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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3:22am

Wed August 21, 2013
Remembrances

Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies At 87

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Elmore Leonard, sometimes called the Dickens of Detroit, created some of the most memorable characters in modern crime fiction. The 87-year-old writer died after suffering a stroke several weeks ago. Until then, he had never stopped writing. His first book, published in 1953, was a Western. Later, he turned to crime novels and left an indelible imprint on that genre. NPR's Lynn Neary has this remembrance.

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4:59am

Mon August 5, 2013
Books News & Features

E-Books Strain Relations Between Libraries, Publishing Houses

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 12:23 pm

iStockphoto.com

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

E-books have strained the relations between libraries and the major publishing houses. Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they could lose money selling e-books to libraries. After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. But some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on e-books.

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3:54pm

Mon July 15, 2013
Books News & Features

How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:13 pm

Scholastic started out in 1920 as a four-page magazine written for high school students. Above, an early issue published in September 1922.
Courtesy of Scholastic

Chances are you have had contact with Scholastic Publishing at some point in your life: You might have read their magazines in school, or bought a book at one of their book fairs, or perhaps you've read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? From its humble beginning as publisher of a magazine for high schoolers, Scholastic has become a $2 billion business and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world.

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5:03am

Tue July 9, 2013
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Andrew Bannecker

There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.

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6:08am

Sat June 29, 2013
The Salt

Preserving The Season's Fruits With A Canning Evangelist

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 1:44 pm

For the sweetest, smoothest strawberry jam, author Kevin West suggests staying as far away as possible from what he calls "Pamela Anderson fruit": the big strawberries found in regular supermarkets. He prefers picking small, red berries from farm stands, instead.
Kevin West Knopf

Shopping at a farmers market on a weekend morning can turn bittersweet if your eye for just-picked summer fruit is bigger than your refrigerator and appetite.

That's a crisis first-time cookbook author Kevin West found himself in a few years back. After one particular farmers market spree, West's buyer's remorse came from a big package of fresh strawberries.

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3:16pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Monkey See

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:11 pm

iStockphoto.com

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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3:23pm

Tue June 4, 2013
Author Interviews

McCann's 'TransAtlantic' Crosses Fiction And Fact, Ireland And U.S.

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 4:22 pm

Colum McCann won the National Book Award in 2009 for Let the Great World Spin.
Dustin Aksland

About five years ago, Colum McCann stumbled upon a small piece of history he had never known: In 1845, Frederick Douglass, then an escaped slave who was already famous for his anti-slavery writings and speeches, visited Ireland to raise money and support for his cause. McCann says he knew almost immediately that he wanted to turn this historical fact into fiction: "This intersection between history and fiction, between what is real and what is not real, fascinates me," he says.

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2:25pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 3:59 pm

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. AP

In 2008, during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to get married in California, perhaps no couple drew more attention than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

After their wedding, photos of the couple were everywhere; DeGeneres, beaming, in a white suit and holding hands with de Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone, and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin, says it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

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1:40am

Tue March 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 5:56 am

This Dec. 26, 2004, photograph shows a trail of destruction in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa after tidal waves lashed more than half of Sri Lanka's coastline.
Sena Vidanagama AFP/Getty Images

On Dec. 26, 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, her two sons and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. The day was just beginning when she and a friend noticed that something strange was happening in the ocean. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In a new memoir, called simply Wave, she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family.

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2:14pm

Mon January 28, 2013
All Tech Considered

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Data gleaned from e-readers gives writers a new kind of feedback to take into consideration — or ignore.
iStockphoto.com

Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.

Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."

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2:07pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Books

'Fifty Shades' Is The One That Got Away. At Least From Me

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Vintage Books

Sometimes "the one that got away" is a book that was easy to overlook. A little gem of a first novel, or a memoir by an unknown writer that unexpectedly captured everyone's imagination.

But sometimes, it's the elephant in the room that you just haven't looked at yet. Everyone knows about it. It's one of the biggest sellers of all time. It's a cultural phenomenon — it's Fifty Shades of Grey. And I ignored it until I couldn't anymore.

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1:49am

Wed December 19, 2012
Books News & Features

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:44 am

iStockphoto.com

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

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1:04am

Wed December 12, 2012
Books

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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1:18am

Tue December 11, 2012
Author Interviews

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:55 am

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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1:44am

Tue November 13, 2012
Author Interviews

'Testament Of Mary' Gives Fiery Voice To The Virgin

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:36 pm

Scribner

The Virgin Mary is one of the most familiar icons of Christianity. For centuries, artists have depicted her on everything from backyard statues of a rosy-cheeked innocent to paintings of magnificent Madonnas hanging in museums all over the world. But few writers have taken up her story or tried to create their own version of the events of her life.

Now, Irish writer Colm Toibin does just that. His novella, The Testament of Mary, raises questions about the life of Jesus' mother and the stories that laid the groundwork for the creation of a church.

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1:30am

Fri September 28, 2012
Books

Put Down Your E-Reader: This Book's Better In Print

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 9:28 am

"For two days and nights, Odysseus was alone in the wild water. The sea was so rough that he couldn't see beyond the nearest wave. Over and over again, he thought he was going to die."
Neil Packer Candlewick Press

Most people who read a lot have gotten used to reading on a screen, whether it's a laptop, a tablet or an e-reader. Some say they prefer it to the experience of reading a heavy, awkward print version of the book. But every now and then, a book comes along that just seems to insist on being physical — something about it simply can't be transferred to the screen.

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1:51am

Thu September 6, 2012
Author Interviews

Same Streets, Different Lives In 'NW' London

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 10:57 am

British novelist Zadie Smith is also the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. In her latest book, NW, she lays out a problem for readers: Do people get what they deserve?
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.

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2:11pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Books News & Features

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 3:47 pm

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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1:25am

Fri April 20, 2012
Books

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1300

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:04 am

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

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3:02am

Wed April 18, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Ceasefire Increasingly Under Threat

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary. Renee Montagne is on assignment.

In Syria, a ceasefire that's part of an U.N.-Arab League peace plan is unraveling, just six days after it got underway. Once again, dozens of people are dying each day, as the Syrian military pounds the cities and towns that have most fiercely resisted the government, and opposition rebels are fighting back.

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