Nigerian-American author Chinelo Okparanta was shortlisted for this year's prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing. But she says that initially, writing short stories wasn't a style she thought she'd be good at.
"When I started, I thought I was a novelist, and I had written some short stories and I thought that they failed at being whatever short stories should be," Okparanta tells Tell Me More's guest host Celeste Headlee. "I'm not sure how it ended up that I somehow learned to write a short story."
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:24 pm
Daughn Gibson is the alter ego of Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Josh Martin. The former stoner-rock drummer took on his nom de plume as an homage to country legend Don Gibson, which makes sense: Martin's life thus far sounds like a country song. He's worked behind the counter in an adult book store, poured tall ones as a bartender and worked as a long-haul trucker.
For roughly two decades, the Zodiac has been the U.S. military's choice for inflatable rubber rafts. These rafts, especially the high-end model F470, are not the recreational rafts you take out to the lake on a Sunday, says Lionel Boudeau, the head of Zodiac's North America operations.
"It is used for a large variety of missions, like assault landings, infiltration and exfiltration," he says. "It can be deployed from the shore or deployed from the air by an aircraft, a helicopter, by a submarine. It is used by special forces and regular Army."
The Sherpa people of Nepal have become famous for guiding mountain climbers up some of the world's highest peaks, especially Mount Everest. And while Sherpa guides earn relatively good pay for their work, they and their families pay a price in death and injury. According to Grayson Schaffer, a senior editor and writer for Outside magazine, a Sherpa working above Everest's base camp is nearly 10 times more likely to die than a commercial fisherman, the most dangerous, nonmilitary occupation in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What do John Lennon, Michael Jackson and Mahatma Gandhi have in common? You guessed it: They all play for the same Brazilian soccer team. The team is Atletico Goianiense. They just signed a striker named Carlos Adriano Souza Cruz. He's better known as Adriano Michael Jackson for his smooth celebration dances. Brazilian players often go by nicknames, even putting them on their jerseys. Just ask national team player Hulk. He's the one who looks like actor Lou Ferrigno.
Security forces in Cairo have begun to forcibly disband two massive protest camps there. Supporters of ousted Islamist President Morsi have been conducting a sit-in for weeks amid threats of a government crackdown. For details, Renee Montagne talks to Michael Wahid Hanna, an analyst with The Century Foundation.
Now, the story of a man many call an outlaw. His crime: growing raisins and then deciding to sell them all. His case made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
Planet Money's Zoe Chace has the story.
ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: You might imagine that such an ordinary thing like a raisin works the same way lots of other stuff works. The raisin grower takes his sun-dried grapes and sells them, as many as he can to whoever wants them. That's not what happens.
And let's hear now about a proposed airline merger. In a surprise move, the Justice Department announced yesterday that it will try to stop American Airlines and U.S. Airways from becoming one. This is largely because of two other mergers that made both Delta and United Airlines much bigger. Those deals were approved back in 2008 and 2010. Now, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports from Dallas, the government seems determined to change course.