In his 2010 book, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Bill Clegg described his addiction to crack cocaine and the dramatic spiral of self-destruction that left him nearly broke, homeless, out of work and suicidal. His latest book, Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery, picks up where that story left off.
Clegg talks with NPR's John Donvan about his harrowing journey through recovery, and the friends, family and fellow addicts who gave him second chances.
The son of Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy Davis initially followed in his famous parents' footsteps. But then he discovered the blues in college, and now travels the world performing in places untouched by the genre, from Greenland to the Galapagos Islands.
Known as "The Ambassador of the Blues," Davis talks with NPR's John Donvan about his new album, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, and his passion for blues music.
On Fishy Waters, The Character He Created For His New Record
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Earlier this month, nine immigrants suspected of being illegally smuggled into the United States were killed in a car crash. That journey came to a violent and sudden end. But there have been, and there will be others bent on crossing the Mexican border north to the U.S. who will make that very same journey and with a similar setup.
Columnist Crawford Kilian advises aspiring writers to avoid Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and eight other well-known novels.
But Kilian isn't saying they're bad novels — quite the opposite, actually. In a piece for the Canadian online daily The Tyee, Kilian writes, "their readable styles look so easy that they might seduce a young writer into imitating them."
Kilian tells NPR's John Donvan that he composed his list based on personal experience.
At the sixth Summit of the Americas, tensions flared over Cuba's absence, and continued U.S. efforts to isolate the country. Syndicated Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenhemier believes the first step to bringing Cuba back into the diplomatic community is to invite them to observe future summits.
Each week, Talk of the Nation plays The Byrds' song "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician" during the Political Junkie segment. McGuinn recorded a version just for the show. You can hear it in the last three minutes of this story.
Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn, best known as leader of The Byrds, is a folk-rock pioneer. The Byrds blended traditional folk songs with a rock beat and scored major hits in the 1960s, including "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." The group disbanded in 1973, and McGuinn pursued a solo career, in which he performed acoustically and returned to his folk roots.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:45 pm
In his 2006 thriller, Rainbow's End, author Vernor Vinge imagined a near future when people use high-tech contact lenses to interface with computers in their clothes. Google plans to make at least some of it a reality later in 2012 with the launch of what are known as augmented reality glasses.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 2:08 pm
Guest Political Junkie Matt Bai of The New York Times and Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, talk about the state of the Democratic and Republican bases and what voters on each side are looking for in their candidates in the months ahead.