Arts and Culture

Once poverty-stricken and reliant on international aid, India opened up its economy in the early 1990s and has since seen steady, sometimes remarkable, economic growth. Today, by most measures, India is one of the world's largest and fastest growing economies.

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Leni Zumas' new novel, Red Clocks, imagines a time in which something called the Personhood Amendment has made abortion and in vitro fertilization a crime in the United States; Canada returns women who slip across the border to seek those services. The novel is set in an Oregon town and it invites inevitable comparison to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

Is it also a parable for our time? Zumas says the story started out with "some personal anxiety and anguish of my own," but grew into something larger.

A new year means it's time for new calendars. And a North Carolina man has created some of the most unusual you'll ever see.

In fact, they show scenes you once weren't supposed to see — official CIA paintings of past spy missions.

They include a depiction of a spy with a rifle shooting down an airplane from a helicopter, and images of two missions in which planes tried to snatch agents off the ground without landing.

Like most people, Rian Johnson was a huge Star Wars fan as a kid. Unlike most people, he grew up to make a Star Wars movie — he wrote and directed The Last Jedi.

The man behind the latest Star Wars feature film plays a game called Storage Wars -- about the reality show where people guess what's in repossessed storage lockers before they're auctioned off.

Click the listen link above to see how he does.

Christopher J. Yates begins his new novel, Grist Mill Road, with a crime in progress:

"I remember the gunshots made a wet sort of sound, phssh phssh phssh."

It is summer, 1982, and in a clearing in the woods outside the small town of Roseborn, N.Y., a 14-year-old boy shoots a 13-year-old girl over and over and over again with a BB gun while, close by, a 12-year-old boy stands and watches.

In the world of streaming workout videos, Shawn T is like Jay-Z or Mick Jagger. He's a superstar. Millions of people have done his workout programs. One is called "Insanity." Another, "Focus T25," aims to get you in shape in just 25 minutes a day without leaving your house.

In our ever more digital world there are all kinds of apps and other quick ways to fit fitness into your life. But you still have to do the exercise. And in his new book, T is for Transformation, Shaun T tells the story of his life and the lessons he's learned about finding that motivation.

Love can be hard to put into words. Poets have been trying for millennia.

For Valentine's Day, Morning Edition is offering a love poem request line. Tell us about a moment in your life regarding love or relationships, and NPR's Rachel Martin and author Kwame Alexander will find you a poem that captures that feeling.

Netflix usually presents its new shows one season at a time, with a dozen or so episodes available immediately, but its latest talk show is being unveiled at the unusual rate of one installment per month.

It's called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman — and it's excellent. The program marks Letterman's return to the talk-show format and to series television, a journey he began in 1980 with his brief but brilliant daytime talk show, NBC's The David Letterman Show.

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