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It took many decades after Mahmood Mattan’s execution at Cardiff Prison in Wales for his name to be cleared over a killing he did not commit. Booker Prize finalist Nadifa Mohamed remembers seeing his picture in the newspaper, and she later learned that Mattan, a young Somali sailor, knew her father. Mattan’s story — and the life he led before his h…
 
When celebrated ESPN writer Ivan Maisel’s son died by suicide in 2015, he channeled his grief into words. His deeply personal and moving book, “I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye: A Memoir of Loss, Grief and Love,” is a testament both to a father’s love and to the human soul’s ability to grieve and remember and still not lose hope. Host Kerri Miller ta…
 
When Barbara F. Walter started researching her book, “How Civil Wars Start, and How to Stop Them,” in 2018, many wondered if it was an “exercise in fear-mongering.” The idea that the U.S. could find itself mired in a second civil war seemed incredulous, even irresponsible. In 2021, it doesn’t feel as implausible. Walter’s book examines how civil wa…
 
Marine Corps veteran Phil Klay won the National Book Award in 2014 for his first book, “Redeployment,” a collective of stories that emerged from his service in the Iraq War. His much-anticipated second release came out in October, and once again, he uses his military experience to inform the story. “Missionaries” is a novel that follows the lives o…
 
Kate Bowler is back with another bestseller. In her new book, “No Cure for Being Human,” she asks: How do you move forward with a life you didn’t choose? Bowler talks with host Kerri Miller about her book, her life today and how hope is better than anticipation.Autor: Minnesota Public Radio
 
What does it mean to leave a legacy if you can’t have kids? That’s the core question N. West Moss wrestles with in her new memoir, “Flesh & Blood.” Honest, wise and filled with moments of whimsy, Moss allows everything from good cocktails to the natural world — including a praying mantis in her sunroom she names Claude — to teach her how to heal. H…
 
In Louise Erdrich’s new novel, “The Sentence,” a bookseller with a fervent love of reading reads a page in a book that a ghost has been reading. She discovers that one of the sentences on that page is so dangerous that she suspects it changes according to the reader’s ability to decipher it. The novel swirls in a kaleidoscope of ghosts and grief, j…
 
There’s more to Daniel Boone than the stereotype of an explorer wearing deerskin and a raccoon hat. On her Friday book show, MPR News host Kerri Miller sorted fact from fiction with the help of Matthew Pearl. “The Taking of Jemima Boone: Colonial Settlers, Tribal Nations, and the Kidnap That Shaped America” is Pearl’s latest book and his first nonf…
 
Dealing with climate change can feel overwhelming. Efforts to address it can feel futile. But climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe insists all is not lost. In this week’s conversation about big books and bold ideas, MPR News host Kerri Miller talks with Hayhoe about her new book, “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divide…
 
In his new novel, award-winning author Richard Powers probes an essential question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet? Called an “ecological parable,” Powers’ latest book, “Bewilderment,” tells the story of a widowed astrobiologist as he struggles to raise his precocious son alone, in the midst of our all…
 
Losing a parent at a young age shapes a person. In her debut memoir, “Seeing Ghosts,” Kat Chow pours her grief onto the page and examines how the loss of her mother when she was only 13 both marked her and made her into who she is today. She also looks back at past generations of her family to examine how their journey from China and Hong Kong to C…
 
When she was still in training, Dr. Leana Wen led a student organization whose motto was, “It takes more than medical school to make a physician.” It also takes more than “M.D.” after your name to be the kind of courageous, unflagging, ethical public health leader that this country needs. Dr. Wen’s memoir, "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Figh…
 
As the delta variant surged last month, more Americans got vaccinated against COVID-19. But one in four Minnesota adults is still unvaccinated against the virus, and their reasons for turning down the shots are varied and personal. Guest host Catharine Richert talked with a family doctor and a family therapist about what’s behind vaccine hesitancy …
 
During the pandemic, Minnesota’s theater companies lived their industry’s credo: The show must go on. Some worked outdoors, others offered livestreams and virtual performances and some went deep with pandemic-specific programming. Now that Broadway has reopened and many local venues are returning with masks and social distancing, theater companies …
 
As a Black girl adopted by Scottish communists, growing up in Glasgow in the 1970s, poet Jackie Kay developed a passion for Bessie Smith. Her father introduced her to the blues, and Bessie Smith was the wild spirit who helped her find her true self. She tells the story in her new book, “Bessie Smith, A Poet’s Biography of a Blues Legend.” Writer Ja…
 
It has been a challenging year and a half for Gov. Tim Walz. He joined host Mike Mulcahy to talk about governing during a pandemic, social upheaval and climate change. Plus, in the second half of the hour: fires and drought. What’s the current situation with the Greenwood Fire and other Minnesota wildfires, and how might things change this weekend?…
 
Electric cars are still rare in Minnesota — representing less than one percent of all cars sold each year. But we’ll be seeing more of them soon. Gov. Tim Walz signed Minnesota rules that will force manufacturers to increase the number of electric cars for sale in the state and President Joe Biden has signed an executive order that calls for half o…
 
According to the Uniform Crime Report released last month by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the number of reported violent crimes in Minnesota last year went up by 17 percent over the previous year. Much of those numbers are driven by rising crime in larger cities. But some suburban communities are also experiencing upticks in certain k…
 
What is your summer song for 2021? What does it mean to you? Every summer has a song that defines it — the song that seems inescapable, that’s always playing in the background of your summer social gatherings, that perfectly sums up your mood. Guest host Brandt Williams talked with two music journalists about what makes the perfect summer song and …
 
Earlier this month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that “a hotter future is essentially locked in.” The news of the changing climate and its effects can have psychological impacts, which experts call “climate anxiety.” According to recent studies, Millennials and members of Generation Z think and worry more ab…
 
