Culturetopia: Beautiful Resistance Edition

May 9, 2011

On this week's podcast of NPR's best arts stories, we've got a moving interview with a Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist from Tripoli. Hisham Matar discusses his experience and those of other Libyan novelists. He remembers, among other things, when Moammar Gadhafi set up a big literary festival. But it was a trap — writers were captured there and imprisoned.

And from Talk of the Nation, an interview with the godfather of gangster rap himself, Ice-T. The man born Tracy Marrow has written a new memoir, called Ice. As well as detailing his first career as a street hustler — and what must be his fifth or sixth as an actor — he reveals what Ice is short for.

The latest installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise is, it must be said, an utterly silly car chase movie (as well as a wildly successful one). But there's something decpetively interesting about it, says the Boston Globe's film critic, Wesley Morris. He says in this interview that Fast Five and its predecessors are "the most progressive force in Hollywood" when it comes to multi-ethnic casting.

Finally, a piece about what happened when producers tried to adapt the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond for Russian TV, and a remembrance of singer Phoebe Snow.

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