Lynn Neary

Lynn Neary is an NPR arts correspondent and a frequent guest host often heard on Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In her role on the Arts desk, Neary reports on an industry in transition as publishing moves into the digital age. As she covers books and publishing, she relishes the opportunity to interview many of her favorite authors from Barbara Kingsolver to Ian McEwan.

Arriving at NPR in 1982, Neary spent two years working as a newscaster during Morning Edition. Then, for the next eight years, Neary was the host of Weekend All Things Considered. In 1992, she joined the cultural desk to develop NPR's first religion beat. As religion correspondent, Neary covered the country's diverse religious landscape and the politics of the religious right.

Over the years Neary has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award, an Ohio State Award, an Association of Women in Radio and Television Award and the Gabriel award. For her reporting on the role of religion in the debate over welfare reform, Neary shared in NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton Award.

A Fordham University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Neary thinks she has the ideal job and suspects she is the envy of English majors everywhere.

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Books News & Features
2:49 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Self-Publishing: No Longer Just A Vanity Project

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 4:44 am

They used to call it the "vanity press," and the phrase itself spoke volumes. Self-published authors were considered not good enough to get a real publishing contract. They had to pay to see their book in print. But with the advent of e-books, self-publishing has exploded, and a handful of writers have had huge best-sellers.

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Books
2:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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Author Interviews
2:18 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:55 am

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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Author Interviews
2:44 am
Tue November 13, 2012

'Testament Of Mary' Gives Fiery Voice To The Virgin

Scribner

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:36 pm

The Virgin Mary is one of the most familiar icons of Christianity. For centuries, artists have depicted her on everything from backyard statues of a rosy-cheeked innocent to paintings of magnificent Madonnas hanging in museums all over the world. But few writers have taken up her story or tried to create their own version of the events of her life.

Now, Irish writer Colm Toibin does just that. His novella, The Testament of Mary, raises questions about the life of Jesus' mother and the stories that laid the groundwork for the creation of a church.

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Books
2:30 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Put Down Your E-Reader: This Book's Better In Print

"For two days and nights, Odysseus was alone in the wild water. The sea was so rough that he couldn't see beyond the nearest wave. Over and over again, he thought he was going to die."
Neil Packer Candlewick Press

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:28 am

Most people who read a lot have gotten used to reading on a screen, whether it's a laptop, a tablet or an e-reader. Some say they prefer it to the experience of reading a heavy, awkward print version of the book. But every now and then, a book comes along that just seems to insist on being physical — something about it simply can't be transferred to the screen.

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Author Interviews
2:51 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Same Streets, Different Lives In 'NW' London

British novelist Zadie Smith is also the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty. In her latest book, NW, she lays out a problem for readers: Do people get what they deserve?
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 11:57 am

Writer Zadie Smith burst onto the literary scene with her first novel White Teeth more than a decade ago. Set in the Northwest London neighborhood where she grew up, White Teeth captured the diverse, vibrant rhythms of a city in transition. Smith returns to the neighborhood in her new novel, NW, but this is a sobering homecoming.

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Books News & Features
3:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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NPR Story
3:47 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Google, Oracle Locked In High-Stakes Patent Battle

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 7:16 am

Two billionaires took the stand this week — both named Larry. Google's Larry Page and Oracle's Larry Ellison have very different styles and personalities. And that came across in court.

Books
2:25 am
Fri April 20, 2012

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1300

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 10:04 am

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

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Middle East
3:42 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Syrian Ceasefire Increasingly Under Threat

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 6:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary. Renee Montagne is on assignment.

In Syria, a ceasefire that's part of an U.N.-Arab League peace plan is unraveling, just six days after it got underway. Once again, dozens of people are dying each day, as the Syrian military pounds the cities and towns that have most fiercely resisted the government, and opposition rebels are fighting back.

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Africa
4:09 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Crisis Between Sudan, South Sudan Intensifies

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 4:28 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The crisis between Sudan and South Sudan has intensified with the north branding its recently independent southern neighbor the enemy. This follows two weeks of bitter fighting in the disputed oil-producing border area between the two Sudans. NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton is monitoring developments from her base in Dakar, Senegal and joins us now.

OFEIBEA QUIST-ARCTON, BYLINE: Good morning, Ofeibea.

Greetings.

NEARY: Now, Ofeibea, just bring us up to date on what is happening in Sudan and South Sudan right now.

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Middle East
3:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Egypt's Election Commission Disqualifies 10 Presidential Candidates

The Egyptian elections were thrown an unexpected curve when 10 presidential candidates were disqualified from the ballot. They include hopefuls from the Muslim Brotherhood and the old guard.

Law
3:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Justice Department Sues In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The publishing business is still trying to absorb the news that the Justice Department is suing Apple and publishers for price fixing in the e-book market. Three publishers - Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins and Hachette - decided to settle the suit. But Apple, along with the companies Macmillan and Penguin, plan to fight the allegations. Here's NPR's Lynn Neary.

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Author Interviews
11:01 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Jodi Picoult Turns Tough Topics Into Best-Sellers

Adam Bouska Atria Books

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 10:24 am

When you think about blockbuster best-sellers, genres like mystery, crime and romance typically come to mind. Ethical or moral fiction? Not so much. But that's how Jodi Picoult, who has 33 million copies of her books currently in circulation, describes her novels. So how did an author who writes about divisive issues get so popular?

