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Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

A confession: I was not a fan of New Girl when it premiered. Fox leaned hard on its description of Zooey Deschanel's character, Jess, as "adorkable," which is too twee even for network promotional materials. She was presented as inept and ill-equipped to function in the adult world without the help of her three male roommates: Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). The guys were flatly drawn, and the show was too reliant on an underdeveloped take on Jess' appeal.

It's not often that chicken skin ignites an international controversy, but leave it to a competitive cooking television show to do just that.

MasterChef UK judge Gregg Wallace found himself in the spotlight following the airing last week of an episode in which he criticized contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin's rendition of a classic Malaysian dish, chicken rendang. "I like your rendang flavor, that's like a coconut sweetness," he said. "But the chicken skin isn't crispy. It can't be eaten, but all the sauce is on the skin I can't eat."

What do I love about this book? For starters: Dorothy Parker. Rebecca West. Hannah Arendt. Mary McCarthy. Nora Ephron. Janet Malcolm. With Sharp, Michelle Dean has essentially gathered ten 20th century literary lodestars for an all-female intellectual history party thrown between the covers of a single book. The price of admission to this critical gala: "the ability to write unforgettably," and being labeled "sharp."

Charles Frazier used to think he'd said enough about the Civil War. In Cold Mountain, he'd written an acclaimed novel that became an Oscar-winning movie.

"After Cold Mountain, I never thought I wanted to write about the Civil War again," he says in an interview. "But as the past three or four years have shown, it's not done with us — as a country, as a culture."

We still have competing visions of America. And Charles Frazier's new novel Varina offers a fictional version of a real-life Confederate.

Chrissy Metz is best known for her role as Kate on the hit NBC show This Is Us. But before she got herself on a screen, she was helping other people get there. Metz moved across the country from Florida to California in the early 2000s to work for an agent and try her hand at acting. She eventually became an agent herself, though she never stopped believing she could be an actor. She auditioned on the side for years before landing This Is Us.

The new horror movie A Quiet Place is a hit at the box office and with critics. It's also notable for its lack of sound, which poses a problem for lovers of movie-theater popcorn.

After three members of the Swedish Academy resigned Friday, protesting its response to a long-simmering scandal, the committee known for awarding the Nobel Prize in literature has found itself in unfamiliar — and precarious — territory: Beyond examining the merits of an author's past work, as it does each year, the centuries-old group is now also facing questions about its own future.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Comedian Hari Kondabolu made a documentary in 2017 called The Problem With Apu. It's not very long — less than an hour. In it, he interrogates the legacy of Apu, the convenience store owner on The Simpsons voiced by Hank Azaria. Kondabolu talked to other actors and comics who longed for more South Asian representation, only to find that at the time, Apu was just about all there was. And Apu was not only voiced by a white actor, but he was doing what Azaria has acknowledged is a take on Peter Sellers doing an Indian accent in the movie The Party.

Alongside tamales and maybe empanadas, arroz con pollo is one of the most beloved dishes in Latin America. Every country has a version of this one-pot meal that finds chicken cooked on a bed of seasoned rice. The Latino consensus is that Caribbeans prepare it best, and it's a tossup between Cuba and Puerto Rico over who makes it best. (I especially enjoy how Dominicans do it because I can spike it with the nation's electric mojo de ajo).

We know more than we ever did before about how hard it can be for women trying to make it in Hollywood.

But Sandra Oh says she was prepared for anything the industry threw her way — sort of by accident. She had to face her toughest critics long ago — her parents — who absolutely did not want her to become an actor.

Arthur Miller is a giant of the American theater. He's renowned for classics like Death Of A Salesman and The Crucible, which premiered in the '40s and '50s yet continue to be read in school and performed to this day.

Miller lived a long time — he died in 2005 at the age of 89 — so it might be easy to forget that for much of his adult life he wasn't just accomplished. He was also a major celebrity: He made headlines with his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and for his testimony before Congress during the McCarthy era.

Marriage ... is what brings us together today. So naturally, we're talking to a divorce lawyer!

"We're raised to look at marriage as this milestone and we keep signing up for it," says James Sexton. "There are very few behaviors that end so badly so frequently that we would just sign up for it with such reckless abandon!"

If you've ever wondered through an art museum, you've probably seen an artwork at least once that made you think: "My kid could do that."

People in the art world hear it all the time. In fact, that was the inspiration behind the new pop up exhibit running this weekend at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. The show is called My Kid Could Do That, but it's not stealing any work from refrigerators.

