The Middle Distance 1.18.13: The Only Possible Grace
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My friend Cate said she squirmed through the first half of Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen’s comedy film The Guilt Trip, seeing a bit too much of herself in Streisand’s character, Joyce, an unrelentingly overbearing Jewish […]

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The Middle Distance 1.11.13: All The Light We Used to Have
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Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a […]

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The Middle Distance 1.4.13: Blue Nights
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Here is an African proverb that showed up in my email inbox on December 31: “Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty […]

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The Middle Distance 12.21.12: Reweaving the Social Fabric
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This week’s mini-blizzard provided respite I’d been hoping for — no appointments, too cold to even think of going outside voluntarily, and streets packed with snow. I stayed in with the dogs, reading and cleaning and […]

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The Middle Distance 12/14/12
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Last night on a downtown street, someone busted out the front passenger window of my car to dig around inside it. Whoever it was — a passerby who, conveniently, had a brick or a big rock in his hand […]

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The Middle Distance 12.7.12: The Image Becomes a Phantom
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In her treatise on photography, Susan Sontag said, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Witness any public event in the 21st century, crowd members’ arms extended outward with smartphones pointed in every direction and understand […]

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The Middle Distance 11.30.12: Unknown Woman
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She resides in a painting — a simple stretched canvas, unframed — emerging from a slate blue background, her hair and dress the same silver-gray. Her breasts sag low, as if from the natural weight of years.

She hung in […]

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The Middle Distance 11.16.12: The Scent of Smoke
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It is nearly Thanksgiving and in the early mornings my turn-of-the-20th century neighborhood smells like wood smoke. Nights are cold, the neighbors cranking up their fireplaces and wood stoves. A deadly summer wildfire season has put […]

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The Middle Distance 11.9.12: “Honey, It’s Jest Foo-ood”
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In a parallel life, I think I might have been a cafeteria lady, baking industrial sized trays of yeast rolls every morning in a stainless steel kitchen, ladeling out clouds of mashed potatoes and smothering them […]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn wonders where to best place her worry during the Frankenstorm.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn embraces the obsessive mathematics of aging.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn tugs at the long tail of gun violence and its current literature.

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In this week’s Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ruminates on the struggle for faith.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn gathers seeds from her garden and remembers the autumn of her twins’ birth.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn celebrates locavore and farmer Dan Hobbs on the occasion of his Palmer Land Trust Conservation Award.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn sees her late sister through the eyes of a ghost costume.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn walks back into her second grade classroom.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn unearths a moment in civil rights history that happened right under her nose.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn looks through the blurry lens of a toy camera into the past.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn stares into the eyes of a toothless flasher in a dirty raincoat.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn spreads her toes across years of shoeless memories.

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn ties two summer films together with the unlikely string of far-fetched fantasy.

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(Cybil Shepherd, center, after winning the Miss Teenage Mephmis Pageant in 1966)

The Middle Distance 8.5.11: What Was I Thinking?
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What was I thinking? I was 15 years old and had moved with my family from the small town of Jackson to the […]

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News

AP
December 10, 2016 | NPR · Despite skepticism of Trump — and losing the popular vote — his supporters say it’s time to move on and trust the president-elect to figure things out. They’re willing to give him a very long leash.
 

Courtesy of WBUR
December 10, 2016 | WBUR · Dear Sugar Radio is a podcast offering “radical empathy” and advice for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Today the hosts think about how watching porn can affect a couple’s marriage and sex life.
 

NPR
December 10, 2016 | NPR · Working in difficult circumstances, lawyers and judges do their best to administer justice. NPR was present at a trial of a man accused of repairing ISIS vehicles. He and relatives denied ISIS links.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
December 10, 2016 | NPR · This week, we welcome the world’s foremost Larry David impersonator (and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) onto the show.
 

December 10, 2016 | NPR · The Lillian Booth Home in Englewood, N.J., is run by the Actors Fund as both a nursing facility and assisted living. Like the residents, many of the staff come from the entertainment industry.
 

Joffrey/Boneau/Bryan-Brown
December 10, 2016 | NPR · Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has a fresh take on the classic Christmas tale. The $4 million Joffrey Ballet production premieres Saturday, and doesn’t center around a wealthy Victorian family.
 

Music

The Historic New Orleans Collection
December 10, 2016 | NPR · Barker played with everyone from Billie Holliday to Cab Calloway to Jelly Roll Morton. Scott Simon speaks with Music Inside Out host Gwen Thompkins about the late banjo player and guitarist’s legacy.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 9, 2016 | NPR · The Grammy-winning saxophonist plays Duke Ellington standards with host Marian McPartland in a 1994 session.
 

Youth Radio
December 9, 2016 | YouthRadio · One week ago, a fire ripped through an Oakland warehouse that was being used as a music venue and artist community. Hear the music of four up-and-coming electronic artists who died in that fire.
 

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