Death and Immunity on the Missouri River, 1851

When it killed, cholera did so with astonishing quickness. From the moment symptoms appeared --excessive diarrhea and vomiting, sunken eyes in a blueish face--till the moment those eyes closed forever was often a matter of hours. Once the contagion was recognized, a steamer named St. Ange pulled over just south of here at the mouth of the Little Sioux River.

Two Roman Catholic priests, Black Robes, were aboard, holy men, Belgian born but dedicated to missions here. Both had...

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World Cafe Looks Back: Coldplay

Oct 24, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe and revisited some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.

I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe, revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Jazz Greats

Oct 17, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Cafe. Each day, we'll revisit some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Robert Plant

Oct 14, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Cafe. Each day, we'll revisit some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Elvis Costello

Oct 10, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: The Beatles

Oct 7, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Guitar Greats

Oct 5, 2011

Over the years, World Cafe has seen its share of guitar gods.

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

The Steve Miller Band On World Cafe

Jul 25, 2011

Some people call him space cowboy, some people call him the gangster of love, but most know him as Steve Miller, the guitarist and vocalist whose laid-back, infectiously catchy tunes have soothed the nation for decades.

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