Amy Tan's latest novel, <em>The Valley of Amazement</em>, will be published on Tuesday.
Credit Rick Smolanagainst / Against All Odds Productions
Amy Tan's grandmother (right) poses with a friend against a painted backdrop. Her outfit was an ensemble traditionally reserved for courtesans — although it could have been a costume borrowed for this portrait.
Amy Tan was 200 pages into a new novel when she attended a large exhibition on Shanghai life in the early 1900s. While there, she bought a book she thought might help her as she researched details on life in the Old City. She stopped turning pages when she came upon a group portrait.
Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene.
Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.
Let's talk about smartphones. And for iPhone users, an important decision: when to upgrade. Apple's latest iPhones, the 5S and 5C, have been out for a couple months now. But some people are resisting temptation. They're perfectly happy with their older iPhones, except for one thing, when they upgrade to Apple's new operating system, things slow down.
To talk about how to manage this decision, we're joined - as we often are - by Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky. Hey, Rich.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:28 pm
The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.
Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.
When Teddy Roosevelt was president, reporter Lincoln Steffens came to him with a request: "Mr. President," he said, "I want to investigate corruption in the federal government." And Roosevelt responded in a rather astonishing way, as presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
A Syrian fighter from the Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra inspects a resident's identification papers at a checkpoint in Aleppo on Oct. 26. Syria's Islamist fighters are generally better funded than their more moderate counterparts.
Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.
Sir Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best-selling authors. His science-fiction series Discworld has sold millions of copies worldwide. Pratchett is incredibly prolific — since his first novel was published in 1971, he has written on average two books every year.
But in 2007, 59-year-old Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a result, Pratchett can no longer read.