Lynn Neary

Lynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent and a frequent guest host often heard on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In her role on the Arts desk, Neary reports on an industry in transition as publishing moves into the digital age. As she covers books and publishing, she relishes the opportunity to interview many of her favorite authors from Barbara Kingsolver to Ian McEwan.

Arriving at NPR in 1982, Neary spent two years working as a newscaster during Morning Edition. Then, for the next eight years, Neary was the host of Weekend All Things Considered. In 1992, she joined the cultural desk to develop NPR's first religion beat. As religion correspondent, Neary covered the country's diverse religious landscape and the politics of the religious right.

Over the years Neary has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award, an Ohio State Award, an Association of Women in Radio and Television Award and the Gabriel award. For her reporting on the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform, Neary shared in NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

A Fordham University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Neary thinks she has the ideal job and suspects she is the envy of English majors everywhere.

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4:24pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Remembrances

Writer Nadine Gordimer Captured Apartheid's Contradictions

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 6:32 pm

In addition to her 15 novels, Nadine Gordimer authored several volumes of short stories and nonfiction.
Radu Sigheti Reuters /Landov

South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, died Sunday at the age of 90. Gordimer merged the personal and political to create a compelling portrait of the injustice of life under apartheid.

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4:34pm

Thu July 3, 2014
The Two-Way

Authors Take Opposite Sides On Hachette, Amazon Spat

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 8:43 am

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

You might think that all writers would be of the same mind about the dispute between Amazon and Hachette Publishing Company over the price of ebooks. Think again. This week two different sets of authors sent open letters to their "readers" urging them to take one side or the other in the ongoing controversy.

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3:17pm

Tue June 10, 2014
Law

Court OKs Universities' Quest To Turn To More Digital Copies Of Books

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:43 am

A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a group of authors, deciding in favor of a consortium of universities in a case that hinged on copyright law and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The universities had allowed Google to make digital copies of more than 10 million books so that they could be searchable by specific terms.

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2:36pm

Mon June 2, 2014
Book News & Features

Amazon's Pricing Dispute Sets Book Expo Buzzing

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 10:02 am

The dispute between retail giant Amazon and publisher Hachette was big news at Book Expo America. Writers, publishers and agents are wondering what the rift could mean for the future of books.

7:56am

Wed May 28, 2014
The Two-Way

Maya Angelou, Poet, Activist And Singular Storyteller, Dies At 86

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:58 am

Angelou became Hollywood's first black female movie director on Nov. 3, 1971. She also wrote the script and music for Caged Bird, which was based on her best-selling 1969 autobiography. She had been a professional singer, dancer, writer, composer, poet, lecturer, editor and San Francisco streetcar conductor.
AP

Poet, performer and political activist Maya Angelou has died after a long illness at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Angelou grew up in a segregated society that she worked to change during the civil rights era. Angelou, who refused to speak for much of her childhood, revealed the scars of her past in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first of a series of memoirs.

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2:55pm

Tue March 25, 2014
Author Interviews

'Sous Chef' Reveals The High-Adrenaline Dance Behind Your Dinner

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:03 pm

Viktor Cap iStockphoto

A restaurant kitchen at the peak of the dinner rush can be a crazy place — hot, crowded and filled with a kind of intense energy that some people, like Michael Gibney, thrive on. Gibney's been working in restaurants since he was young. In his new book, Sous Chef, Gibney tries to capture the rhythm of the kitchen by taking his readers through one day in the life of a fast-paced New York restaurant.

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3:14pm

Thu March 13, 2014
The Two-Way

Pew Study: Many Technophiles Also Love Libraries

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:30 pm

Julie Ball at a newly renovated computer lab at Shute Park Branch Library in Hillsboro, Oregon. The new lab is set to open on Saturday.
Benjamin Brink The Oregonian/Landov

You might think that in a world of Google and Wikipedia, people who love technology wouldn't care much about the musty old local public library. But, according to a new report by the Pew Research Internet Project, you'd be wrong.

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3:22am

Fri January 31, 2014
Author Interviews

What Wakes B.J. Novak Up In The Middle Of The Night?

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

When we talk about a triple threat we're often talking about a versatile athlete. Think about a basketball player who can score, defend, and rebound. In show biz, B. J. Novak may be that triple threat. He can do standup, act, and write successfully in all cases. He got his start doing standup comedy. That led to a job on the hit comedy series "The Office" where he had a regular part and was one of the writers.

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2:58am

Tue January 28, 2014
Books News & Features

The Annual Awards For Children's Books Are Out

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the Grammy Awards are behind us. The Oscars are around the corner. And now, we have another award that also gets a lot of attention this time of year, from people who love kids' books.

The American Library Association has announced this year's Caldecott and Newbery Award winners. NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

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5:08pm

Wed January 8, 2014
Author Interviews

In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

iStockphoto

Sue Monk Kidd's new novel is a story told by two women whose lives are wrapped together — beginning, against their wills, when they're young girls. One is a slave; the other, her reluctant owner. One strives her whole life to be free; the other rebels against her slave-owning family and becomes a prominent abolitionist and early advocate for women's rights.

