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
September 25, 2016 | NPR · The young ace was Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. When he died, he had the second most strike-outs of any pitcher in the National League.
 

Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund
September 25, 2016 | NPR · For NBC’s Lester Holt, who took the anchor chair after Brian Williams was caught exaggerating, Monday’s presidential debate has big stakes and bigger risks.
 

September 25, 2016 | NPR · When it’s time to divorce, Hollywood celebs (like a certain Brad and Angelina) turn to the queen of breakup litigation, Laura Wasser. NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller.
 

Arts & Life

September 25, 2016 | NPR · Humbert Humbert, the main character in Lolita, is one of the most famous “sympathetic” villains in history. Today, a story from the point of view of a sexual predator might not get told in literature.
 

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
September 25, 2016 | NPR · All this week on NPR, you’ll hear the voices of people Studs Terkel interviewed in his book, Working. Among the interviews you’ll hear this week are a telephone operator and hotel piano player.
 

September 25, 2016 | NPR · Leigh Bardugo’s followup to her steampunky heist tale Six of Crows follows teenage criminal mastermind Kaz and his ragged crew as they take revenge for a betrayal and deal with a dangerous drug.
 

Music

NPR
September 25, 2016 | NPR · This summer, Hamilton met NPR Music in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. for a tour of some of the places — from his boyhood church to the barbershop where he cut hair — that shaped his voice.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 25, 2016 | NPR · Mendoza says she’s often felt caught between cultures. But she’s learned to embrace multiple identities simultaneously — and it shows in her music.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 24, 2016 | NPR · The international ambassador for Louisiana roots music died early Saturday morning of lung cancer.
 

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