Arts and Culture

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Novelist Philip Roth "discovered" his own books as he wrote them. "I don't know anything in the beginning, which makes it great fun to write ..." he told Fresh Air in 2006. "You begin every book as an amateur. ... Gradually, by writing sentence after sentence, the book, as it were, reveals itself to you. ... Each and every sentence is a revelation."

Author Philip Roth was a hero of mine, and I interviewed him for NPR many times over the years.

The conversation I remember best was recorded in 1984. We covered several of his novels, including 1979's The Ghost Writer. In it, the book's hero, 23-year-old aspiring writer Nathan Zuckerman, turns a family fight about money into a story he'd like to publish. Zuckerman's father worries the story is bad for the Jews. I asked Roth if there were terrific stories that don't get written because they're bad for someone.

When James Clapper retired from his post as Director of National Intelligence in January 2017, a former colleague said: “I think history will be kind to Jim Clapper.”

And Clapper lived through quite a history.

The 1A Movie Club Sees 'Fahrenheit 451'

17 hours ago

We’re more than a year into a resurgence in dystopian literature. Readers are dusting off classic works, writers are working on new ones, and filmmakers are working on adaptations.