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Dunant's Novel 'Birth of Venus'

Author Sarah Dunant's historical novel The Birth of Venus is set in 15th-century Florence. The book portrays a young woman's growing appreciation for art -- and for one artist in particular. Hear NPR's Liane Hansen and Dunant.

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Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.