NPR Staff

If ever a man had a theme song, it would be Julian Fellowes — and the theme tune from his hit show Downton Abbey.

But now that Downton has ended, Fellowes has turned his flair for historical drama and romance to another story, set in another era. His new novel Belgravia is named for one of London's poshest neighborhoods. It's the story of a striving family harboring a big secret.

As founder of NPR Music's All Songs Considered, Bob Boilen talks to musicians for a living. For a while, he's asked many of them the same question: "What is the song that changed your life?"

Years ago, in a Brooklyn high school, a door slammed. Christopher Emdin, then a 10th-grader, immediately ducked under his desk. His math teacher accused him of being a clown and sent him to the principal's office.

Emdin wasn't being a clown.

A couple of days before, there had been a shooting just outside his apartment building. He thought the slamming door was a gun shot. His jump for cover was instinctual.

Before cellphone cameras and Instagram, there was Polaroid. That funky-looking camera took hold as a social phenomenon nearly as quickly as the little, instant photographs they brought to life.

For portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, Polaroid has meant something more. For the past 25 years, from her studio in Cambridge, Mass., Dorfman has photographed thousands of intimate moments — from anonymous families to illustrious figures like Julia Child and Errol Morris.

Before cellphone cameras and Instagram, there was Polaroid. That funky-looking camera took hold as a social phenomenon nearly as quickly as the little, instant photographs they brought to life.

For portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman, Polaroid has meant something more. For the past 25 years, from her studio in Cambridge, Mass., Dorfman has photographed thousands of intimate moments — from anonymous families to illustrious figures like Julia Child and Errol Morris.

Years ago, in a Brooklyn high school, a door slammed. Christopher Emdin, then a 10th-grader, immediately ducked under his desk. His math teacher accused him of being a clown and sent him to the principal's office.

Emdin wasn't being a clown.

A couple of days before, there had been a shooting just outside his apartment building. He thought the slamming door was a gun shot. His jump for cover was instinctual.

If you're a farmer who wants to stay small and independent, you're under an increasing amount of pressure these days. By the Department of Agriculture's count, a startling 97 percent of all the country's farms are family-run — but that's because many small family farms turned into big family farms, or collections of farms, which turned into big businesses.

Live in a place long enough and you'll see it start to change: new people in your neighborhood, new buildings reshaping an old skyline. Washington, D.C. is no exception.

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