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Monkey See
2:59 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Spurred By Success, Publishers Look For The Next 'Hunger Games'

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 6:19 pm

The film version of the young adult book sensation The Hunger Games opens March 23rd. The hype around the movie has sent the sales of the already best-selling trilogy to new heights. And publishers are eagerly churning out more books set in post apocalyptic dystopian worlds — just like The Hunger Games.

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Arts & Life
1:38 am
Sun February 19, 2012

E-Books Flipping The Page On Publishing Standards

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 12:46 pm

Not known as a hotbed of experimentation, the world of publishing has been slow to embrace the transition from print to e-books. This past week in New York, however, the Tools of Change digital publishing conference attracted entrepreneurs and innovators who are more excited by, rather than afraid of, the future.

It was the kind of crowd where some were more inclined to say "Steal my book!" than to argue over what that e-book should cost. These are people who see digital publishing not as a threat, but as an opportunity.

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Books News & Features
11:01 pm
Sun January 22, 2012

Publishers And Booksellers See A 'Predatory' Amazon

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 10:00 am

Booksellers and publishers are worried that Amazon is going to devour their industry. The giant online retailer seems to have its hands in all aspects of the business, from publishing books to selling them — and that has some in the book world wondering if there is any end to Amazon's influence.

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The Salt
4:02 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

If you happen to spend Christmas Eve in Canada — especially Québec — you might lucky enough to be invited to a festive dinner after midnight mass. The feast is an old tradition from France called revellion, and it's something to look forward to after a long day of fasting.

"They'll have a huge feast, with sweets and lobster and oysters, everything," says Thomas Naylor, executive chef to the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. "But, in Quebec at least, you'll always have tourtière. It will be the center of the reveillon."

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Books
3:00 am
Thu November 17, 2011

2011 National Book Award Winners Announced

Stephen Greenblatt's "The Swerve," a dramatic account of the Renaissance-era rediscovery of the Latin poet Lucretius, won for nonfiction. "Salvage the Bones," set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by Jesmyn Ward, won for fiction.

Author Interviews
11:01 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Real 'Sybil' Admits Multiple Personalities Were Fake

Shirley Mason was the psychiatric patient whose life was portrayed in the 1973 book Sybil. The book and subsequent film caused an enormous spike in reported cases of multiple personality disorder. Mason later admitted she had faked her multiple personalities.

Courtesy Simon & Schuster

When Sybil first came out in 1973, not only did it shoot to the top of the best-seller lists — it manufactured a psychiatric phenomenon. The book was billed as the true story of woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder. Within a few years of its publication, reported cases of multiple personality disorder — now known as dissociative identity disorder — leapt from fewer than 100 to thousands. But in a new book, Sybil Exposed, writer Debbie Nathan argues that most of the story is based on a lie.

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Books News & Features
11:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

'Catch-22': A Paradox Turns 50 And Still Rings True

Originally published on Thu October 13, 2011 3:53 pm

Fifty years ago, a new phrase began to make its way into American conversations: "Catch-22." Joseph Heller's irreverent World War II novel — named for the now-famous paradox — was published on Oct. 11, 1961. His take on war meshed perfectly with the anti-authoritarian generation that came of age in the 1960s. And now, a half-century later, the predicament of a no-win trap still resonates with a new crop of young people distrustful of their elders.

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Remembrances
5:56 am
Thu October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Help To Revolutionize Animated Movies

Pixar computer-generated animation kicked off a renaissance in animated films — including blockbusters Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Wall-E. After Steve Jobs left Appple in 1985, he bought Pixar from George Lucas. In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to Disney.

Science
3:00 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Israeli Wins Nobel Chemistry Prize For Quasicrystals

Israeli chemist Daniel Schectman's discovery of how atoms fit together inside of crystals changed the way chemists look at solid matter.

NPR Story
3:00 am
Tue October 4, 2011

2011 Nobel Prize In Physics

Three U.S.-born scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their studies of exploding stars that revealed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. The three will share $1.5 million.

Research News
3:00 am
Mon October 3, 2011

3 Scientists Win Nobel For Immune System Studies

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:19 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, host: Three scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their work on understanding the immune system. However, it turns out one of the scientists died several days ago, which could mean that he was not eligible for the prize. Joining us now is NPR science correspondent Jon Hamilton.

Thanks for joining us, Jon.

JON HAMILTON: Good to be here.

NEARY: Let's start with this scientist who died. Who was he, and why might his death make him ineligible for the Nobel Prize?

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Books News & Features
11:01 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

'Wonderstruck': A Novel Approach To Picture Books

A Wordless World: The story of Rose, a deaf little girl in Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck, is told primarily in pictures. "We experience [Rose's] story in a way that perhaps might echo the way she experiences her own life," Selznick explains.
Brian Selznick

It's not often that a writer can illustrate his own books, but Brian Selznick is that rare find. He began his career as an artist collaborating with authors on children's books. But he gradually realized that he wanted to tell his own stories in both words and pictures — and to do that, Selznick invented a unique narrative device.

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