Anyone who has read or seen Victor Hugo's masterpiece knows the plot of Les Miserables turns on the theft of a simple loaf of bread. There was no sharper barometer of economic status in 19th-century France than bread. Minnie Phan for NPR hide caption

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Minnie Phan for NPR

Authoring An Author's Life In 'Mikhail and Margarita'

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Egyptian Political Satirist Bassem Youssef On Media And The Arab Spring

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Chronicling Ernest Hemingway's Relationship With The Soviets

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Writer Neil Gaiman attends a screening of Coraline during the Entertainment Weekly CapeTown Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre on May 5, 2013. Michael Buckner/Getty for Entertainment Weekly hide caption

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'Out Of Wonder' Aims To Inspire A New Generation Of Poets

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'Idiot' Chronicles First Love, Freshman Year And The Early Days Of Email

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In The Age Of Fake News And Alternative Facts, Al Gore Remains Optimistic

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'Irresistible' By Design: It's No Accident You Can't Stop Looking At The Screen

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Marin's family started calling him Cheech when he was a baby. His real name is Richard. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Spike TV hide caption

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Cheech Marin On How His Famed Comic Collaboration Was Like Chicano Art

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'White Tears' Is A Mystery, A History, A Coming-Of-Age Story

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La Belle Limonadiere, hand coloured etching (1816). Lemonade was ubiquitous in mid-17th century Paris. Where the limonadiers went, piles of spent lemon peels followed. As rats nibbled on the peels, they killed off plague-infected fleas, Tom Nealon argues in his new book. Courtesy of The British Library Board/The Overlook Press hide caption

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Courtesy of The British Library Board/The Overlook Press

Author Kanishk Tharoor On Language And Short Stories

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Amy Dickinson is also the author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them. Dede Hatch/Hachette Books hide caption

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In 'Strangers Tend To Tell Me Things,' An Advice Columnist Comes Home

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In Many Ways, Author Says, Spanish Civil War Was 'The First Battle Of WWII'

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Keggie Carew — seen here with her father, Tom Carew — says, "It was never mundane with dad, even with dementia." Courtesy of Grove Atlantic hide caption

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Courtesy of Grove Atlantic

Author Unravels Her Spy Dad's Life, One Secret Mission At A Time

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From Refugees To Politics, Mohsin Hamid Writes The Change He Wants To See

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German dictator Adolf Hitler gives a speech in October 1944. Author Norman Ohler says that Hitler's abuse of drugs increased "significantly" from the fall of 1941 until the winter of 1944. Keystone/Getty Images hide caption

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Author Says Hitler Was 'Blitzed' On Cocaine And Opiates During The War

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'On Tyranny' Explores New Threats Facing American Political System

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Mohsin Hamid's Novel 'Exit West' Raises Immigration Issues

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