Petra Mayer (she/her) is an editor (and the resident nerd) at NPR Books, focusing on fiction, and particularly genre fiction. She brings to the job passion, speed-reading skills, and a truly impressive collection of Doctor Whodoodads. You can also hear her on the air and on the occasional episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Previously, she was an associate producer and director for All Things Considered on the weekends. She handled all of the show's books coverage, and she was also the person to ask if you wanted to know how much snow falls outside NPR's Washington headquarters on a Saturday, how to belly dance, or what pro wrestling looks like up close and personal.
Mayer originally came to NPR as an engineering assistant in 1994, while still attending Amherst College. After three years spending summers honing her soldering skills in the maintenance shop, she made the jump to Boston's WBUR as a newswriter in 1997. Mayer returned to NPR in 2000 after a roundabout journey that included a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a two-year stint as an audio archivist and producer at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She still knows how to solder.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to U.S. poet Louise Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
Comedian, author and filmmaker Terry Jones has died at the age of 77 after suffering from dementia. As part of Monty Python, he was known for his drag characters and for co-writing the "Spam" sketch.
In laid-back Key West, most people get around by bike. Which meant that NPR's Petra Mayer had to — finally — learn to ride one for her vacation this year. And with the help of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, she did it.