Lynn Neary

Lynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent and a frequent guest host often heard on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In her role on the Arts desk, Neary reports on an industry in transition as publishing moves into the digital age. As she covers books and publishing, she relishes the opportunity to interview many of her favorite authors from Barbara Kingsolver to Ian McEwan.

Arriving at NPR in 1982, Neary spent two years working as a newscaster during Morning Edition. Then, for the next eight years, Neary was the host of Weekend All Things Considered. In 1992, she joined the cultural desk to develop NPR's first religion beat. As religion correspondent, Neary covered the country's diverse religious landscape and the politics of the religious right.

Over the years Neary has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award, an Ohio State Award, an Association of Women in Radio and Television Award and the Gabriel award. For her reporting on the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform, Neary shared in NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

A Fordham University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Neary thinks she has the ideal job and suspects she is the envy of English majors everywhere.

Pages

4:02pm

Tue October 15, 2013
Books News & Features

'Quiet Dell' Revives A Depression-Era Murder Story

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Crowds gather on Aug. 30, 1931, at the site of the Quiet Dell murders. Evidence of the killings was found in and around murderer Harry Powers' garage (center).
AP

The Quiet Dell murders were among the first big, sensational crime stories of the Depression: A serial killer corresponded with vulnerable widows he met through lonely hearts clubs, then lured them to their deaths.

As a child, writer Jayne Anne Phillips learned about the murders from her mother, who was a child in 1931, when the murders took place. Phillips says she didn't talk a lot about the tragedy, but whenever they drove close to where the crime occurred — near Clarksburg, W.Va. — her mother would say, "There's the road to Quiet Dell."

Read more

3:05pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Books News & Features

New E-Book Lending Service Aims To Be Netflix For Books

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 4:24 pm

iStockphoto.com

Movie lovers have Netflix, music lovers have Spotify — and book lovers (whether they read literary fiction or best-selling potboilers) now have Scribd. The document sharing website has been around since 2007, but this week it launched a subscription service for e-book lending.

Read more

4:24pm

Wed October 2, 2013
Remembrances

Tom Clancy Dies, Left 'Indelible Mark' On Thriller Genre

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 6:56 pm

Tom Clancy, seen here in 2010, was an insurance agent before publishing The Hunt For Red October in 1984.
David Burnett

Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died. He was 66 years old. Beginning with the publication of his 1984 megahit The Hunt for Red October, Clancy wrote a string of blockbuster thrillers inspired by his fascination with military hardware and history.

Clancy didn't mince words when he talked to would-be writers. "If your objective is to write a book, get a computer and write the damn book," he told members of the military at a 2004 writing workshop. "Yes, you can do this if you try hard enough. It's a lot easier than you realize it is."

Read more

2:57am

Mon September 23, 2013
Author Interviews

Political Violence, Uneasy Silence Echo In Lahiri's 'Lowland'

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies.
Marco Delogu Courtesy of Knopf

Earlier this month, Jhumpa Lahiri rejected the idea of immigrant fiction. "I don't know what to make of the term," she told The New York Times. "All American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction."

Read more

3:44pm

Mon September 16, 2013
Books News & Features

National Book Awards Look To Raise Profile ... And It's Not The First Time

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:19 pm

The 2013 National Book Award long list for Young People's Literature was announced Monday. Click here to see the full list.
nationalbook.org

You may be hearing a lot about the National Book Awards this week — at least that's what the National Book Foundation hopes. That's because they've made some changes to the awards that they hope will get more people talking about them. Over four days starting Monday, they will roll out their nominees in four different categories — beginning with Young People's Literature and ending Thursday with Fiction.

Read more

2:25am

Thu September 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Winter's Bone' Author Revisits A Tragedy In His Ozarks Hometown

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:42 pm

Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone -- a dark family saga set in the Ozarks — was adapted into a film in 2010. Woodrell returned to his hometown of West Plains, Mo., about 20 years ago and has been writing there ever since.
Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

The Ozarks mountain town of West Plains, Mo., is the kind of town where a person can stand in his front yard and have a comfortable view of his past.

"My mom was actually born about 150 or 200 feet that way, and my grandfather's house is I guess 200 yards that way," says Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone, and most recently, The Maid's Version.

