A writer so influential and popular that Hemingway adopted his name finally gets the collection he deserves. Allen Barra on the literary legacy of one of America’s finest sportswriters and short story craftsman.
ESPN has a niche website for fine sports writing named Grantland after the famous sportswriter of the 1920s, Grantland Rice. With all due respect, they named it for the wrong person. The more appropriate name would have been “Ring.”Rice is mostly remembered today for writing perhaps the most famous lead in sports history after the 1924 Notre Dame-Army game, “Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again.” Modern sportswriters who quote those lines in tones of ashen awe are missing the joke: the lines weren’t remembered by Rice’s contemporaries because they thought them memorable but because many of thought the prose stilted and funny.
Perhaps the most important battle of World War II was a giant clash of tanks between Germans and Russians, but today it is largely overlooked in the West. Andrew Roberts on a new book that makes a convincing case for how it changed the war.
The statistics relating to the Battle of Kursk—the great showdown between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia in July 1943—still have the power to astonish, even 70 years later. Almost 3 million men, a full eight thousand tanks, and nearly five thousand warplanes broke all records for both the costliest single day of aerial warfare and the largest tank battle in the history of mankind. If the Germans had broken through the Russian lines in the Kursk salient and scored a decisive victory over the Red Army, it is perfectly possible that they might have turned back the tide of war in their direction, despite their defeats at Moscow and Stalingrad in 1941 and 1942, respectively.
From a harrowing story of captivity in Somalia to the decline of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.
12 Minutes of Freedom in 460 Days of CaptivityAmanda Linhout, The New York Times MagazineHer kidnapping in Somalia marked the moment when one life ended and another began.The Gangster in the HuddlePaul Solataroff with Ron Borges, Rolling StoneAaron Hernandez might have been one of the NFL’s all-time greats, but he could never escape drugs, guns and a life of violence.Russia’s Lonely LeaderEvgenia Pismennaya and Irina Reznick, BloombergAfter 14 years as president and premier, Vladimir Putin ended his 30-year marriage in June and his judo mentor died this month.
Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark Is Rising’ series was an important link between ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Harry Potter.’ John Garth talks to the fantasy writer about her new novel.
If Susan Cooper’s name is new to U.S. readers, it’s only because her previous novels have been set in Britain—notably The Dark Is Rising Sequence, a towering landmark on the road from J.R.R. Tolkien to J.K. Rowling. In fact, she has lived most of her life in New England, where she moved in 1963 to marry an M.I.T. professor.“My imagination is rooted in Britain, and always will be,” says 78-year-old Cooper. “It’s like the fact that I’ve lived in the U.
In 2009, Asia Bibi—a Pakistani Christian and mother of five—drew a cup of water from a Muslim's well and incurred the wrath of villagers who accused her of slandering Islam. Convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy law, which is often used to punish Muslims as well as religious minorities, Asia Bibi has languished in jail as she tries to overturn her death sentence. Now, in a new book, "Blasphemy," French journalist Anne-Isabelle Tollet has helped Asia Bibi bring her story to the world, even as she remains trapped in a squalid jail cell. Here, Asia Bibi recounts the day her life changed forever.
I’ve almost filled my bowl when I hear what sounds like a rioting crowd. I step back from my bush, wondering what’s going on, and in the distance I see dozens of men and women striding along towards our field, waving their arms in the air. I shrug my shoulders at Josephine. She doesn’t seem to know what it’s all about either. Then I catch the cruel eyes of Musarat. Her expression is self-righteous and full of scorn. I shiver as I suddenly realize that she hasn’t let it go at all.
Paul Muldoon on the moral—and literary—authority of Seamus Heaney, who died Friday at the age of 74.
I met Seamus Heaney in 1968. I was 16 years old and he was 28, already a famous poet on the strength of Death of a Naturalist, his first groundbreaking collection. I say “groundbreaking” because, though we may trace its DNA back though Patrick Kavanagh to William Wordsworth, there was something quite new about the best of those poems. The engagement with the things of the world was so unadorned as to invite comparison with John Clare—yes, except a clearer John Clare.
