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18 Segments




'Beautiful Ruins,' Both Human And Architectural.

Jess Walter's latest novel spans decades and traverses the Atlantic to create a kaleidoscopic collection of "beautiful ruins." Characters include a hotelier, a young script reader and real-life movie star Richard Burton. NPR's Maureen Corrigan says the book is a "literary miracle."


The Gritty Gangsters Of 'Gomorrah'

Matteo Garrone's epic film Gomorrah takes us into the world of the Camorra, an organized crime syndicate based in and around Naples. John Powers has a review.


Actor Chris Cooper

He won an Academy Award for his performance as John Laroche in the film Adaptation. His latest project is the HBO film My House in Umbria, starring Maggie Smith, which debuts May 25, 2003. Cooper is also in the soon-to-be-released Seabiscuit, and he had roles in American Beauty, The Bourne Identity, and The Horse Whisperer.


Italian Popular Music.

World music critic Milo Miles checks out the pop music of Italy. Artists include: Lucio Dalla, Mango, and Angelo Branduari.


Babara Harrison Discusses Religion and Her Italian Travels.

Novelist, essayist, and reporter Barbara Grizutti Harrison. Her new book is called "Italian Days." It's a chronicle of her travels through Italy, but it's also more introspective, influenced by her parents Italian heritage and her conversion to Catholicism after a childhood spent in the Jehovah's Witnesses.


Marina Warner's Novel "The Lost Father"

Book critic John Leonard says that Warner's third novel is her best. The book, about a family coping with the loss of its patriarch, succeeds because it questions ideas as much as it advances them.


An Italian Detective Takes on the Modern World

Book critic John Leonard reviews the new detective novel Ratking, by Michael Dibdin. Leonard says the narrative, set in Italy, keeps the mystery genre alive by confronting bourgeois life and corrupt politics.


Learning Italian at the Movies

Language commentator recalls how he learned Italian by watching dubbed American movies while studying abroad, and considers why Italian filmgoers prefer dubbing over subtitles.


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