Neda Ulaby

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR and hosts its award-winning Culturetopia podcast. Her work includes profiling actors, authors, musicians, and those who inform the world through creative expression, and covering the complicated relationships between art, artists, and society.

Ulaby came to NPR in 2000 when she was recruited through NPR's Next Generation Radio, and landed a temporary position on the cultural desk as an editorial assistant. She soon started reporting regularly, augmenting her radio work with arts journalism for the Washington [D.C.] City Paper.

Most recently, Ulaby's stories have included a series on women record producers, an investigation into exhibitions of plastinated human bodies, and a look at the legacy of gay activist Harvey Milk. Her profiles have brought listeners into the worlds of such performers as Ellen Page, Timbaland, Mark Ruffalo, Courtney Love, and the RZA; writers Sarah Waters and Etgar Keret; and directors Hayao Miyazaki, Fatih Akin, and Eli Roth.

NPR’s Culturetopia, Ulaby’s weekly podcast of NPR's best arts stories, won a Gracie award for Outstanding Podcast from the American Women in Radio and Television. Ulaby has received the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship and a fellowship from the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism to study youth culture.

A former doctoral student in English literature, Ulaby was managing editor of Chicago's Windy City Times, and co-host of the radio program, “What's Coming Out at the Movies.” Her film reviews appeared in alternative papers nationwide. She also edited fiction for The Chicago Review, and served on the editing staff of the leading academic journal Critical Inquiry. Ulaby’s articles on slapstick comedy have been published internationally. She taught classes in the humanities at the University of Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and at high schools serving at-risk students.

Ulaby was born in Amman, Jordan, and grew up in the Midwest of the United States. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College, she worked as an intern for the features desk of the Topeka Capital-Journal. Ulaby lives in Washington, D.C., with her partner, Robin, and their three-legged dog.

 

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3:04pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Books

Swedish Poet Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer is this year's winner of the Nobel Prize in literature. Transtromer has been mentioned as a candidate for the award for years. His work often walks a line between concrete reality and dreams — he's worked as a psychologist and social worker in addition to his writing.

2:06pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Monkey See

Long Literary Shadows On Nobel Shortlist

Originally published on Thu October 6, 2011 3:05 pm

Adonis, born Ali Ahmad Said Esber, is one of the contenders for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mario Vedder AP

They are the Nobel literature bridesmaids. Every year, they appear on Ladbrokes' betting site alongside their odds of winning. Les Murray: 16/1. Cees Nooteboom: 33/1. Claudio Magris: 40/1.

Perennial names probably more familiar to American readers include Haruki Murakami (7/1), Chinua Achebe and Amos Oz. The latter two aren't even ranked by Ladbrokes this time around. If recent history is any indicator, that means they've got a decent shot of winning. The Ladbrokes lads, after all, did not bother to place odds for such recent winners as Herta Muller or Elfriede Jelinek.

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10:01pm

Sun September 18, 2011
Monkey See

NBC's 'Prime Suspect' Hopes To Fill Some Very Big And Very British Shoes

Maria Bello plays Detective Jane Timoney — a revamped version of Helen Mirren's iconic Jane Tennison — in NBC's remake of the British drama Prime Suspect.
Patrick Harbron NBC

When a British television show is remade for an American audience, it usually hews closely to the original, at least at the uncertain beginning, while it fumbles to find its own identity.

The Office found one. Most don't.

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3:30pm

Fri August 26, 2011
The Record

Free Music in the Heart of the L.A. Sprawl

Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80's July 15 show at Grand Performances in Los Angeles. For over 25 years, Grand Performances' free shows have drawn diverse crowds to downtown L.A.
RJ Sakai Courtesy of Grand Performances

Over the next few weeks, we're producing stories about the business of putting on free concerts, how they work and what they bring to their communities.

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3:00pm

Tue August 23, 2011
The Record

Nick Ashford, Songwriter And Singer, Has Died

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson on stage in New York around 1978.
Richard E. Aaron Redferns

Nick Ashford's songs are so ingrained in American culture they almost seem to have written themselves — songs such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "You're All I Need to Get By." Ashford was married to his songwriting partner, Valerie Simpson, for over 30 years. Ashford died Monday at the age of 70.

Ashford and Simpson wrote "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" for Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" for Diana Ross and "Solid as a Rock" for themselves.

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