Jim O’Connell has been treating the homeless for 30 years. We join him on Friday morning “outdoor rounds," watching him treat mostly alcoholic men with other mental and bodily afflictions, very sick people who often say they prefer the street to shelte...
The nightmare in Syria has slipped off the front page. Yet thousands are dead and millions more displaced across Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. Petroleum “barrel bombs” have replaced sarin gas and the specter of al-Qaeda seems to hover over it all.
Nasser Rabbat is the Aga Khan Professor of Islamic architecture at MIT, a Damascene from way back. The question we ask him is, "What will we say happened to Syria in front of our eyes, and was non-intervention in Syria as damaging in the end as previo...
Yehudi Wyner is an approachable guy in a forbidding field: contemporary "serious" music. He gives us an opening here to ask where new sounds come from. In his case new music comes out of a sort of compost of the canon, from Bach to Bartok,
The organization Partners in Health has been transforming health care in the world’s poorest places for 25 years. Nurses like Pat Daoust who were on the front lines of America's AIDS epidemic have put their wisdom to work overseas.
Three winters ago our Open Source trip to Cuba turned around on an astonishing moment of serendipity. At a bus stop in Havana my colleague Paul McCarthy heard a laugh he recognized from high school in California. "Only Akua Brown laughs like that,
Nick Flynn, who blew us away with his take on Boston Noir, wrote his breakthrough memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, which became a Robert De Niro film, about a tortured relationship with his vagrant and alcoholic father.
Nick Flynn -- memoirist of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City -- gave us this reading of one of his own poems: "Embrace Noir." It's a bonus on his appearance on our show about Boston Noir last week. Kunal Jasty mixed his reading with the John Coltrane...
We’re talking Boston noir — the seedy, gritty underside of gentrified Boston. It’s literary, and it’s the stuff of Hollywood now, but it’s real life here too. The dark corners, the townies, thugs, mobsters and bullies you never read about in the Globe,
We’re talking Boston noir — the seedy, gritty underside of gentrified Boston. It’s literary, and it’s the stuff of Hollywood now, but it’s real life here too. The dark corners behind the glitz; the townies, thugs,
Listen: Boston Noir, Thursday 9pm, WBUR - Dennis Lehane so rules the neighborhood of Noir ("Nwaaah," as we say in Boston) that he gets street credit for work he didn't write, like "The Departed" and "The Town.
Two years ago John Lanchester of the London Review of Books recalled the spark of his novel: Capital. It began with his noticing a parade of "florists, dog- walkers, pilates instructors" on his own once-modest London street,
We're in the studio with Daron Acemoglu, the MIT economist and the co-author of Why Nations Fail. He's saying -- pace President Obama -- the state of the union is "dangerous." Matt Taibbi from Rolling Stone joins us on the phone.
The income gaps, the frozen wages, the new class of robber barons in America – would they look like symptoms of a flailing — maybe failing — state if we saw them someplace else? We're discussing the State of the Union with MIT economist Daron Acemoglu ...
Each one of Anton Chekhov's short stories, like each of Beethoven's string quartets, can feel like a fresh experiment. They all seem different in size, shape and feeling, each one a reinvention of the form. "Gusev," the third in our reading-aloud series,
On the way to Herbie Hancock's opening Norton lecture at Harvard, "The Wisdom of Miles Davis," we're remembering Norton feasts of old, a series that has included luminaries like John Cage, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim,
Here’s how to read David Foster Wallace’s thousand-page door stop and masterpiece Infinite Jest: it’s a Boston novel the way Ulysses is a Dublin novel, as Les Miserables is a Paris novel. Infinite Jest is a novel about Wallace’s alcohol addiction and ...
Sven Birkerts is a literary critic and essayist as well as a professor at Boston University and the editor of the literary quarterly AGNI. He was very nearly present at the creation of David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" more than 20 years ago,
The writer Bill Lattanzi led us on a tour of Infinite Boston, inspired partly by Bill Buetler's website. He began in the "seat of empire," so to speak, Harvard Square -- epicenter of the ivy-clad buildings, cobblestone streets, churches, libraries,