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Audie Cornish

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John Lewis — an icon of the civil rights movement, congressman and, for decades, a force in Democratic politics — died at age 80 on Friday.

Lewis had been treated for advanced-stage pancreatic cancer after being diagnosed during a routine medical exam. He publicly disclosed his diagnosis in late December.

There's an old writing exercise that involves describing a color without naming it; it challenges the writer to evoke the emotional primacy of a concept we often take for granted.

In Hillary, a new four-part documentary on Hulu, director Nanette Burstein overlays the story of Hillary Clinton's career and marriage over the story of feminism and the culture wars of the 1990s and 2000s.

It's a dynamic that comes down to "Be Our Champion, Go Away," as one episode is titled.

For the past six months, NPR's Audie Cornish has held a series of conversations with women navigating the male-dominated world of comedy. Here are some highlights.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

There was a time when congressional Republicans railed against the budget deficit. In recent history, think of the Tea Party movement, whose members called for driving down debt, deficits and government spending.

"There are so many ways to get this right, they had to look for a way to get this wrong."

That's author L.L. McKinney's response to Barnes & Noble's "Diverse Editions" campaign. McKinney's most recent book, A Dream So Dark, is a sequel to A Blade So Black, a contemporary retelling of Alice in Wonderland with a black female lead.

Adrian Bartos and Bobbito Garcia are a world-famous radio and club DJ duo. They hosted a podcast from NPR called What's Good with Stretch and Bobbito. Today, their debut album, No Requests, is out — and there's something undeniably cheeky about that title if you're a couple of DJs.

The last decade of music saw major artists break many of the rules about how to release an album. Beyoncé and Drake popularized the "surprise release" — putting out albums with little to no roll-out at all. So in the era of surprise digital drops, and at the beginning of a new year of music, how do you make predictions about what's coming?

Comedian Margaret Cho has spent decades as a trailblazer on race and sexuality, carving out a loud, unapologetic brand on stage and screen. One of her bits is about Asian American women dating white men.

"AGAIN!!!"

That request/demand will be familiar to any parent — kids hardly ever want to read a book just once. So we asked Matt de la Peña, Newbery medal-winning children's author (and dad), to recommend books that stand up, reading, after reading, after reading, after reading ...

The good news is, there are a lot of great books out there. "We're in a golden age of picture books," says de la Peña. "There are books tackling so many different subjects that were never explored in the past."

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