Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Some of the best coffee beans in the world are grown in Africa, and while the number of coffee consumers there is growing, most Africans still don't drink it. That's something Rwanda's government would like to change.

The country's coffee industry, which nearly collapsed after the genocide in 1994, has gradually become one of its largest and most profitable agricultural exports. Rwanda exports 99 percent of its coffee.

Barbershop: Chris Rock, Nina And Kendrick

Mar 5, 2016

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Perhaps you first heard the name Esperanza Spalding in 2011, when an award that many were calling an easy win for Justin Bieber instead went to an eclectic young bass player, singer and composer.

Democrat Cory Booker, formerly the mayor of Newark, is now a senator and a frequent entry on "Washington's Most Eligible Bachelors" lists. We've invited him to play a game called "New Jersey? I prefer Old Jersey!" Three questions about old sports jerseys.

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What would the United States be without its immigrants? Imagine no pizza, no New York City Ballet, no Saul Bellow — and no new waves of talented émigré authors helping us to see American culture from fresh angles. With his first novel, A Replacement Life, Boris Fishman (who came to the United States from Belarus in 1988 when he was nine) staked himself a spot in the impressive lineup of immigrant writers born in the former Soviet Union.

BJ The Chicago Kid has sung backup for Usher, written songs for Mary J. Blige and been sampled by Kanye West. But on his new album, In My Mind, his own voice and lyrics are the main attraction.

Ever wondered what to do with that special memento from a past relationship, that token that's just too challenging to toss, not feasible to return, but yet too painful to hold on to?

And no, we're not talking about your broken heart, although we would all relish a quick fix for such.

While emotional fallout might be the thing we most often wish to be rid of after a relationship has ended, the tangibles — the bits and pieces of a life built together – can also make it challenging to let go and move on.

Author Pat Conroy Dies At 70

Mar 5, 2016

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Pat Conroy, adopted son of the South Carolina low country has died. The novelist who wrote nearly a dozen books, including "The Prince Of Tides" and "The Great Santini," was 70. Just last month, he announced he had pancreatic cancer.

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye feels like Singapore between two covers. The pressure-cooker country — tiny and polyglot, globally competitive and politically repressive — seems to have been poured into this dense book. As if to make it an even more authentic representation of its homeland, Charlie Chan Hock Chye has met with governmental opposition: Singapore's National Arts Council withdrew a grant from author Sonny Liew because of the book's "sensitive content."

It seems George Orwell's Big Brother never gets old — and he's still watching us. Right now, he's in Cambridge, Mass., where a theatrical adaptation of Orwell's novel 1984 is on stage at the American Repertory Theatre. The production was a sold-out hit in London.

Last week, Morning Edition's David Greene asked 11-year-old Marley Dias about her quest to find more children's books about black girls.

Her campaign to collect #1000blackgirlbooks has been a big success: Marley now has more than 4,000 books in her library.

Our readers suggested many more titles to add to her list.

Novelist Pat Conroy, who announced last month that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer, has died, according to a statement from his publisher. Conroy was 70.

He announced his diagnosis on Facebook almost three weeks ago, saying "I intend to fight it hard."

Today's statement from Todd Doughty, executive director of publicity at Doubleday included comments from Conroy's wife and his longtime editor:

With a July 1 deadline looming, Congress was scrambling this week to quickly set a national standard for labeling food products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Parenting can be an angst-ridden journey.

And one bump along the road is that horrible feeling that comes over you when you see your baby break out in hives after eating a particular food – say, peanuts — for the first time. (One of my three kids gave me that kind of scare.)

The concern is real. Between 1997 and 2008, the incidence of peanut and tree nut allergies nearly tripled, according to one published study.

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