The labor market is tight, with many employers desperate for workers. But there are signs it’s starting to stabilize. Job openings rose to a new record high in June, but hiring also increased. That could be a sign that supply pressures are beginning to ease. July also saw a big jump in hiring. But the surging delta variant is raising concerns about…
 
Minnesota farmers have been hit hard by the summer’s hot, dry conditions. Seventy-eight percent of the state is currently experiencing extreme drought conditions, and small farmers are weathering the drought with virtually no safety net. Earlier this month, Minnesota received $17.5 million in federal aid to mitigate the impact of climate change. Go…
 
The #FreeBritney movement has highlighted the immense power that court-ordered guardians wield over their wards and raised alarms about the potential for abuse. Guest host Chris Farrell will examine guardianships and conservatorships, and discuss what steps can be taken to reduce the risk of exploitation. Guests: Pamela Teaster is a professor of hu…
 
Universal basic income and many of its derivatives have gained traction over the last few years. Guest host Chris Farrell will talk with two experts about the benefits of these programs, challenges, and lessons learned. Guests: Amy B. Castro, assistant professor of social policy and practice and the co-founder and director of the Center for Guarant…
 
The highly contagious delta variant is spreading across the country, leading to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The latest surge in cases may mean that many people are once again making decisions about social gatherings, where to wear masks and whether to travel. Guest host Nina Moini spoke with public health officials about how to make these decisions …
 
Speeding and reckless driving have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Public safety officials say that speed is the biggest factor in deadly crashes in Minnesota. Guest host Nina Moini talks about what’s behind the increase in reckless driving and fatal crashes and what we can do about it Guests: Nichole Morris is the director of the HumanFIRST Resea…
 
The quiet lakes of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota have been bustling with visitors, even as fires, development and international relations threaten the fragile area. On Wednesday, guest host Dan Kraker talked with Ann Schaller of the U.S. Forest Service, David Seaton of Hungry Jack Outfitters and Matt Poppleton of th…
 
Roughly 50 million acres of land in the United States is considered reservation land — held by the government in trust for Native tribes. That’s about 2 percent of the country, but that’s a lot less than the acreage once set aside for tribes in the late 19th century through treaties. Now tribes across the country are trying to reclaim some of those…
 
Where will people go when home becomes unpleasant or unbearable because of climate change? One answer is … maybe Minnesota. In fact, climate migration to the state is already happening. MPR News guest host and Duluth correspondent Dan Kraker talked with Jamie Alexander of Drawdown Labs at Project Drawdown and Abrahm Lustgarten, a senior environment…
 
Is there a word or phrase that you grew up with, something you felt was unique to your family? Maybe it was an expression your parents or grandparents used to show affection or describe frustration, only to eventually discover it had foreign origins? Or perhaps you still wonder where it came from? Borrowed words have flooded most languages, includi…
 
Emily Oster is driven by data. An economics professor who often applies a risk-analysis lens to things like parenting, she wants to give you the numbers and let you decide. Her new book, “The Family Firm,” picks up were “Cribsheet” left off. It equips parents to make decisions for their elementary kids using data and looking at evidence. Topics she…
 
The COVID-19 delta variant is leading a new surge of infections nationwide leaving families and school officials to face a complicated reopening of classrooms. Host Kerri Miller was joined by two pediatric specialists to discuss mask and vaccine mandates, what the delta variant means for children and the state of vaccines for children under 12. Gue…
 
A rise in homicides and other violent crimes in 2020 and 2021 have made headlines in major American cities across the country, but what or who is to blame is up for debate. Guests: Jeff Asher, data analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics. Roseanna Ander is the founding executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab.…
 
The CDC issued revised masking guidelines Tuesday after a recent study based on a new cluster of COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated people shows that the delta variant is more contagious than previously thought. Host Kerri will get us the latest on the delta-driven surge in new infections and help sort through what we know and what we don’t.…
 
The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack held its first hearing on Tuesday. Host Kerri Miller will talk about Tuesday’s emotional testimony, what we learned, and what’s ahead for the investigation. Guests: Seamus Hughes is the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Paul Waldman is an opinio…
 
It could be a rough fall for Fido. With animal owners working and often schooling at home during the pandemic, many pets have gotten used to having their humans around all the time. Now that offices and schools are reopening, all those pandemic pups might be in for a rough transition. So what should you do to get your pets ready for your absence? H…
 
When Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker asked to speak to former President Donald Trump about his last year in office, he agreed, surprising them all. He hosted them for a lavish dinner at Mar-A-Lago, his hotel and residence in Palm Beach, Fla., just 10 weeks after his term ended. During their two-and-a-half-hour conversation…
 
Businesses are preparing to call workers back to the office, and universities are ready to welcome students back to campus — in the midst of a resurgent wave of COVID-19 infections. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the pandemic is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” More than 99 percent of deaths…
 
Shocking fact: The average American home has more than 300,000 items in it. And that was before the pandemic, when many of us used Amazon as retail therapy. While Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus certainly understand the impulse, they encourage a different path. When they were kids growing up in poverty in Ohio, they equated stuff with suc…
 
Before George Floyd was killed, before there was a national reckoning on race, there was The Race Card Project. It started in 2010, when journalist Michele Norris was on a book tour, promoting her deeply personal memoir “The Grace of Silence.” Norris began asking people who would show up at her events to think of the word “race,” and then write dow…
 
We’re going backward. Instead of climbing out of the pit of the pandemic, the U.S. is seeing a new surge. The highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant is causing new infections, new hospitalizations and new deaths — almost exclusively among the unvaccinated. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said last week that c…
 
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