Read more

4:22am

Wed August 21, 2013
Remembrances

Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies At 87

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Elmore Leonard, sometimes called the Dickens of Detroit, created some of the most memorable characters in modern crime fiction. The 87-year-old writer died after suffering a stroke several weeks ago. Until then, he had never stopped writing. His first book, published in 1953, was a Western. Later, he turned to crime novels and left an indelible imprint on that genre. NPR's Lynn Neary has this remembrance.

Read more

5:59am

Mon August 5, 2013
Books News & Features

E-Books Strain Relations Between Libraries, Publishing Houses

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:23 pm

iStockphoto.com

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

E-books have strained the relations between libraries and the major publishing houses. Libraries say they're being cut out of the market because publishers are afraid they could lose money selling e-books to libraries. After much negotiation, the publishers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. But some libraries are already looking to bypass the high prices and restrictions that publishers place on e-books.

Read more

4:54pm

Mon July 15, 2013
Books News & Features

How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:13 pm

Scholastic started out in 1920 as a four-page magazine written for high school students. Above, an early issue published in September 1922.
Courtesy of Scholastic

Chances are you have had contact with Scholastic Publishing at some point in your life: You might have read their magazines in school, or bought a book at one of their book fairs, or perhaps you've read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? From its humble beginning as publisher of a magazine for high schoolers, Scholastic has become a $2 billion business and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world.

Read more

6:03am

Tue July 9, 2013
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:30 pm

Andrew Bannecker

There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about — or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day. Here are a few books that swept away some of our favorite critics.

Read more

7:08am

Sat June 29, 2013
The Salt

Preserving The Season's Fruits With A Canning Evangelist

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 2:44 pm

For the sweetest, smoothest strawberry jam, author Kevin West suggests staying as far away as possible from what he calls "Pamela Anderson fruit": the big strawberries found in regular supermarkets. He prefers picking small, red berries from farm stands, instead.
Kevin West Knopf

Shopping at a farmers market on a weekend morning can turn bittersweet if your eye for just-picked summer fruit is bigger than your refrigerator and appetite.

That's a crisis first-time cookbook author Kevin West found himself in a few years back. After one particular farmers market spree, West's buyer's remorse came from a big package of fresh strawberries.

Read more

4:16pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Monkey See

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 pm

iStockphoto.com

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

Read more

4:23pm

Tue June 4, 2013
Author Interviews

McCann's 'TransAtlantic' Crosses Fiction And Fact, Ireland And U.S.

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 5:22 pm

Colum McCann won the National Book Award in 2009 for Let the Great World Spin.
Dustin Aksland

About five years ago, Colum McCann stumbled upon a small piece of history he had never known: In 1845, Frederick Douglass, then an escaped slave who was already famous for his anti-slavery writings and speeches, visited Ireland to raise money and support for his cause. McCann says he knew almost immediately that he wanted to turn this historical fact into fiction: "This intersection between history and fiction, between what is real and what is not real, fascinates me," he says.

Read more

3:25pm

Mon March 25, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:59 pm

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. AP

In 2008, during the brief window when it was legal for same-sex couples to get married in California, perhaps no couple drew more attention than Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

After their wedding, photos of the couple were everywhere; DeGeneres, beaming, in a white suit and holding hands with de Rossi, the very picture of the princess bride so many young girls dream of being one day. It was a cultural touchstone, and Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin, says it was neither the first nor the last time DeGeneres has played that role.

Read more

2:40am

Tue March 5, 2013
Author Interviews

'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:56 am

This Dec. 26, 2004, photograph shows a trail of destruction in the southern Sri Lankan town of Lunawa after tidal waves lashed more than half of Sri Lanka's coastline.
Sena Vidanagama AFP/Getty Images

On Dec. 26, 2004, Sonali Deraniyagala was vacationing with her husband, her two sons and her parents in Yala, Sri Lanka. The day was just beginning when she and a friend noticed that something strange was happening in the ocean. Within a matter of minutes, the sea had wiped out life as she had known it. In a new memoir, called simply Wave, she recalls her experience with the tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people, including her own family.

Read more

Pages