The disgraced former top Chinese official is on trial for bribery and embezzlement, but he’s not going quietly. Is that all part of the show? Wenguang Huang and Pin Ho, authors of 'A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel,' report.
Beijing’s master choreographers, known for staging the spectacular and seamless Olympics in 2008, did not disappoint with the show trial of disgraced senior official Bo Xilai, who faces charges of bribery and embezzlement. The unexpected sparks on the first day the trial, part of which was broadcast via Twitter, came as a surprise to many in the public, who have become used to closed-door trials in China. Analysts wonder if Bo’s vigorous defense indicates that authorities are losing control in a supposedly controlled environment.
Who’s the greatest college football coach ever? Some say it was Eddie Robinson, the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. Samuel Freedman, author of the new book ‘Breaking the Line,’ on how Robinson overcame racism to build Grambling State into a powerhouse.
One day in June 1941, a third-hand message reached a young man named Eddie Robinson at the feed mill where he worked in Baton Rouge, La. A tiny black college 200 miles upstate, the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute, was looking to hire a football coach. The offer had made its way from Robinson’s wife Doris, who was attending a training course there for teachers, to her mother in Baton Rouge, one of the few black people in town with a home telephone, and finally on foot to the mill.
One of America’s great writers of the West, Rick Bass, talks to Jane Ciabattari about his new novel, his experience in the oil fields, and the glory days of George Plimpton.
I first met Rick Bass in the late 1980s at George Plimpton’s townhouse, at a party jammed with literary folks eager to meet the young author of The Watch. Bass’s first story collection had launched an important fiction writer, already anthologized in New Stories from the South 1988 and the 1989 O.Henry prize anthology and honored with a PEN/Nelson Algren award. Bass ended up being one of the authors Plimpton touted when talking up The Paris Review (“It’s where the early work of Philip Roth appeared, and Rick Moody, Rick Bass, T.
And behind the 2001 anthrax attacks.
William T. Vollmann, who won the 2005 National Book Award for his novel Europe Central, revealed in an new essay in Harper’s that he was detained by the FBI on suspicion of being the Unabomber and, later on, responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks. An anonymous tip to the agency cited Vollmann’s ownership of “many guns and a flamethrower" and Unabomber-esque “pride of authorship.” Though the author said he “would love to own a flamethrower," he was troubled by the unexplained invasion of his privacy, saying in an interview on NPR that “were I to be shown in accurate detail why it was necessary for me to be kept under surveillance, possibly for the rest of my life, I might be able to accept these invasions of my privacy for the collective good."
New research shows that our diet has a significant impact on our neurological health. But why aren’t doctors acting to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, rather than only treating them? David Perlmutter, author of the new book 'Grain Brain,' on the need to change our approach to health care.
Last week, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed how levels of blood sugar directly relate to risk for dementia. The investigation followed over 2,000 elderly individuals for an average of 6.8 years and found that even small elevations of blood sugar translated into a significant increased risk for dementia, even among persons without diabetes.The implications of this report are profound. While the correlation of dementia risk, and specifically Alzheimer’s disease, with diabetes has been established, this new finding throws a much wider net in terms of defining an at risk population for an incurable brain disorder.
Should you monitor your child’s Facebook? Clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of the new book ‘The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,’ answers some questions about parenting in the social-media age.
What is your big idea?When children and families see me privately, often in a crisis or when a child’s situation has become more than they can manage or ignore any longer, parents’ responses are always a significant factor. What we say and how we say it matters to our children.In therapy, at parent talks, and in my travels and interviews sharing The Big Disconnect, one of the most common questions parents ask is: Should I monitor my child’s Facebook? The more important question is not whether you should have access but what you do with it: How do you react to what you see or read there?I spent three years interviewing more than one thousand children ages four to eighteen for the book to get a sense of what makes a parent approachable, trustworthy.
Stanford professor Estelle Freedman's new book examines how sex crimes oppressed women and blacks in the age of suffrage and segregation.
