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Studio 360: Achebe, Ghazal, Christenberry

Length: 53 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Chinua Achebe has been called the father of a generation of writers. First published at the dawn of Nigeria's independence, Things Fall Apart has been translated into 50 languages, has sold 10 million copies, and is required reading in countless schools. Kurt Andersen asks Achebe if his novel foreshadowed his country's difficulties.

Next, Chimamanda Adichie is an award-winning Nigerian author whose writing has brought Nigerian history to global audiences. She explains the role Achebe has played in her work, and what it is like being compared to such an eminent figure. Produced by David Krasnow and Chloe Plaunt.

Then, for hundreds of years, musicians from India and Pakistan have taken the poetry called ghazal and set it to music. The songs project such deep longing that you don't need to know Urdu to feel the pain. Produced by Rob Weisberg.

After that, decades before Borat and Bruno, Andy Kaufman bewildered audiences with a blend of comedy and performance art that involved staying in character beyond the walls of the TV studio. Finally the world has caught up with Kaufman's genius. Eric Molinsky connects the dots.

And finally, William Christenberry returns every year to Alabama to chronicle the slowly morphing rural landscape of his childhood: faded barns, kudzu-covered buildings, and a certain old barbecue joint. He explains how he avoids cliches while capturing familiar images of the South. [Broadcast Date: July 11, 2009]

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