Oct 12, 2011 — Russell Banks' latest is an uneven effort to excavate and redeem the dregs of modern society. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel — about porn addiction and sexual predators — is compelling in a low-grade, nightmarish sort of way.
Jul 27, 2011 — NPR coverage of The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of Timbuktu: A Novel by Paul Auster. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Sep 9, 2010 — As a child, Liz Murray dealt with the typical stresses of growing up. But she also grappled with going days without food and living on the streets. Despite these obstacles, Murray finished school and went on to attend Harvard University. Murray talks about her memoir, Breaking Night.
Aug 20, 2009 — Romulus Ledbetter, the homeless caveman of the title, is a Julliard-trained classical pianist who's on a mission to find a murderer.
Aug 20, 2009 — Getting ready for one last trip to the beach? Have a long plane ride coming up? Or are you just ready to become engrossed in a good book? Try these mysteries you may have missed.
Apr 23, 2009 — The Soloist director Joe Wright talks about the difficulties of filming on Skid Row and the challenges of portraying mental illness on screen.
Apr 22, 2008 — Three years ago, journalist Steve Lopez met a homeless musician on skid row in Los Angeles. He soon learned that the man, Nathaniel Ayers, had once been a promising violinist, and that he had left the Juilliard School because of his struggle with mental illness. Ayers is the subject of Lopez's new book, The Soloist.
Apr 22, 2008 — Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez was strolling through the city when he saw a homeless man playing classical violin. His name, Lopez discovered, is Nathaniel Ayers. And, in addition to musical talent, Nathaniel has schizophrenia.
Nov 6, 2006 — A book about a dog has been at or near the top of nonfiction best-seller lists for about a year now. Librarian Nancy Pearl suggests some other notable books featuring, but not necessarily written by, canines.