People who don't believe in God but have an almost religious belief in causes are at the center of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, Dissident Gardens. The novel opens in 1955 Queens, N.Y., when Rose Zimmer, a secular Jew and Communist, is expelled from the party, ostensibly because the local committee disapproves of her affair with a black police officer.
In 1958, at an arts festival in Yorkshire, Duke Ellington was presented to Queen Elizabeth II. They tied up the reception line for a few minutes, exchanging royal pleasantries; our Duke politely flirted with Her Majesty. Soon afterward, maybe that very night, Ellington outlined the movements of The Queen's Suite. He recorded it with his orchestra the following year, sent it to Her Majesty, and declined to release it to the public in his lifetime. It's not clear whether Queen Elizabeth has listened to it.
'Angry' is the nicest and often funniest possible way of introducing Phil Yu. He is the founder of the blog 'Angry Asian Man.' When Yu started the blog back in 2001, he didn't think too many people outside his friends and family would bother reading it. Now it's become a primary source for news and commentary about the Asian-American experience. And it is even required reading for some college courses.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend a few minutes today talking about the power of words and labels. In a few minutes, we'll meet a person whose irritation with too many of the images he was seeing about Asian-Americans sparked what's become one of the most influential blogs about Asian-Americans. We're talking with the creator of the Angry Asian Man, Phil Yu.
The World Health Organization says the Syrian civil war is currently the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis on earth.
Aid groups have been scrambling to provide shelter, food, water and health care to the huge numbers of people who've been uprooted by the fighting. The big question now is whether U.S. military action could spark another wave of refugees and make the situation worse.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to Michael Turner. He's a sailor on a guided missile destroyer. He wanted to propose to Jamie Story before he was deployed, so he invited her to dinner in Virginia Beach. And according to the Virginian-Pilot, that's when the flash mob appeared. Mr. Turner arranged for 50 dancers to do synchronized steps on the street as he proposed. Luckily, she said yes, 'cause otherwise it would have been awkward.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 6:25 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
The New York City Opera may be forced to cancel the rest of its current season and all of its next season, if it is not able to raise $20 million by the end of the year. It has been known as the People's Opera since it debuted 70 years ago. Its mission: Making opera more accessible and affordable. City Opera, as it's called, has experienced what it calls a cash crisis for some years. And now, it's started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money it needs to survive.