Ann Pryor

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How to travel with friends (and not want to kill them)

I have two permanent, oddly positioned bald spots on my head. Though my mother claims they’re from a scalp thing I had as a kid, I have it on good authority from my oracle that they’re probably where the Martians attached the electrodes.<p>However, spontaneous balding frequently has nothing to do with …

Travel

Granta's 'Best Of Young British Novelists' Shows A 'Disunited Kingdom'

Once every decade, the literary magazine <i>Granta</i> publishes an issue called "Best of Young British Novelists," with short excerpts from the novels of 20 emerging authors. In the past, the list of names has proved unusually prescient, with authors such as Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Zadie Smith …

Following The Yellow Brick Road Back To The Origins Of 'Oz'

It's safe to say that most Americans are familiar with the classic film featuring a stumbling Scarecrow, a rusted Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy, played by actress Judy Garland, clad in gingham and braids.<p>Last month we asked you to share your memories and photos from Oz. Here are the …

'Burgess Boys' Family Saga Explores The Authenticity Of Imperfection

In 1846, Edgar Allan Poe wrote a famous essay called "The Philosophy of Composition," in which he sounds like an interior decorator. I say that because in the essay, Poe insists that all good writing must strive for what he calls "unity of effect." For Poe, it was important that everything in his …

Jane Austen's 'Pride And Prejudice' At 200

My favorite item from the growing mountain of <i>Pride</i> <i>and Prejudice</i> bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called <i>Regency World Magazine</i>, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living …

Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace' Is A Keeper

In culling through albums released late last year that I still play with pleasure, Paloma Faith's <i>Fall to Grace</i> was a real keeper. In contrast to my joy, Faith was singing about her agony: her broken heart, her wracked sobs about ruined affairs, her choked goodbyes to lovers who'd left her. She made …

Fresh Air Weekend: Mary Roach, 'Mad Men,' Ty Burr And Marriage

Fresh Air Weekend <i>highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:</i><p><b>In</b> …

Upstairs, downstairs—P&P style - Blog Post

Recent Blog Posts<p>Gun novels to read when your nation is averaging one school shooting for every 60 hours*<p>One of the words that book review editors …

You're So Dumb, You Probably Think This Book Is About Getting Slapped

William Irvine is a philosophy professor by day, but he has an unusual sideline: He's also a collector of insults. Irvine has gathered some of his favorite jibes into a new book called <i>A Slap in the Face: Why Insults Hurt — And Why They Shouldn't.</i><p>Irvine tells NPR's Audie Cornish that one of his …

'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

F. Scott Fitzgerald first saw his future wife from across a crowded room at a country club dance in Montgomery, Ala., where he was in basic training and she was waiting to be discovered by the world. They wed in 1920, and the two went on to have a famously turbulent marriage — tarnished by personal …