During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.
Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.
It's been too long since we simply sat up and pointed out a few of the many new releases worth a set of ears. Luckily, the staff on weekends at All Things Considered thought the same. They invited me to sit down with host Jacki Lyden and play a few cuts for them.
Here's music from an elder statesman of piano, a trumpeter who understands creole music personally, a drummer who writes tunes with a payoff, and a singer in her early 20s with maturity and kick.
Why are these antiquated diseases on the rise again, and how strong is the threat of drug-resistant bacteria? Host Jacki Lyden talks to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga., about this trend in infectious diseases.
The film The Act of Killing is the most talked about movie of the year. It's a film that is both fiction and nonfiction. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talked to the old men in charge of the death squads in Indonesia in the 1960s that killed somewhere between 500,000 to 2 million civilians in the name of thwarting communism.
And as we mentioned earlier in the show, singer-songwriter J.J. Cale has died. If you're not familiar with his name, you've probably heard some of his music. He penned hits from the 1970s and '80s that were recorded by Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many others. The success of those songs gave him the freedom to release his own albums for more than four decades. NPR's Dan Bobkoff has this remembrance.
More than 1,000 inmates, many convicted of serious crimes, have escaped from a prison in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, the country's prime minister confirmed.
According to The Associated Press, it wasn't immediately clear if the jailbreak at Koyfiya prison was part of a larger series of protests taking place across the country on Saturday in response to the assassination on Friday of prominent political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was an outspoken opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Lindy Boggs died Saturday morning. She was 97 years old, had served in Congress for close to 20 years and also as the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, appointed by President Bill Clinton.
But those achievements, great as they are, do not begin to sum up the life and accomplishments of Lindy Boggs. As many of you know, she is part of our family at NPR: Her daughter is Cokie Roberts. And she has many friends here, as she does everywhere.