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The cover of the velveteen rabbit

As ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ turns 100, its message continues to resonate

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — What does it mean to be Real? It’s a big question for a children’s book. The main character in The Velveteen Rabbit, first published in 1922, is a simple toy “stuffed with sawdust” and ears “lined with pink sateen.” He feels inadequate next to the fancier, mechanical toys who are “full… Read More

The cover of Here Lies by Olivia Clare Freidman

In the future of ‘Here Lies,’ the mourning can’t bury their dead

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The Louisiana of Olivia Clare Friedman’s debut novel Here Lies feels familiar at first. Roadside stores in the fictional small town of St. Genevieve sell Pop-Tarts, Little Debbie snack cakes, Abita Purple Haze beer. Reruns of Matlock and Perry Mason air on daytime television. But the world of Here Lies is… Read More

A portrait of bell hooks

Trailblazing feminist author, critic and activist bell hooks has died at 69

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The prolific and trailblazing author, poet, feminist, cultural critic and professor bell hooks died Wednesday at age 69. Her death was first announced by her niece, Ebony Motley, who said that she had died at home surrounded by family and friends. No cause of death was reported, but Berea College in… Read More