I recently looked through diaries that my father wrote as a young man in New York in the 1930s, trying to get his start in life during the Great Depression.
The man in the diaries is not the man I knew: a middle-aged father of four who commuted from the New Jersey suburbs to a job he detested in Manhattan. Instead, the 20-something Robert Fessler was eager, passionate, full of hope. He dreamed of traveling around the world, maybe getting a job as a reporter. Just out of high school, he was trying desperately to mold himself into an interesting adult.
In the decade since the release of Ang Lee's blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Chinese filmmakers have struggled to repeat its international success.
But the Quijang Film and TV Investment Group is hoping a new project might provide perfect fodder for a Hollywood hit. The Chinese government-owned company recently invested $30 million in hopes of making a movie that would both celebrate Chinese culture and turn a tidy profit.
For most of the world, Cary Grant was a Hollywood icon, but to Jennifer Grant he was simply Dad.
The screen legend retired from acting at 62 when his daughter was born in 1966. He went on to devote the last 20 years of his life to fatherhood, giving his daughter the kind of life only he could give with trips to Monaco and Christmas dinners with the Sinatras. But it was the quality of that life that left a mark.
Jennifer Grant chronicles her close relationship with her father in her new book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.
On-Air Challenge: The four rarest letters in the alphabet are J, Q, X and Z. You are given a familiar word and must change one letter in it to a J, Q, X or Z to get another familiar word. For example, given the clue "enact," the answer would be "exact."
The flea market day start long before the crowds stream in, says author Maureen Stanton. And that's when the real deals go down.
"The dealers are here, sometimes right at the crack of dawn," Stanton tells NPR's Laura Sullivan. "The antique dealers, generally, are 'picking' the other tables ... looking for the thing that they can resell for double or triple or 10-fold."
Stanton has written a new book about this growing subculture, Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America.
Americans are counting their pennies these days, taking a close look at everything from the cost of milk to the cost of their mortgages. A college education is one investment under fire.
Since World War II, owning a house and getting a college degree was the American dream, a sign that you have truly made it. In 2009, more than 70 percent of high school graduates enrolled in college — nearly twice as many as in 1960.
Eleven years after being held hostage for several days by a militant group in Kyrgyzstan, a professional rock climber is heading back to the Kyrgyz cliffs.
In August 2000, photographer John Dickey embarked on a trek with three other avid climbers. Using minimal equipment, they planned to scale cliffs in the Karasu Valley of southeastern Kyrgyzstan. They were assured that aside from the several-thousand-foot free falls, the region otherwise posed no threats to their safety.
America's largest rivers have wreaked havoc on the Midwest this spring, inundating towns and farmland from South Dakota to Louisiana. Nature is responsible for most of it — huge snow packs in Colorado and Wyoming, and historic levels of rain. But some of the flooding isn't natural; it's controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Dueling tech-savvy political conventions are zipping along this weekend in Minneapolis. The left has gathered at the Netroots conference, while conservatives are meeting up at RightOnline. NPR's Ina Jaffe has been bouncing between them both and discusses the competition with guest host Laura Sullivan.