Greta Johnsen

Morning Edition Host / Reporter


Arts and Culture
2:02 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Happy Birthday, Morning Edition!

To celebrate Morning Edition's 35th birthday, BJ Leiderman tells the story of how an aspiring dropout's jingles led to the song most of us wake up to. (Did you know there were even lyrics?)

35 years ago today, NPR aired Morning Edition for the first time.

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7:34 am
Tue August 26, 2014

'Small Blessings' is existentialism at its sweetest

Martha Woodroof has only recently added “author” to her resume. In her other past lives, she was a teacher’s aide, a restaurateur, a TV news anchor… and then there was the time she spent in public radio.

At WMRA in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Woodroof was the local host for NPR’s All Things Considered. “I was mainly a reporter,” Woodroof said. “And the whole time I was sort of a small emergency backup for Lynn Neary reporting on books for NPR. It was the best gig in the world.”

It’s not surprising that such a book lover would eventually write a novel.

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Arts and Culture
7:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Edan Lepucki on doing your laundry at the end of the world

Author Edan Lepucki says a lot of dystopian, apocalyptic stories are aspirational; they’re epic, sweeping stories about heroes and salvation.

But Lepucki’s new novel, California, takes place on a smaller scale

“When you see people under pressure they’re often not their best selves,” Lepucki says.  

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6:55 am
Mon July 21, 2014

In Asheville, N.C., Summer Vacation Lasts Just A Few Weeks

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:48 am

It's the first day of school at Hall Fletcher Elementary in Asheville, N.C. Principal Gordon Grant stands outside in a white suit and bow tie, greeting students. The kids arrive sporting fresh haircuts and new shoes. One even wears a tutu.

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Arts and Culture
7:13 am
Wed July 2, 2014

A fictional account of the theremin's intriguing history

Sean Michaels’ first novel, Us Conductors, is loosely based on the life of Russian inventor Leon Theremin.

Theremin’s story spans continents and cultures, beginning in the laboratories of Russia, then corssing the Atlantic and dipping into Harlem speakeasies of the late 1920’s, only to end up back in Russia, in the brutal isolation of a Siberian gulag.

The story of Leon Theremin even has a connection to Asheville through electronic music pioneer Bob Moog.

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Arts and Culture
7:48 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Playwright's first novel is entrancing, eerie

Durham-based playwright Monica Byrne's first novel, The Girl in the Road, is incredibly difficult to describe. But it’s one of those books that you read and immediately have to shove into someone else’s hands, saying, 'Here, read this so we can talk about it.'

“I’m sort of glad that it defies categorization and description,” Byrne said,.

The Girl in the Road is futuristic, but not quite sci-fi; it’s suspenseful but introspective, one of those books where the way the story is told is almost more interesting than the plot itself.

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Arts and Culture
6:09 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Peter Sagal imparts pretend-wisdom to Warren Wilson College grads

  172 graduates from Warren Wilson College will receive their bachelor’s degrees today. Delivering the commencement address is Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!


“There are really only two ways, roughly speaking, to be invited to be a commencement speaker," Sagal said.


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Arts and Culture
6:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Francine Prose novel blends fact, fiction

Credit Brassai / Cleveland Museum of Art

Author Francine prose has written seven nonfiction books, three short story collections, and 17 novels. But she says her most recent book, Lovers at the Chameleon Club Paris 1932, was one of the most difficult stories she's ever written.

“The book really began when I saw a photograph by the great Hungarian French photographer Brassai," Prose said. "It was a picture of two women in a bar. I had seen this photo before-- it’s an iconic photo, but I had never known anything about it.”

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Arts and Culture
7:56 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Nerds abound at Moogfest

It’s day three of Moogfest in Asheville.

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