One great Irish writer bids another goodbye: novelist Colum McCann says poet Seamus Heaney, who died Friday at the age of 74, was more important to the idea of Ireland than anyone else.
There are very few people in the world that can only be known by one name: Seamus brought us together in so many ways. It is difficult to know what to think, except to try to imagine what he might want us to think: that even in its passing, there is great meaning in the world. He brought a genuine joy to every small corner. His poetry, and indeed his life, has been a expedition into the deep and proper value of our own lives.He caught his country in flight, and he was able to bring it back down to earth in the most necessary way.
The Irish poet and Nobel laureate, who died Friday at the age of 74, was often called accessible, as if it were a handicap. But the fact that he sold millions of books and was quoted by Bill Clinton means he was a great poet who reached our hearts.
The Irish writer Seamus Heaney, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995, was perhaps the most celebrated poet of his generation, in an era when a general reader might have a hard time naming a living poet at all. So well known was he that he was nicknamed Famous Seamus, with his easily recognizable mane of unruly white hair and jolly cheeks that seem to overwhelm his pencil-thin eyes and lips.Heaney died in a hospital in Dublin on Friday after a short illness.
Nobel laureate was 74.
Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney died at a hospital in Dublin after a short illness. He was 74. The eldest of nine children, Heaney was born on a farm in Northern Ireland and went on to become the most celebrated poet since W. B. Yeats, penning 13 poetry collections and two plays, as well as books on the writing process. He won the Nobel Prize in 1995 and later the prestigious Forward poetry prize, among other awards. Tributes quickly began pouring in through news and social-media sites, many quoting a line from "Digging," the much-loved first poem of his first collection, Death of a Naturalist: “Between my finger and my thumb, The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.”
A new novel about a famous 19th-century historical abortionist sets the record straight, with a twist.
An orphan, an apprentice, a mother, and an abortionist: In Kate Manning’s new work of historical fiction, My Notorious Life, these characters are one and the same Ann “Axie” Jones, née Muldoon, alias Madame de Beausacq. There’s kidnapping, adultery, train-roof romance—and even a kernel of truth: the character’s inspiration comes from Ann Trow Lohman, alias Madame Restell, a 19th-century abortionist. While the fictional Ann’s biography departs greatly from that of her real-life counterpart, here’s what they do have in common: a rags-to-riches, a massive fortune built on contraceptive sales, and a very unsavory reputation.
Writer Jason Berry marks the eighth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by looking at the triumphs and failures of New Orleans today, as chronicled in a handful of recent books on the Big Easy.
Eight years after the Katrina floodwaters soaked 80 percent of New Orleans, the holy city where jazz began has risen from the muck, a blue-town floorshow in the deep-red South.New Orleans has 100,000 fewer people and 500 more restaurants than on August 29, 2005. The city that sank on global television has a booming film industry, thriving music economy, Mardi Gras, Bowl games, and festivals that have spawned a grassroots entertainment mecca.But the living city carries the dead city, places where nearly 1,000 people perished, and many thousands more were too broke or broken to make it back.
In the wake of 9/11, the NYPD launched a huge spying program. In the new book ‘Enemies Within,’ Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman detail the radical counterterrorism plan that destroyed the city’s privacy.
While peering out onto the burning rubble at Ground Zero in the days after September 11, Ray Kelly (then an executive at Bear Stearns) had an epiphany: “The NYPD needs its own intelligence unit.” If the federal government continued to hold a monopoly on nationwide intelligence information, he theorized, the NYPD would simply be “waiting to respond to the next [terrorist] attack” and “helpless to prevent it.” Sworn in as New York City police commissioner just four months later in January 2002, the former Wall Streeter made it his mission to ensure that the NYPD would have the power—and intelligence—to stop something like this from happening on NYC soil again.
At age 15, Soraya was kidnapped to become Libyan dictator Gaddafi’s sex slave. This is her story, in an exclusive excerpt from a new book by French reporter Annick Cojean that details the brutal horrors of Gaddafi’s sex obsession with teens.
