Sep 6, 2013 — Daniel Woodrell's new novel explores the lingering consequences of an explosion in an Ozarks dance hall that kills 42 people. It wasn't an accident, but the book isn't about a hunt for the murderer. Instead, reviewer Ellah Allfrey says, it's a remarkable study of a surviving sister's life and grief.
Sep 5, 2013 — For nearly a century, Daniel Woodrell's hometown of West Plains, Mo., has been haunted by a dance-hall explosion that killed dozens of the town's young people in 1928. Woodrell explores the disaster — and his Ozarks roots — in his new novel The Maid's Version.
May 25, 2013 — The gleaming stainless steel arch in St. Louis is, officially, a monument to westward expansion. But in The Gateway Arch: A Biography, Tracy Campbell argues that the monument's meaning is more complicated. He tells NPR about the controversies, the clout and the costs behind the 630-foot structure.
Dec 13, 2011 — Impostors can be scheming, even villainous, but their stories tempt us with an attractive possibility — the chance to wear a mask. Writer David Anthony suggests three tales about nefarious characters that let us indulge in our fascination with the art of manipulating outward appearances.
Jul 9, 2009 — Author Gary M. Pomerantz presents a deliciously detailed account of the emergence of bridge as America's No. 1 pastime — centering his tale on the crime of passion that helped spark the craze.
Jul 1, 2007 — The novel Finn by Jon Clinch imagines the story of Huck Finn's father. Although it's the first novel to reach the shelves, Clinch says there were several unsuccessful attempts — and compares writing a book to building a house out of raisins.
Aug 16, 2006 — Darrell Mease, a convicted murderer, was scheduled to die in Missouri when his prayers were answered. Pope John Paul II won Mease, a Christian convert, a commutation of his death sentence during a 1999 Missouri visit.