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.
Apr 5, 2012 — A medical examiner investigates a death at a safe house in Drawing Conclusions. It debuts at No. 14.
Mar 28, 2012 — Margaret Drabble's short stories reveal the contours of her life over the past 50 years, while Leslie Daniels explores a woman's life after divorce, and mystery writer Donna Leon looks into the death of a widow. Plus two new biographies explore the lives of Gypsy Rose Lee and Nashville songwriter Rodney Crowell.
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of The World Before Her by Deborah Weisgall. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Apr 16, 2011 — Author Donna Leon is celebrating the 20th installment of her Brunetti crime series, which follows the suave Commissario Guido Brunetti as he solves mysteries to the backdrop of Italy, Leon's adopted homeland.
Sep 23, 2010 — Author Mary Sharratt recommends three titles that will take you back to the Italian Renaissance — an epoch of humanism and religious fervor, of philosophers and despots, of courtesans and saints. Pour yourself a glass of prosecco and experience the glory and danger of a lost age.
Jun 20, 2008 — Deborah Weisgall's new novel The World Before Her interweaves the stories of famed writer George Eliot and fictional sculptress Caroline Spingold as they visit Venice, Italy, 100 years apart. Both artists struggle to balance their art with their yearning for love.
Aug 20, 2007 — To detective novelist Donna Leon, there are two Venices. One is the real Venice inhabited by ordinary Venetians, who know each other's secrets. The other is filled with loud tour guides and attracts up to 20 million visitors a year.
Dec 14, 2005 — Day to Day reporter Karen Grigsby Bates, doing double duty as literary editor, shares her list of books that would make great gifts for the holidays.
Oct 8, 2005 — John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, visits modern-day Venice, where he finds a rich cast of characters and tries to unravel the mystery behind a 1996 fire that wiped out the city's last opera house.