In 1793, 17-year-old Lanah Sawyer was pushed into a brothel and raped by a seemingly respectable man who had taken her for a walk in the streets of New York. In court, her assailant’s attorney said she had basically consented to sex when she agreed to go walking with him, and warned the jury against placing “the life of a citizen in the hands of a woman.” The man was acquitted. Both parties in this case were white, and the strangeness of the verdict has something to do with a 1765 index to the laws of Maryland: “RAPE: See Negroes.
Bloomsbury signed up Samantha Shannon’s ‘The Bone Season’ as a seven-book series—not even ‘Harry Potter’ had a vote of confidence like that. But is it any good? Leila Sales reviews the dystopian YA novel.
From Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials to Connie Willis’s Alex Award-winning To Say Nothing of the Dog, Oxford has long inspired writers’ imagination. There’s something about the university’s winding streets and hallowed halls that makes it seem as though magic could happen here.So it’s no wonder that Samantha Shannon, herself an Oxford alumna, created a fantasy world set at her alma mater. In her debut, The Bone Season, the year is 2059, and Oxford has been established as Sheol I, a prison/training ground for clairvoyants (a.
The Dominican-American writer on the genesis of Oscar Wao, and why he wrote a book listening to the ‘Conan the Barbarian’ soundtrack on a loop. His latest short-story collection, ‘This Is How You Lose Her,’ which was a National Book Award finalist, is out in paperback next month.
Where did you grow up?I grew up first in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, until I was 6 years old. Then from 6 to 18 in Parlin, New Jersey.Where do you live and why?I live half the time in Harlem, New York, and half in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I live in New York because it’s become my home and in Massachusetts because I have a job at MIT. In both places I have a strong Dominican community, and that’s important to me—it keeps me more or less whole.
The great Catholic writer J.F. Powers chose artistic perfection as a way of life, and he and his family suffered accordingly, as a new book edited by his daughter shows. D.G. Myers on a restless and undersung genius.
Perhaps no piece of literary advice has been a worse influence on so many poor unsuspecting writers as W. B. Yeats’s “Choice”:The intellect of man is forced to choose Perfection of the life, or of the work, And if it take the second must refuse A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark. When all that story’s finished, what’s the news? In luck or out the toil has left its mark: That old perplexity an empty purse, Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.
Mysterious video teasing ... something.
An unidentified man on an unidentified beach sees an unidentified light. Then there are sewn-together lips. So goes the minute of video posted to the YouTube channel of J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions. The video, called simply “Stranger,” is a bit of viral advertising for one of Abrams’s many upcoming projects. What project that may be remains a mystery, but many are speculating the video is a teaser for his upcoming novel. S. A Novel, to be released in October, is the first book by the filmmaker, written in collaboration with author Doug Dorst. In typical Abrams fashion, the cover has yet to be revealed and the plot remains a secret. However, “Stranger” may be a first look at it. Or maybe it’s an ad for Star Wars.
The author, who balanced grit and humor in some of the best crime fiction ever written, is dead at 87. Malcolm Jones interviewed him at the height of his success.
Elmore Leonard was cool. He was cool on the page, and the one time I ever met him, he was cool in person. Like all truly cool people, he didn’t seem to work at it. It just came naturally.Before he died this morning at 87, he had written more than three dozen novels and probably hundreds of short stories. A good many of those novels and stories were made into films that ranged from Westerns (Hombre, 3:10 to Yuma) to crime features (Get Shorty, Out of Sight).
Novelist Elmore Leonard has passed away at 87. His pulpy brand of crime fiction will live on not only in paperback form, but also on the silver screen. Here are the finest movie—and TV—adaptations of Leonard’s celebrated literary canon.
Elmore Leonard, the acclaimed author of 45 novels, 9 screenplays, and 3 short stories, passed away this morning in the Detroit area from complications following a stroke. He was 87 years old.The writer suffered a stroke back on July 29, and today his researcher wrote on Leonard’s official Facebook page, “The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read. Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family.
Suffered from complications of a stroke.
Elmore Leonard, the bestselling crime novelist and author of Hollywood screenplays such as Get Shorty, Be Cool, and Out of Sight, died Tuesday. He was 87. Leonard died from complications of a stroke he suffered three weeks ago, his researcher wrote on Leonard’s Facebook page. Leonard was at home in Detroit, surrounded by his family at the time of his death. While recovering from his stroke, Leonard had said he would continue to work on his latest novel, his 46th.
