic My Dinner with André knows, avant-garde theater director and actor André Gregory is a wonderful raconteur.

His multi-faceted life, full of dramatic ups and downs (and celebrities!), is rich material for memoir. Like the dramatic arts, memoir is a great vehicle for conveying character as well as stories. Yet when urged to write about his life, Gregory said he preferred his "blissful" present to dwelling in the past, and balked at the implied proximity to death. Thus his book's maverick title.

Books have always gone to war, serving as comfort and distraction. And oftentimes, the most unexpected books have struck a chord in wartime.

For instance, who would've guessed that A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith's 1943 semi-autobiographical novel, would become one of the most popular books among servicemen in World War II, who received it as part of a massive book distribution program?

Suppose you're participating in one of those word-association tests, where someone gives you a word and you're to respond with the first things that enter your mind. Your word is "Ebola."

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The comedian Steve Martin loves a good comic strip. So he partnered with The New Yorker's cartoonist, Harry Bliss.

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