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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 29, 2014 | KERA · After caring for Ebola patients for several months in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly noticed last week that he had symptoms. The 33-year-old immediately put himself into a Liberian isolation ward.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Virologist Thomas Geisbert has spent decades studying Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. He speaks to Audie Cornish about the current Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, and how it might be contained this time around.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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Colm Toibin

Feb 28, 2014 — In The Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after her son's crucifixion, what she might have done to ease her son's suffering. (Originally broadcast on Nov. 28, 2012.)
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Feb 4, 2014 — In fiction, Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life after Jesus' crucifixion, Anthony Marra chronicles a child's fate in war-torn Chechnya and Jamaica Kincaid meditates on the unraveling of a marriage.
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Nov 28, 2012 — In his new novel, The Testament of Mary, Irish author Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life 20 years after the crucifixion, as she wonders what she might have done differently to ease her son's suffering. "I felt that I was Mary," he says. "I was her consciousness, watching the thing happening."
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Nov 14, 2012 — Colm Toibin's latest novel reimagines the life and death of Jesus through the eyes of his mother. Elegantly subversive, The Testament of Mary examines the nature of truth and storytelling from the point of view of the world's most famous virgin.
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Nov 13, 2012 — Irish writer Colm Toibin's novella recounts familiar stories of the New Testament, as seen through the eyes of Jesus' mother. But this isn't the iconic blushing virgin you're used to seeing. Toibin's Mary is modeled after the fierce heroines of Greek tragedies — and she is filled with anger.
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Nov 10, 2011 — With siblings like William and Henry James, it's easy to be forgotten. But Alice James, the sickly younger sister of two famously brilliant minds, has proved herself unforgettable. In Jean Strouse's biography Alice James, the author revisits a woman who had a salty wit, but a chronic cold.
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Jun 30, 2011 — Have you ever had an experience so profound, you felt like a different person once it was over? Author Ann Brashares recommends a story of heartbreak that remakes the personality of a young teen: The Go-Between, by L.P. Hartley.
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Jan 18, 2011 — Like his last two stunning novels, The Master and Brooklyn, the triple-trinity of stories in Colm Toibin's new collection, The Empty Family, are at once elegiac and elegant.
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Jul 24, 2010 — Will Grozier, who drives a taxi in London, is no ordinary cabbie. NPR's Scott Simon calls him "the best-read man that I have ever encountered in my life" — which is why NPR occasionally calls Grozier up for reading recommendations. Here are Grozier's latest picks, five books that are equally suitable for diving into on the beach or sampling on a short taxi ride.
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Dec 23, 2009 — Many of the picks from Fresh Air's book critic look back at tough times from earlier eras, or lives upended by disaster. The best books of the year include a work of nonfiction that reveals the hidden fantasy land of a founder of American industry, and a novel that doesn't apologize for the bad behavior of its characters. Plus, a bonus mystery pick.
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