Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

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It has been quite a year for journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates:

Lisa Randall is a theoretical physicist and professor at Harvard. In 2007 she was named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME. She's recently written a book called Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs. Randall studies multiple universes.

It's common wisdom that families should avoid talking about politics around the Thanksgiving table.

But if you're reading this, you might be in an NPR family. And coming up on election year — with polls and gaffes every day — won't it be hard to talk about Car Talk the whole night?

So we turned to Miss Manners, aka writer Judith Martin, to ensure our etiquette's up-to-date this holiday season.

For Martin, the age-old rule, "don't talk politics," still stands.

The journey a film score takes, from the composer's brain to what comes out of the speakers at your local theater, is a long and complicated process. In the case of the new Pixar film The Good Dinosaur, the work began seven months ago. Audiences will hear it for the first time on Thanksgiving Day.

Mastery And Mystery Mix It Up In 'Prado'

17 hours ago

Just because we see something doesn't mean we understand it. Even more to the point, just because we find something beautiful doesn't mean we've understood it. These are messages underscored in in Javier Sierra's unusual, intriguing new novel The Master of the Prado, a work of fiction interleaved with reproductions of some of the title museum's greatest treasures, including paintings by Botticelli, El Greco, Velasquez, and Bosch.

When the idea to write a Nordic cookbook landed on Magnus Nilsson's desk, he was against it. He says it was offensive that someone would think all of Nordic cuisine could fit, let alone belong, in one book.

"The Nordic is a geographical region, not really a cultural region," says the author, who's also head chef at the Michelin-starred Faviken restaurant, 400 miles north of Stockholm. "It's too big, and too varied." (It includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and several groups of autonomous islands.)

He eventually came around.

Carly Simon was born into what looks, from a distance, like a charmed life: Her father Richard was the co-founder of Simon & Schuster, the family moved in glamorous circles, and she eventually came to record some of the most personal, poetic and popular songs of our time. But as she makes clear in her new memoir, there have been plenty of tumbles, too.

Where do you call home?

It seems like a simple question. But for ten million people around the world, there is no easy answer: They are stateless. They lack basic documents like a passport or a national ID card. And so they may not be able to go to school, hold a job, own land, get health care.

Photographer Greg Constantine calls them "Nowhere People" — that's the title of his new book, which documents the daily lives these individuals.

For those who like to try new recipes at Thanksgiving, let Clay Dunn and Zach Patton be your guides. They're the couple behind the food blog, The Bitten Word, and every year before the holiday, they scan 10 leading food magazines to identify recipe trends.