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The Incredible Silent Success Of The Man Who Made Mime

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Marcel Marceau lived a life of surprising extremes. He lost his father in the Holocaust and became a member of the French resistance in his youth. He then turned on a heel and forged himself into the most famous mime the world has ever known before dying penniless. 

Marceau spent his career compulsively performing hundreds of shows around the world every year and eventually abandoned his own family in pursuit of his craft and celebrity, even while creating a stereotype of his art that was so extreme it effectively killed the very craft he was passionate about propagating. Shawn Wen first became interested in Marceau when she read his obituary in 2007. She started looking into his life and was struck by its many dichotomies. Wen profiles Marceau in the new book “A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause” (Sarabande Books/2017). Host Frank Stasio talks to Wen about the life and work of Marcel Marceau.

She will read from the book at Letters Bookshop in Durham at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12. 

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Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.