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Stacey Abrams and James Comey pen novels about crime and government
Today's episode features interviews with two very high-profile officials who have written thrillers. First, voting rights activist and former Georgia state representative Stacey Abrams speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about her new thriller, Rogue Justice, which follows Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene as she uncovers how surveillance, blackmail and a murder reveal concerning truths about America's "secret court." Then, former FBI director James Comey discusses his novel Central Park West, which details how government officials and the mafia are entangled with one another.
'Borderless' is a YA novel about a teenage migrant separated from her mother
Jennifer De Leon's new YA novel, Borderless, tells the story of a Guatemalan teenager named Maya. Though she has a rich and fulfilling life in her home country, circumstances arise that push Maya and her mother towards the U.S. border, where they're separated by immigration officials. In today's episode, De Leon speaks with Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about complicating the image of what a migrant looks like and why she wanted to write the real life zero-tolerance policy into this story.
'Flawless' provides a deeply reported look into Korean beauty standards
Elise Hu moved to Seoul, South Korea to set up an NPR bureau and report on the geopolitical tensions of the mid-2010s. But her new book, Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital, focuses on a different, albeit inescapable, part of life there – beauty standards and the industry driving them. In today's episode, Hu speaks with NPR's Brittany Luse about the consumerism, gender politics and technological advances that drive the booming beauty culture, and explains why the rest of the world should be paying attention...for better or worse.
In 'Dances,' a Black ballerina navigates immense pressure and expectations
In Nicole Cuffy's novel, Dances, CeCe Cordell becomes the first Black woman to be named principal dancer at a major ballet company; but this big break also comes with big expectations. In today's episode, Cuffy speaks with NPR's Juana Summers about how CeCe navigates the world of ballet's preoccupation with white bodies, how it affects her relationship with her mother and brother, and how Misty Copeland's very real accomplishments informed CeCe's story.
Rachel Louise Snyder's memoir traces a life shaped by patriarchy and religion
Journalist Rachel Louise Snyder has covered gender-based violence around the world for a number of media outlets and in her widely-acclaimed book, No Visible Bruises. But in her new memoir, Women We Buried, Women We Burned, she examines the role it played in her own life. After the loss of her mother early in life, Snyder was raised in a strict evangelical household, where corporal punishment was the norm. In today's episode, she tells NPR's Scott Simon about how that upbringing eventually pushed her to leave home, and the kindness she discovered waiting for her on the other side.
In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.