At some point, you or a woman you know has likely looked through a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves. The book was revolutionary when it was first published in the early 1970s. It taught women about their own anatomy and sexuality at a time when talking frankly about sex was considered — well, unladylike.

In 1878, amateur naturalist Albert Farn wrote to Charles Darwin with some observations about the Annulet moth, which seemed to change colors to suit the differing landscapes of Britain. (Darwin never replied.) It's practically identical to the case of the famous peppered moth, where those with dark wings survived on the 19th century's sooty, de-lichened trees while their paler siblings perished. They're the textbook example of adaptation to urban conditions, and Menno Schilthuizen gives them their due in Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution.

We're going big on National Poetry Month by going small: We invite our readers to dabble in the literary genre with original Twitter-length poems.

This week, we enlisted the Detroit poet, playwright and performance artist Jessica Care Moore to pick her favorites from the #NPRpoetry feed. From San Francisco, Moore spoke to NPR's Michel Martin about which verses stopped her scrolling thumb.

For the most part, she compiled a heartfelt bunch.

Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan has a new show about getting a second chance at life. It's fitting for a man who experienced a second chance of his own — making a remarkable recovery from a horrific traffic accident that left him in a coma.

He was severely injured in the wreck in 2014 in New Jersey. At the time, doctors reportedly weren't sure if he would ever walk or talk again. Morgan's friend James McNair was killed in the accident and three others were also injured.

We're a week into National Poetry Month. And if you followed our haiku-heavy Super Bowl coverage, you can bet we're not letting April slip by without a nod to the art of the verse.

Joe Paterno's fall from grace was swift, sudden and completely unexpected.

In November 2011, the Penn State head coach set the record for most wins in the history of NCAA Division I college football after leading the team since 1966. Less than two weeks later, his glory came crashing down as instances of sexual abuse committed by Paterno's assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, came to light.

The Hogarth Shakespeare series has been having a little fun with the Bard in recent years, reimagining the plays for a 21st-century audience. The latest edition is a retelling of Macbeth by Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author widely celebrated as the king of Nordic Noir.

Of course, it's not the kind of mystery novel he usually writes — after all, everyone knows how this one ends.

Both Lillian Barnes' and Harold Holland's spouses died in 2015. Holland and Barnes saw each other soon after at a family reunion. As Holland put it, they "got to talking, and went to a graduation dinner, and then a Christmas dinner and one thing led to another. I said, 'Well, we should try this again.' "

Barnes and Holland had divorced each other 50 years earlier. This month, they're remarrying each other.

"The whole flame was still there," Holland said. "We just love each other so much right now."

John Kasich came to Ohio as a young man, and — discovering it to be a paradise on earth — never left. He served in the Ohio Senate, then almost two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the Columbus area, and is now in the middle of his second term as governor of this great state.

We invited Kasich to answer three questions about K-Tel, the company which invented the infomercial, and also was known for '70s music compilation albums like 25 Polka Greats.

Click the listen link above to see how he does.

"With a good feeling, it was always: More. Again. Forever." Leslie Jamison's memoir The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath follows the story of her alcoholism in lush, almost caressing detail. "I mashed the lime in my vodka tonic and glimpsed — in the sweet spot between two drinks and three, then three and four, then four and five — my life as something illuminated from the inside."

Meg Wolitzer started writing her new novel years before the #MeToo movement, but you wouldn't know that from the story.

The Female Persuasion centers on two female characters. The first, Greer Kadetsky, is an 18-year-old college freshman. At the beginning of the novel, Greer is assaulted by a guy at a frat party, though she doesn't initially think of it as assault.

The second character, Faith Frank, is a famous feminist in her 60s who has come to give a talk on Greer's campus.

Sacha Jenkins was just a nine-year-old kid coming of age in Queens, New York when Blondie's "Rapture" broke big in 1981. An early harbinger of hip-hop's crossover appeal, it became the first song featuring rap vocals to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Today, rap regularly owns the top 10 and Jenkins, an O.G. even among the original generation of hip-hop journalists, has been documenting the culture from the inside out since its golden era.

Movie star Al Pacino came to TV 15 years ago, delivering a marvelous performance as Roy Cohn in HBO's brilliant adaptation of Angels in America. Since then, every time Pacino has returned to TV, he has played real-life, controversial men: assisted-suicide proponent Jack Kevorkian in You Don't Know Jack and music producer Phil Spector in the TV movie Phil Spector.

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