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VOA慢速英语 2008 1226b

时间:2009-01-05 08:26来源:互联网 提供网友:jy03334434   字体: [ ]


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC1 in VOA Special English.


I'm Doug Johnson. This week, we talk about some of the best movies and books of the year. And we play some great music from two thousand eight that we did not get a chance to play earlier.


Best Books of 2008


In December, many newspapers and booksellers in the United States publish lists of the best American books of the year. Faith Lapidus tells us about four of this year's excellent books. The first two books are a novel and a collection of short stories. The other two are works of nonfiction.


"A Mercy" by Toni Morrison is on many lists of the best books of the year. The story takes place in seventeenth century America.

Miz Morrison examines the beginnings of slavery in America and the destruction of Native Americans through the stories of four women. One critic called the book "a poetic2, mysterious tale." Toni Morrison has also written about the personal costs of slavery in her other books of African-American literature. She has won many awards, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in nineteen ninety-three.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri's new book takes place in the present. The writer's family came from India. She was born in London and now lives in the United States. Miz Lahiri's books are about Bengali immigrants in America and their children. Her new collection of stories is called "Unaccustomed Earth." She writes about how immigrants struggle to build new lives in their new country. And how their children struggle to find success and happiness. Many of her characters are torn between the old traditions of their Indian culture and the new ones of America.

Critics have called our next book "powerful." It is "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War." Drew Gilpin Faust wrote the book. She is the president of Harvard University. The subject of her book is the more than six hundred thousand soldiers who died in the Civil War between eighteen sixty-one and eighteen sixty-five. Miz Faust writes about how this "harvest of death" affected3 and changed America.

Critics have also praised a book about current wars called "The Forever War" by Dexter Filkins. Mister Filkins is a reporter for the New York Times who has covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for ten years. "The Forever War" is a series of more than twenty short pieces about incidents of war and how they affect the people in those countries. Mister Filkins is widely considered one of the finest war correspondents of this generation. Critics say he shows the reader the real meaning of war and its human cost.


Popular Year-End Movies


At the end of the year, many critics list their favorite movies. This year, many of these movies were released in December, in time for the holidays. Bob Doughty4 has more.


Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt"

Several of these movies are based on books or plays. For example, "Doubt" is based on an intelligent and powerful play by John Patrick Shanley. It tells about two female religious workers who accuse their priest of unacceptable behavior towards a student. The movie stars three very skillful actors, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. Their characters face difficult questions as they explore the reasons for trusting -- or doubting -- one another's actions.

The British actress Kate Winslet stars in two movies opening this month. "The Reader" is based on a novel by the German writer Bernhard Schlink. Critics have praised Winslet's performance as Hannah, a woman who worked as a guard at a Nazi5 German death camp during World War Two.

In "Revolutionary Road," Winslet reunites with the actor Leonardo di Caprio. The two last worked together eleven years ago in the popular movie "Titanic6." In "Revolutionary Road" they play a husband and wife struggling to find happiness and meaning in their life together. The movie, set in the nineteen fifties, is based on a book by Richard Yates.

Two other highly praised movies are based on real events. "Milk" is about Harvey Milk, one of first elected public officials in the United States who was openly homosexual. He was murdered soon after being elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors7 -- along with the city's mayor -- but he had a lasting8 effect as a political leader. Sean Penn gives a powerful performance as Harvey Milk.

"Frost/Nixon" is the movie version of a play. It recreates the true story of a British television star, David Frost, and his interviews with former American President Richard Nixon. Mister Nixon resigned the presidency9 in nineteen seventy-four because of charges of corruption10 in a case known as Watergate. This movie shows David Frost's attempts to get Richard Nixon to admit his wrongdoing during a television interview three years later.

Michael Sheen and Frank Langella were Frost and Nixon in the play as well as the movie.

