family

  In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley—daughter of actress Lena Horne—delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights.

Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family’s two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. 

  Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of The Book of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water.

Her latest, River Road, is a psychological thriller about a college professor accused of killing her favorite student in a hit-and-run accident and the secrets that emerge as she desperately tries to clear her name. 

    

  In her latest novel, After Birth, Elisa Albert writes about motherhood and friendship. The book tells the story of Ari who lives in a town in upstate New York and is supposed to be working on a Ph.D. in women’s studies but she has major postpartum depression.

The book issues a wake-up call to a culture that turns its new mothers into exiles and expects them to act like natives.

  In the heart of the Ottoman Empire as World War I rages, Stepan Miskjian’s world becomes undone. He is separated from his family as they are swept up in the government’s mass deportation of Armenians into internment camps. Gradually realizing the unthinkable—that they are all being driven to their deaths—he fights, through starvation and thirst, not to lose hope. He dons disguises, outmaneuvers gendarmes, and, when he least expects it, encounters the miraculous kindness of strangers.

The Hundred-Year Walk alternates between Stepan’s saga and another journey that takes place a century later, after his family discovers his long-lost journals. With his journals guiding her, Dawn Anahid MacKenn grows ever closer to the man she barely knew as a child.

When Breath Becomes Air

Jan 13, 2016

  At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

We speak with Paul's wife, Lucy, about his book and his experience.

  From Shirley Jackson, the peerless author of "The Lottery" and "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," comes a new volume of unpublished and uncollected stories, essays, lectures, letters and drawings.

Let Me Tell You brings together the deliciously eerie short stories Jackson is best known for with frank and inspiring lectures on writing; comic essays she wrote about her large, rowdy family; and revelatory personal letters and drawings.

The collection is edited by Jackson's children, Laurence Jackson Hyman and Sarah Hyman DeWitt. Laurence joins us for this interview.

  Author and former radio host Claude Knobler shared the very beginning of his journey as a parent in this 2008 interview “Life is Wonderfully Ridiculous” for NPR’s This I Believe series: after reading a New York Times magazine story about an orphanage in Ethiopia, he told his wife Mary, that maybe they could help, trying to impress her with his generosity and kind heart, but never really believing she’d say yes.

And so alongside the seven year old son and five year old daughter they already had, Claude and Mary Knobler adopted Nati, a five year old Ethiopian boy who spoke no English to join their family in Los Angeles. That was twelve years ago.

In his book, More Love, Less Panic, Knobler weaves together moving stories about trying to turn his loud, spirited, and “too happy” African son into a quiet, neurotic, Jewish kid like he himself had once been, quickly learning a lesson that made him a better father – not just to Nati, but to all three of his kids.

  The defining voice of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra enjoyed a legendary recording career that spanned six decades, beginning with his earliest session in 1939 and culminating with his last in 1993, for his world-renowned, multi-platinum Duets and Duets II albums.

Ultimate Sinatra presents key recordings spanning the Chairman of the Board's sessions for Columbia, Capitol and Reprise. A new collection, Ultimate Sinatra opens with 'All Or Nothing At All,' recorded with Harry James and his Orchestra on August 31, 1939 during Sinatra's first studio session.

We welcome Frank's youngest daughter, Tina, to the show to discuss her father and this new collection.

Listener Essay - Classical Music Is Playing

Nov 10, 2015

  Jan Allen Pfeifer lives and writes in Woodstock, New York. She is a native of Louisville KY.

Classical Music is Playing

Classical music is playing in the bedroom where my father is dying. I sit alone, next to him. In this liminal space, the music is a soothing companion for both of us. It knows its way.

As I listen, I am transported back to grade school and field trips to Louisville Gardens for orchestra concerts. An amazing feat, moving hundreds of school children downtown like a conveyer belt from all parts of the city, the only common denominator being our grade and the yellow school buses that brought us. Each bus arrives and empties their charges onto Walnut Street in clockwork fashion. Our own trip is short, the hard green vinyl seats still cold against our dangling bare legs. Some of the girls hold hands, the warm considerations of best friends.

Listener Essay - My Commitment To Communication

Nov 6, 2015

      Judith Barnes is an educator, entrepreneur, speaker and writer who lives in the Capital Region and has had a national consulting practice in communication for over four decades.

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