An editor once rejected a novel of mine because he claimed it was too "quiet." He may have had other reasons too delicate to mention, but I understood exactly what he meant.
My novel had no epic sweep; it was not a multi-generational saga; it offered no sex or violence; it was not set against the backdrop of sweeping social commentary. It was a simple story of an ordinary man having to face and overcome his problem by his own devices.
Weekends on All Things Considered has received hundreds of letters and posts on our Three-Minute Fiction Facebook page asking — actually demanding — the return of our fiction contest. So here it is: the beginning of Round 7 of Three-Minute Fiction.
When Americans are asked what Sept. 10, 2001, was like, many call that Monday "normal" or "ordinary."
"Just a normal summer day," one man said.
That all changed on Sept. 11.
Nine individuals told All Things Considered where they were on Sept. 10. They talked about some of their serendipitous experiences, near misses or devastating turn of events of that day — the day before America was interrupted.
San Diego's power company has restored power to all of its customers. Thursday afternoon, more than 4 million people in the Southwestern U.S. and parts of Mexico lost electricity. Arizona Public Service Company says the outage occurred after an electrical worker mistakenly removed a piece of monitoring equipment at a substation in southwest Arizona.
Scientists analyze patterns in all areas of life, from weather to health, to help predict outcomes. Journalist Sasha Issenberg examines how political scientists employed by the Texas gubernatorial campaign of Rick Perry in 2006 helped him strategize through testing random samples of voters. Robert Siegel talks with Issenberg about this approach — and how it shaped Perry's subsequent campaigns.
Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River is spilling over its banks, leaving serious flooding in its wake. The city of Wilkes-Barre's levies have held up, sparing it from a worst-case scenario flood. But small towns throughout south-central Pennsylvania are covered in water.
Summer is just about over. That usually means Major League Baseball fans are feverishly checking the standings as the playoff races tighten up in the last weeks of the season. But this year, virtually every division title and wild card slot have been sewn up. Could an unexciting September lead to a dramatic October? Robert Siegel talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis.
Michael Sullivan has covered foreign affairs for NPR, including earthquakes in India, Pakistan and Japan, volcanoes in Indonesia, and has been kidnapped by Somalis, Afghans, Haitians and the Tajik KGB.
On Sept. 11, I was in Islamabad. At the Marriott. Eating dinner in my hotel room while watching the news on CNN.