Critics have especially praised the performances by two other actors. Clint Eastwood stars in "Gran Torino," a movie about an angry, old man who unexpectedly becomes the protector of his next-door neighbors. And in "The Wrestler11", Mickey Rourke plays an aging professional wrestler trying to restart his failing career.

Music From 2008


We try to talk about and play many different kinds of music on American Mosaic. We cover pop, country, hip-hop, and even classical and Broadway show tunes12. But we cannot possibly report on all the good music that is released each year. So this week, Katherine Cole plays a few of the best songs and artists we missed in two thousand eight.



Santi White is a thirty-two year old singer, songwriter and music producer. You might have heard her words coming from singers Ashlee Simpson and Res.

In April, Santi White released her first album. It is called "Santogold," which is also the name she performs under. White says she loves music from the nineteen eighties. That influence is clear in this song, "Lights Out."


We played lots of country music this year but nothing from Lady Antebellum. The three- member group was the only country band nominated for a best new artist Grammy. Here the group performs "Love Don't Live Here."


Many good jazz albums were released this year. Trombonist Steve Turre's recording13, "Rainbow People," was especially beautiful. Here is the title piece.


Finally, we leave you with the song "Electric Feel," from the Brooklyn, New York band, MGMT. Their first album, "Oracular Spectacular," was released this year.



I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

It was written by Dana Demange, Shelley Gollust and Caty Weaver14, who was also the producer. To read the text of this program and download audio, go to our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.


1 mosaic CEExS     
  • The sky this morning is a mosaic of blue and white.今天早上的天空是幅蓝白相间的画面。
  • The image mosaic is a troublesome work.图象镶嵌是个麻烦的工作。
2 poetic b2PzT     
  • His poetic idiom is stamped with expressions describing group feeling and thought.他的诗中的措辞往往带有描写群体感情和思想的印记。
  • His poetic novels have gone through three different historical stages.他的诗情小说创作经历了三个不同的历史阶段。
3 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
4 doughty Jk5zg     
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
5 Nazi BjXyF     
  • They declare the Nazi regime overthrown and sue for peace.他们宣布纳粹政权已被推翻,并出面求和。
  • Nazi closes those war criminals inside their concentration camp.纳粹把那些战犯关在他们的集中营里。
6 titanic NoJwR     
  • We have been making titanic effort to achieve our purpose.我们一直在作极大的努力,以达到我们的目的。
  • The island was created by titanic powers and they are still at work today.台湾岛是由一个至今仍然在运作的巨大力量塑造出来的。
7 supervisors 80530f394132f10fbf245e5fb15e2667     
n.监督者,管理者( supervisor的名词复数 )
  • I think the best technical people make the best supervisors. 我认为最好的技术人员可以成为最好的管理人员。 来自辞典例句
  • Even the foremen or first-level supervisors have a staffing responsibility. 甚至领班或第一线的监督人员也有任用的责任。 来自辞典例句
8 lasting IpCz02     
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
9 presidency J1HzD     
  • Roosevelt was elected four times to the presidency of the United States.罗斯福连续当选四届美国总统。
  • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency.两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。
10 corruption TzCxn     
  • The people asked the government to hit out against corruption and theft.人民要求政府严惩贪污盗窃。
  • The old man reviled against corruption.那老人痛斥了贪污舞弊。
11 wrestler cfpwE     
  • The wrestler tripped up his opponent.那个摔跤运动员把对手绊倒在地。
  • The stronger wrestler won the first throw.较壮的那个摔跤手第一跤就赢了。
12 tunes 175b0afea09410c65d28e4b62c406c21     
n.曲调,曲子( tune的名词复数 )v.调音( tune的第三人称单数 );调整;(给收音机、电视等)调谐;使协调
  • a potpourri of tunes 乐曲集锦
  • When things get a bit too much, she simply tunes out temporarily. 碰到事情太棘手时,她干脆暂时撒手不管。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 recording UktzJj     
  • How long will the recording of the song take?录下这首歌得花多少时间?
  • I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
14 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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