At age 15, Soraya was spotted by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi when he visited her school. She was quickly abducted from her home in Sirte by his bodyguards and made his sex slave, joining many other girls who had been taken over the years. In this excerpt from Gaddafi’s Harem, she first encounters the colonel and learns about her new life.We drove for quite a while. I had no idea of the time but it seemed interminable. We’d left Sirte and were tearing through the desert.
Karima Bennoune conducted hundreds of interviews with Muslims from 26 countries to piece together the untold stories of nonviolent revolutionaries who are fighting against extremists and fundamentalists.
Although we are learning that child refugees from the Syrian civil war now number more than a million, and that Western allies are considering an intervention within days, we have been more possessed by Batfleck and Miley Cyrus. Our sensitivities have progressively dulled during nearly three years of the Arab Spring. We know what to expect from that part of the world: bombs will be detonated, governments will remain unstable, and people will be massacred.
Why did ‘The Princess Bride’ captivate America in the year of Watergate? Nathaniel Rich revisits William Goldman’s classic and finds it grippingly readable—and bluntly honest.
In 1973—“the year of infamy”—the last American bombs were dropped on Cambodia, OPEC issued an oil embargo, the stock market crashed, and Woodward and Bernstein revealed that there was more to the Watergate break-in than had first appeared. Even by American standards, it was a moment of extravagant uneasiness, disillusionment, and mania. In the midst of this maelstrom came a strange and determinedly anachronistic new novel by William Goldman. It told the fairy-tale story of a Princess named Buttercup, her abduction by an evil prince and a six-fingered count, and her rescue by a soft-hearted giant, a vengeance-mad swordsman, and a debonair masked hero named Westley.
The Polish-born writer, whose new novel is ‘Memories of a Marriage,’ talks about WWII and what he thought of the movie version of ‘About Schmidt.’
Where did you grow up?I was born in 1933 in a town called Stryj in the eastern part of Poland which is now Ukraine, and lived there until I was 7 and a half. During the rest of WWII, and until the fall of 1946, I lived successively in Lwów, Warsaw, and Kraków, with a spell between Warsaw and Kraków in the Mazowsze, a remote Polish countryside. My first novel, Wartime Lies, draws on memories of my life in that period. In March 1947, I arrived with my parents in New York City and did the rest of my “growing up” there.
So how exactly did Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign go from winning in Ames to crashing in the Iowa caucuses—and embroiled in ethics investigations? Ex-aide Peter Waldron says he has the answers.
Why is the 2012 presidential campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) under investigation? In a new e-book, Bachmannistan, Peter Waldron, a longtime evangelical activist who worked on Bachmann’s campaign as a national field coordinator, details the campaign’s implosion and how he says it broke trust with those across the country who volunteered for, donated to, and supported the four-term congresswoman.In a phone interview with The Daily Beast, Waldron said Bachmann sought to quash the publication of his book, which was published online Monday.
Before Gillian Flynn and Tana French, a whole generation of women writers were pioneering psychological thrillers every bit as good as the crime fiction of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. Sarah Weinman, editor of the new anthology ‘Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives,’ meets Dorothy Salisbury Davis, the last survivor among the trailblazers of domestic suspense.
On a gloriously sunny July afternoon, I took the bus up from the George Washington Bridge Station to Palisades, New York, to meet one of the mystery genre’s living legends. The point of my visit with Dorothy Salisbury Davis, at an assisted-living facility she’s called home the past three years, was to give her a finished copy, just off the press, of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, the anthology of domestic suspense fiction I edited for Penguin.
That was the feeling of the marchers gathered on August 28, 1963 as they heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak. Former New York Times reporter Hedrick Smith recalls covering that famous, joyful day.
Fifty years ago today, August 28, 1963, I watched the first advance elements of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom arriving in the nation’s capital. As the sky dawned pink-then-orange behind the stiletto spire of the Washington Monument, an army of overnight buses rolled into the city from points north—New York, New England, the Middle West. They parked single file along the Mall, delivering a small army of people.The early arrivers bubbled with quiet excitement.
CHILL YOUR BONES
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STRIKE A POSE
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Author Barbara Park Dies
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