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4 Segments




James Earl Jones Discusses his Life and Career.

Actor James Earl Jones. His is one of the distinctive voices of our time, yet few people know he fights a stutter; Jones' stage work off-Broadway in Jean Genet's "The Blacks" and Athol Fugard's "The Blood Knot" lead to a Broadway success in "The Great White Way", for which Jones won a Tony. His work in August Wilson's "Fences" won him another. It took one day to record the voice track for Darth Vader in "Star Wars": a performance which lead to many other commercial voice-over projects.


Novelist David Shields on Written and Spoken Language

Shields went to speech therapy the same time he attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Like the author himself, the protagonist of his new novel, Dead Languages, has a stutter. Shields' writing explores the gap between his mastery of written language and his difficulties speaking.


John Updike Reveals His "Self-Consciousness"

The prolific and award-winning author is uncomfortable with fame, and has kept a low public profile. Now he opens up in a new collection of autobiographical essays. Updike uses his own body as a jumping-off point for his ruminations.


Art Collecting in the 1980s

New Yorker art writer Calvin Tompkins looks at the state of the art world. He says there has been a rise in corporate-owned collections, which often exclude more provocative or sexually-themed works.


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