The book, The Invention of Wings, takes on both slavery and feminism — and it's inspired by the life of a real historical figure.

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2:32pm

Mon December 2, 2013
Parallels

E-Readers Mark A New Chapter In The Developing World

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 2:58 pm

A student at Ntimigom School in Kilgoris, Kenya, uses his e-reader.
Jon McCormack

A former Amazon executive who helped Jeff Bezos turn shopping into a digital experience has set out to end illiteracy. David Risher is now the head of Worldreader, a nonprofit organization that brings e-books to kids in developing countries through Kindles and cellphones.

Risher was traveling around the world with his family when he got the idea for Worldreader. They were doing volunteer work at an orphanage in Ecuador when he saw a building with a big padlock on the door. He asked a woman who worked there what was inside, and she said, "It's the library."

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2:36pm

Mon November 18, 2013
The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later

50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field on Nov. 22, 1963.
AP

In the 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public has never tired of books about the charismatic young president and his tragic death.

This year, the market has been particularly flooded with Kennedy books — from glossy photograph collections to serious biographies and histories to a new round of books devoted to conspiracy theories.

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2:53pm

Sun November 10, 2013
Author Interviews

A Panorama Of Devastation: Drawing Of WWI Battle Spans 24 Feet

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 4:58 pm

Detail from Plate 11 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. On July 1st, at precisely 7:30 a.m., the attack commences.
Joe Sacco Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Joe Sacco is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and journalist; he's best-known for his dispatches from today's regions of conflict, like the Middle East and Bosnia, in cartoon form. But for his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns his eye on history. He's recreated of one of the worst battles of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end.

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3:48am

Wed October 30, 2013
NPR Story

Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

Barnes & Noble is one of several stores that have refused to carry Amazon Publishing's books.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.

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3:02pm

Tue October 15, 2013
Books News & Features

'Quiet Dell' Revives A Depression-Era Murder Story

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 4:12 pm

Crowds gather on Aug. 30, 1931, at the site of the Quiet Dell murders. Evidence of the killings was found in and around murderer Harry Powers' garage (center).
AP

The Quiet Dell murders were among the first big, sensational crime stories of the Depression: A serial killer corresponded with vulnerable widows he met through lonely hearts clubs, then lured them to their deaths.

As a child, writer Jayne Anne Phillips learned about the murders from her mother, who was a child in 1931, when the murders took place. Phillips says she didn't talk a lot about the tragedy, but whenever they drove close to where the crime occurred — near Clarksburg, W.Va. — her mother would say, "There's the road to Quiet Dell."

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2:05pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Books News & Features

New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:24 pm

iStockphoto.com

Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.

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3:24pm

Wed October 2, 2013
Remembrances

Tom Clancy Dies, Left 'Indelible Mark' On Thriller Genre

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 5:56 pm

Tom Clancy, seen here in 2010, was an insurance agent before publishing The Hunt For Red October in 1984.
David Burnett

Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died. He was 66 years old. Beginning with the publication of his 1984 megahit The Hunt for Red October, Clancy wrote a string of blockbuster thrillers inspired by his fascination with military hardware and history.

Clancy didn't mince words when he talked to would-be writers. "If your objective is to write a book, get a computer and write the damn book," he told members of the military at a 2004 writing workshop. "Yes, you can do this if you try hard enough. It's a lot easier than you realize it is."

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1:57am

Mon September 23, 2013
Author Interviews

Political Violence, Uneasy Silence Echo In Lahiri's 'Lowland'

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies.
Marco Delogu Courtesy of Knopf

Earlier this month, Jhumpa Lahiri rejected the idea of immigrant fiction. "I don't know what to make of the term," she told The New York Times. "All American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction."

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2:44pm

Mon September 16, 2013
Books News & Features

National Book Awards Look To Raise Profile ... And It's Not The First Time

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 12:19 pm

The 2013 National Book Award long list for Young People's Literature was announced Monday. Click here to see the full list.
nationalbook.org

You may be hearing a lot about the National Book Awards this week — at least that's what the National Book Foundation hopes. That's because they've made some changes to the awards that they hope will get more people talking about them. Over four days starting Monday, they will roll out their nominees in four different categories — beginning with Young People's Literature and ending Thursday with Fiction.

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1:25am

Thu September 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Winter's Bone' Author Revisits A Tragedy In His Ozarks Hometown

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 4:42 pm

Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone -- a dark family saga set in the Ozarks — was adapted into a film in 2010. Woodrell returned to his hometown of West Plains, Mo., about 20 years ago and has been writing there ever since.
Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

The Ozarks mountain town of West Plains, Mo., is the kind of town where a person can stand in his front yard and have a comfortable view of his past.

"My mom was actually born about 150 or 200 feet that way, and my grandfather's house is I guess 200 yards that way," says Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone, and most recently, The Maid's Version.

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