Dec 21, 2012 — At No. 6, Katherine Boo's Behind The Beautiful Forevers looks at daily life in a Mumbai slum.
Dec 13, 2012 — 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
Dec 6, 2012 — To bring the past to life and make it matter, historical fiction must do more than conjure up an exotic backdrop for a conventional story. These six books challenge our preconceptions and help show how the past shaped the world we live in today.
Nov 27, 2012 — In fiction, Paula McLain explores Hemingway's first marriage, while Anita Desai re-examines modern India. In nonfiction, Joseph Epstein defends gossip, Rosamond Bernier remembers midcentury Paris, and Stuart Isacoff lauds the piano.
Nov 16, 2012 — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum. In her book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, she profiles people living in extreme poverty — right in the shadow of luxury hotels. On Wednesday, the book won the National Book Award for nonfiction.
Nov 15, 2012 — The National Book Awards, announced Wednesday night, honored both longtime writers and new authors, from Louise Erdrich for her novel The Round House, to Katherine Boo for her debut nonfiction work, Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
Nov 14, 2012 — What are the best of the books? NPR Books looks at this year's National Book Award nominees for fiction and nonfiction. These 10 books — which tell the stories of a young drug smuggler, lovable philanderers, holograms in the Saudi desert and more — inspired, informed and entertained readers.
Oct 15, 2012 — Novelists Aatish Taseer and Naomi Benaron portray life amid sectarian violence in Pakistan and Rwanda, respectively, while Glenn Carle reflects on being a CIA interrogator, novelist Jonathan Lethem explores his influences, and David Bellos probes translation's complexity.
Sep 26, 2012 — Condoleezza Rice remembers her time in the Bush administration, Michael Lewis and Thant Myint-U discuss the world's economies, Michael Moore recounts his journey toward becoming a filmmaker, and Toni Morrison collects essays about censorship and the power of literature.
Sep 20, 2012 — Thomas Frank analyzes the U.S. political divide, Siddhartha Deb looks into the heart of India, Emmanuel Carrere writes about the 2004 tsunami, and comic actress Mindy Kaling laughs at everything. In fiction, Britain's Alan Hollinghurst follows the evolution of English society.