In The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion contemplated how the rituals of everyday life were fundamentally altered after her husband died suddenly in 2003. The book was published in 2005, just months after Didion's only child, her daughter Quintana Roo, died at age 39.
Didion pieces together her memories of her daughter's life and death in her new book Blue Nights. She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that she was unable to start mourning her daughter's death until she started writing again.
The schedule for the first four Republican presidential caucuses and primaries appeared officially set Wednesday with New Hampshire announcing that it would hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.
That would come exactly seven days after the Iowa caucuses, which were moved to Jan. 3, the first Tuesday of the new year, and which will kick off the process by which Republicans will choose their party's nominee to contest President Obama for the White House.
As states across the U.S. are redrawing their district lines to account for changing populations, some groups, like the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, are pushing for majority-Latino districts. MALDEF says such districts will boost Latinos' political power, but others say it'll bring limited influence. Host Michel Martin speaks with MALDEF President Thomas Saenz and Center for Equal Opportunity Chair Linda Chavez.
Former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was among the head architects of the way America responded to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. She was also at the center of divisive debates within the George W. Bush administration. In her new memoir No Higher Honor, she defends and explains Bush's decision to engage in war in Iraq, and shares how her work took a toll on her personal life. She speaks with host Michel Martin.
Nothing is more basic and simple than food. Yet it comes to us courtesy of a long, complicated supply chain that spans the globe.
That chain delivers food cheaply — but it can break. Four years ago, it blew up in most spectacular fashion, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on rice for sustenance. That crash — the great rice crisis of 2008 — was a true disaster for some of the poorest people in Asia and West Africa.