NPR 4 THE DEF: Giving Public Radio Edge Since 2006


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TerryGrossSimpsonAvatar.jpg Author Junot Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize this year for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. SetOscarWao_1.jpg in both the United States and the Dominican Republic, the novel explores the complexities of living in two cultures at once, with prose that frequently mixes Spanish and English. Diaz previously published Drown, a collection of short stories about a growing up in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey. He struggled with writer’s block following that debut; writing and publishing Oscar Wao took 11 years. Diaz is a professor of creative writing at MIT. ALSO, rock historian Ed Ward looks at Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Chuck Berry and the career that made him a star. Berry’s entire record output from the 1950s was recently released on a four-disc set from Hip-O-Select titled, Johnny B. Goode: His Complete ’50s Chess Recordings.


Hour 1
MartyAvatar.jpg Weekly discussion on the Presidential Race. We’ll catch up on the latest events including Barack Obama’s split with controversial pastor. We’ll talk with SEAN WILENTZ a history professor at Princeton University and author of the new book The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008, and RON WALTERS director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland who served as a deputy campaign manager for both Jesse Jacksonkluge_1_1.jpg Presidential campaigns. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

Hour 2
How the evolution of our brain explains why we are less than perfect. We’ll talk with GARY MARCUS author of the new book Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind. Marcus directs the Infant Language Learning Center at New York University. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3

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DaviddyeNPR.jpgOffered up with confidence and honesty, k.d. lang‘s deeply personal narratives invite listeners into an intimate world. With her glorious voice, country, jazz, and even Brazilian rhythms come together, and on her latest CD, Watershed, there’s a certain earthy elegance true to its title. In a session with host David Dye, lang plays songs from her new album. The eight-time Juno and four-time Grammy Award winner has been performing for over twenty years. lang began in traditional country, challenging the genre in itself, but in 1992 released Ingenue. The album marked her transition into a full-fledged adult contemporary artist. On Watershed, lang serves as producer, songwriter, singer and instrumentalist for the bulk of the album. It looks back to both Ingenue and her country past and adds a little jazz to the mix.


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