Arts

7:47am

Tue July 15, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Pakistani Civil Servant Who Published Debut Novel At 79 Dies

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:40 am

Novelist Jamil Ahmad. His wife, Helga, is in the background.
Jim Wildman NPR

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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7:03am

Tue July 15, 2014
Book Reviews

En Garde! 'Traitor's Blade' Delivers Adventure At Swordpoint

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:19 pm

Jo Fletcher Books

When fantasy has gotten so grim and dark that the term "grimdark" has been coined to describe certain authors, things may have gone slightly overboard. With Traitor's Blade, the first installment of a new fantasy series called the Greatcoat Quartet, author Sebastien de Castell seems to be taking a stand against the grimdark wave. Unlike the bleak, bloody work of George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie, Traitor's Blade is a swashbuckling romp packed with charisma, camaraderie, quick wit and even quicker swordplay.

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3:29am

Tue July 15, 2014
Book Your Trip

Travel Disasters Bring Out The Best, The Worst ... And The Cannibalism

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 2:41 pm

"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff.
iStockphoto

Author Sarah Lotz is terrified of flying, so naturally every time she gets on a plane she imagines the worst. "I imagine how it's going to smell if things start burning," she says. "I imagine the thunk of luggage falling out of the compartments at the top. ... I imagine it all in absolutely horrible detail."

All those horrible imaginings came in handy when Lotz was writing her new book The Three — the story of three children who are the only survivors of four separate plane crashes that occur in different parts of the world on the same day.

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3:28am

Tue July 15, 2014
Code Switch

Was The Green Turtle The First Asian-American Superhero?

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:39 am

The Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, revives the comic book hero the Green Turtle.
Sonny Liew Courtesy of First Second Books

For the first time since the 1940s, the Green Turtle is returning to comic bookshelves. The long-forgotten character has been resurrected in The Shadow Hero, a new graphic novel about what many comic fans consider the first Asian-American superhero.

"He's like a classic, American World War II hero," says cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, who collaborated with illustrator Sonny Liew on The Shadow Hero.

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6:24pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Remembrances

Writer Nadine Gordimer Captured Apartheid's Contradictions

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:32 pm

In addition to her 15 novels, Nadine Gordimer authored several volumes of short stories and nonfiction.
Radu Sigheti Reuters /Landov

South African writer Nadine Gordimer, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1991, died Sunday at the age of 90. Gordimer merged the personal and political to create a compelling portrait of the injustice of life under apartheid.

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4:18pm

Mon July 14, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Teriyaki Tofu Burger From Gabutto Burger

"Slightly healthy."
NPR

Here at Sandwich Monday, we love exploring the many varied cuisines of the world. So when we found ourselves in the food court of the Mitsuwa Marketplace Japanese supermarket just outside Chicago, we went directly for the burger stand, Gabutto Burger.

We ordered the Tofu Burger, marinated in teriyaki and deep-fried, which the menu describes as "slightly healthy."

Eva: "Slightly healthy" is how someone might lie about their figure on match.com.

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3:34pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Book Reviews

'Mockingbird Next Door': A Genteel Peek Into Harper Lee's Quiet Life

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:53 pm

It's probably the most oft-cited literary fantasy of all time: I'm talking about that passage in Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield says: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

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3:34pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Author Interviews

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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2:12pm

Mon July 14, 2014
The Two-Way

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames
Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.

The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

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1:20pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Goats and Soda

Nadine Gordimer: Wise Words About Bettering A Troubled World

Nadine Gordimer visited Alexandra, the black township near Johannesburg, in 1986 to pay homage to victims of political unrest.
Reuters /Landov

The great novelist Nadine Gordimer, whose stories told of the immorality of apartheid in her beloved South Africa, has died at age 90.

Gordimer was not only a writer. She was an activist in the fight to end apartheid. In her writings and speeches, the Nobel Prize winner offered words of enlightenment for anyone sharing her commitment to bring a better life to those suffering from prejudice, poor health, poverty, and other ills.

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