Adam Gollner, author of “The Book of Immortality,” profiles five billionaires pouring money into longevity research.
Of all the things money can’t buy—love, happiness, time machines—immortality is one we sure pay a lot for. According to the market-research firm Global Industry Analysts, the anti-aging industry generates more than $80 billion per year. All this despite the fact that there are no proven ways of extending human lifespan.In the past decade, longevity research has become a legitimate academic pursuit for molecular biologists. Scientists are trying to untangle the basic mechanisms that underlie aging, and the idea is catching on that growing old isn’t just a fact of life but rather a disease that can be cured through medical interventions.
Ivan Doig, the great chronicler of the Montana landscape whose new novel is ‘Sweet Thunder,’ picks his favorite books on the American West.
The American West as Living Space By Wallace StegnerOnce when I asked a prominent historian what he thought of the many writings by Stegner, novelist and English-department star at Harvard and Stanford, about the background and the West, he didn’t hesitate: “He hits the nail on the head every time, damn him.” This trio of essays, a mere 86 pages of text delivered as a set of university lectures, is a marvel—composed nearly 30 years before fracking, pine-beetle kill of forests from Colorado to British Columbia, and unprecedented fire seasons with suburbs on the front line—of exploring his great theme of the country West of the rain-halting 98th meridian, the clash of its ecologies, and its cultures.
An accomplished author and lawyer, Melody Moezzi has also struggled for years with a bipolar diagnosis. Here, she recounts her first time in a psych ward and the community of women she found there.
United by helplessness, fear, fragility and common enemies, the Cottage E residents of November 2005 weren’t much different from those in myriad other residential psychiatric facilities across the country. We were, however, quite extraordinary as compared to our “normal” counterparts on the outside. There was Compass (I never learned her real name), a middleaged schizophrenic teacher who’d stabbed herself in the jugular with, you guessed it, a compass.
No details yet on the cause.
Sorry, Barnes & Noble: Amazon’s back. Amazon.com shut down at approximately 2:57 p.m. Monday, staying unresponsive for about 30 minutes. The Twitterverse instantly erupted to confirm the shutdown, with one user aptly noting that it’s “not as bad as Google being down.” Details concerning the cause of the blackout have yet to be released. Lucky for Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, the website of his his newly adopted newspaper, The Washington Post, is still alive and well.
The Nigerian-born Chinelo Okparanta’s debut collection introduces the world to a defender of young women who are oppressed and silenced.
Scheming mothers and selfish husbands, fathers, and brothers domineer over the sensitive women of Happiness, Like Water, Nigerian-born Chinelo Okparanta’s debut short-story collection. A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Okparanta was named one of Granta’s six New Voices in 2012. It’s a fitting honor: the unsparing stories of Happiness, Like Water show Okparanta to be a champion of young, frequently misunderstood female protagonists whose voices are too often stifled.
This Week’s Hot Reads: ‘Claire of the Sea Light,’ ‘Brief Encounters With the Enemy,’ ‘Lincoln’s Citadel’
From the Haitian master Edwidge Danticat’s new novel to the social history of the U.S. capital during the Civil War.
Claire of the Sea Light By Edwidge Danticat A child disappears from a Haitian village, showcasing how the island connects with grief in startling ways. Danticat’s latest novel is about a child who disappears from a Haitian village; as a character, she only flickers among the sadder stories of her father and the town’s residents, all of whom are distraught by her absence. Like Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, a television series similarly about a missing child and the traumas of those that know her, Claire of the Sea Light is a mood piece about a place (Haiti) and a feeling (grief) and how the two connect in startling ways.
CHILL YOUR BONES
CBS Buys ‘Scary Stories’ Film
1980s children’s horror books.More
Oldest U.S. Book Sells for $14.1M
Printed in 1640.More
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STRIKE A POSE
Selfie Is Word of the Year
Beat out twerk, bitcoin.More
Author Barbara Park Dies
Wrote the “Junie B. Jones” series.More
Writer Doris Lessing Dies
Nobel Laureate was 94.More