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Actress Gabrielle Union started off playing teenagers on TV in the 1990s. Now, she stars in the BET show Being Mary Jane, as a powerful cable news anchor who's equally fierce in her personal life. She's also an advocate for rape survivors and an outspoken voice on many issues. And she's just written her first book, a collection of essays called We're Going to Need More Wine.

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"Only The Brave" opens today. It dramatizes the story of elite firefighters, the Granite Mountain Hotshots. They were killed in an Arizona fire.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ONLY THE BRAVE")

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after an Italian model-actress alleged that he raped her at her hotel in 2013.

As NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports, "A spokesman for the LAPD says the department is interviewing a 'potential victim' of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein in 2013."

The allegations of sexual assault are the first reported in Los Angeles. Police in New York and London are investigating allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted five women in those cities.

Todd Haynes may not have been at the top of anyone's list of potential kiddie-movie directors before Wonderstruck, but the movie does dovetail with several of the filmmaker's previous projects.

Battle your way to dignity and force others to see your life-or-death struggle. This was the sole option available to the HIV-positive community in the '80s and '90s, when the deadly pandemic ravaged gay people and junkies, populations easy for governments to ignore. Today, with HIV/AIDS much more manageable and treatment options out in the open, it can be easy to think of our progression with the disease as inevitable.

Director Tomas Alfredson is in the ennui business. His films are heavy and portentous, often blanketed in the permafrost of his native Sweden and always just as chilly indoors. His 2008 breakthrough, Let the Right One In, reinvigorated the vampire myth by draining it of sensationalism and using it as an affecting metaphor for the eternal loneliness of adolescence.

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Let me take you back to a day in July 2014 when a man named Eric Garner was stopped by two cops on the street in Staten Island.

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The Book That Changed The Borders

Oct 19, 2017

Gloria Anzaldúa never let borders stop her. In fact, she expanded our understanding of what physical and cultural borders meant. A literary queer Chicana scholar, poet and author, Anzaldúa wrote about her life growing up near the South Texas border, the beauty and perils it offered.

Her best-known book, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” is a seminal text that explores the invisible borders between people.

As someone who lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder, novelist John Green sometimes feels like his mind is spiraling uncontrollably.

"It starts out with one little thought, and then slowly that becomes the only thought that you're able to have," Green says. "It's like there's an invasive weed that just spreads out of control."

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Olly olly oxen free!

All you young readers in New York City, hide no more: For one day and one day only, the city's three major public library systems are offering unconditional amnesty to everyone age 17 and under who has been charged with late fees. The libraries will also clear the fines of those who are still in high school and 18 or over, if they show up in person by Nov. 2. All money owed for overdue or lost books and DVDs is officially wiped clean for these kids and teens.

In 1620, the Rev. George Thorpe sent a letter from a plantation near Jamestown, Va., to England describing a "good drinke of Indian corne" that he and his fellow colonists had made. Historians have speculated that Thorpe was talking about unaged corn whiskey, and that his distillation efforts on the banks of Virginia's James River might have produced America's first whiskey.

Sometimes, when Philip Pullman is tired or anxious, a floating speck appears in his field of vision. "I first saw it when I was playing the piano and I couldn't read the music because there was a damn dot in the way," he says, as we sit in the pleasantly jumbled living room of his farmhouse in Oxfordshire.

The floating dot will expand into a flickering ring of light, like a miniature, personal aurora. It can happen when he's driving, and he'll pull over to wait it out, or sleep it off when he's at home.

Here's hoping that within 50 years or so, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith's book Soonish becomes hopelessly obsolete. As we lounge in our self-adjusting hammocks on the moon, reading our daily reports about which asteroids our robots are mining, our matter-printer might produce another round of fancy cocktails. Meanwhile, helpful nanobots will install our new 3-D printed livers to make sure all that drinking doesn't mess with our metabolisms. And we'll smile at each other and say, "Remember that book from 2017 that predicted all this?

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If you first saw Tom Hanks act in Bosom Buddies, you've been watching him for almost 40 years. He has two Oscars. He's played astronauts and soldiers and a widower sending up his voice like a signal flare. He's directed and produced and written films and TV projects, and now he's written a book of short stories, called Uncommon Type.

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Where Do We Come From?

Oct 18, 2017

If you want to answer the most existential of existential questions, don’t look at the historical record, look in a microscope.

The study of DNA has become so advanced in recent years “that it was transformed into a historical source,” writes geneticist Adam Rutherford. This has upended our understanding of human history and evolution.

Rasika, an Indian restaurant in Washington, D.C., has won just about every recognition possible. The Washington Post called it the No. 1 restaurant in the city. The chef has won a James Beard award — basically the Oscars of the food world. President Obama celebrated his birthday there — twice. And though the place has been open for more than a decade, it is only just now coming out with a cookbook.

Boyhood

Oct 18, 2017
Jason Falchook

Neil Gaiman becomes a proud hockey dad and learns how proud his own dad is of him. 
Christian Garland steals money from his grandfather to buy sneakers and has to work to regain his trust.
Wilson Portorreal runs into traffic to save Hershey, the family dog.
Ishmael Beah comes to New York as a teenager after years of fighting as a child soldier in Sierra Leone and gets a second chance at childhood.

Jess and Angie are best friends. From the outside, they're everything best friends should be. Jess hangs out at the ice cream parlor where Angie works, and Angie reads every new page of Jess's graphic novel about a girl who fights evil mutants with the help of her reliable best friend. Neither of them talks about the fact that Jess is in love with Angie. It's a truth they won't even admit to themselves.

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Irish novelist Roddy Doyle has always had a lot of literary tools in his belt, but the one he's most known for is his sense of humor. His first three novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, were all laugh-out-loud funny, and even his most serious novel, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, which dealt with alcoholism and spousal abuse, had its (darkly) humorous moments.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And we're seeing more fallout in the entertainment industry following sex-abuse allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. People in Hollywood are asking some tough questions about how to change the industry. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins.

Amazon Studios confirms that it has accepted the resignation of top executive Roy Price after he was suspended following allegations of sexual harassment.

American author George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, a polyphonous meditation on death, grief and American history.

Saunders, widely lauded for his short stories, was considered the favorite to win the award. His novel centers on the death of Abraham Lincoln's beloved son Willie and the night that Lincoln reportedly spent in the graveyard, devastated by his grief and lingering by his son's body.

The tarantella is a lively folk dance and musical style originating in southern Italy's Apulia region, the heel of the Italian geographic boot.

Nicknames like a real "peasouper" or a "London Particular" make the quintessential foggy day in London Town sound so quaint — an impression that's been intensified in art and literature.

Certainly, the London of Sherlock Holmes would be a lot less mysterious without that obscuring fog. Impressionist painter Claude Monet, who famously depicted the Houses of Parliament shrouded in mist, said that: "Without the fog, London would not be a beautiful city. It is the fog that gives it its magnificent breadth."

Growing up as a first-generation Chinese-American in Northern California, novelist Amy Tan found herself pulled by two different notions of fate: Her mother was guided by beliefs in curses and luck, while her father, a Baptist minister, was guided by Christian faith.

As a result, Tan says, "I am full of contradictions. ... I am full of wavering questions."

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