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11 Segments




Mystery Writer Evan Hunter

Evan Hunter died Wednesday at the age of 78. Under the pen name Ed McBain, he was best known for his finely detailed "87th Precinct" novels. Mystery fans call McBain's books "procedurals" for their close attention to police procedures.


Performance Poet Sapphire on Giving Her Students a "Push"

Performance poet Sapphire has written a new novel, "Push," in the voice of a 16 year-old black girl named Precious Jones, who is pregnant for the second time by her father. Her world opens up when a teacher encourages her to learn to read and write. Sapphire taught reading and writing to teenagers and adults in Harlem and the Bronx for eight years. There's also a new edition of her book of poetry, "American Dreams."


Author Jervey Tervalon.

Author Jervey Tervalon. He has written a first novel, titled "Understand This" (William Morrow and Company, Inc.). Tervalon set "Understand This" in today's South Central Los Angeles where he grew up and returned after college to teach in a public high school. He believes life is much more difficult in South Central L.A.--and everywhere in America--now. Tervalon's characters are faced with often overwhelming, life and death decisions.


A New Book From the Bennington Brat Pack

Book critic John Leonard reviews "The Secret History," by Donna Tart. She's associated with the young crop of writers from Bennington, including Bret Easton Ellis, to whom her novel is dedicated.


Hollywood Takes a Risk on "Dead Poets Society"

Film critic Stephen Schiff says the new, boarding-school themed movie never really allows star Robin Williams to cut loose; the younger actors, while good, exist in a kind of bland never-land. It's a departure from the normal Hollywood summer fare, but audiences will be turned off by the film's self-righteous piety.


Mike Rose on Raising Up Poor and Working Class Students

Rose has created educational and literacy programs for young people who fall through the cracks in school. As a young person, he was placed in a vocational track after a testing mixup -- a program that wasn't a good fit for Rose. His new book about his education and his current teaching is called "Lives on the Boundary."


How Kate Millett Changed One Student's Life

That student was Fresh Air's critic-at-large Laurie Stone. Stone studied with the feminist writer at Barnard. She was excited by Millet's enthusiasm for art and literature, and was emboldened by Millett's sincere belief in Stone's own potential.


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