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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

In 'The Buried Giant,' Exhausted Medieval Travelers 'Can't Go On,' But So 'Go On'

9 hours 3 min ago

Kazuo Ishiguro's latest recalls the plays and novels of Samuel Beckett. It's a masterful blend of fantasy, Arthurian romance, myth, legend and postmodern absurdity — and it's unforgettable.

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It's World Book Day: Time For Reading Lists And Dress-Up

9 hours 30 min ago

Put down that screen: Today's the day to celebrate holding a bound book in your hands. For World Book Day, we bring you a roundup of stories and reading lists.

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Exclusive First Read: Erik Larson's 'Dead Wake'

13 hours 10 min ago

The Devil in the White City author Erik Larson turns his attention to the sinking of the liner Lusitania almost 100 years ago — a turning point that helped bring the United States into World War I.

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Montana's Almost Crowded Now, Thanks To The Colorful Characters Of 'Crow Fair'

16 hours 10 min ago

Thomas McGuane's new story collection gives us a large cast of Big Sky dreamers, schemers and down-and-outs. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says it's a fascinating portrait of the state — with bonus bears.

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A 'Girl In A Band': Kim Gordon On Life After Sonic Youth

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 12:14pm

Gordon co-founded Sonic Youth with Thurston Moore. When their marriage broke up in 2011, so did the band. Gordon talks about rebuilding her life, writing her memoir and her new band Body/Head.

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Black Bodies In White Words, Or: Why We Need Claudia Rankine

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 10:03am

Writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden says that when she's challenged to prove the existence of everyday racism, she directs friends, allies and enemies to Claudia Rankine's powerful Citizen.

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A Vivid Portrait Of Tudor Turmoil In 'Lamentation'

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 8:03am

The sixth volume of C.J. Sansom's Shardlake mysteries is set during the last days of England's King Henry VIII, as a potentially explosive religious manuscript written by his queen has gone missing.

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Ishiguro's 'Buried Giant' Gets Lost In Its Own Fog

Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:03am

Kazuo Ishiguro's latest novel is set in a mythical Arthurian England. Though the premise was promising, the book is too vague to make much of an impact.

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Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:09pm

In his new book, Kevin Carey envisions a future in which online education programs solve two of colleges' biggest problems: costs and admissions.

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'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:09pm

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.

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'The Devil's Detective' Is A Grim Tour Through A Noirish Hell

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 8:03am

Hell is actually a bureaucracy in Simon Kurt Unsworth's debut novel. Reviewer Jason Heller says the tale of a demonic murder investigation starts strong but gets mired in the details of infernal life.

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A Life Examined — And Examined And Examined In 'Ongoingness'

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 5:03am

Writer Sarah Manguso has been a compulsive diarist since childhood; her new memoir documents the ways motherhood has changed her writing. Critic Heller McAlpin says it's full of lovely observations.

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Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 1:36am

The game Charles Darrow sold in the 1930s bore a striking resemblance to a game Lizzie Magie patented in 1904. In The Monopolists, Mary Pilon tells Monopoly's origin story.

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Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:17am

Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. The writer tells Fresh Air his dad believed he would be "extremely famous" for it.

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'Beholder' Has An Eye For The Absurd, And A Smirk Beneath Its Beard

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:03am

Francis Falbo, sad sack hero of Know Your Beholder, hasn't shaved in weeks. His wife's left him, his mom's died, his band's fallen apart. Good thing his author, Adam Rapp, has kept his sense of humor.

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'The Sellout' Is A Scorchingly Funny Satire On 'Post-Racial' America

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 5:03am

Paul Beatty takes no prisoners in this tale of two men trying to save their dying town through provocative moves like reinstituting segregation. Critic Michael Schaub calls it a comic masterpiece.

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For An Author In India's Capital, 'Hope, In Many Ways, Is Fiction'

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 3:19pm

In his novel She Will Build Him a City, Raj Kamal Jha weaves the reality he sees as a journalist in New Delhi — where many gravitate looking for a better future — into a fictional, magical world.

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Robert Christgau Reviews His Own Life

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 3:19pm

One of rock music's most loved, feared and prolific scribes, the 72-year-old Christgau says he knew early on that he liked criticism better than journalism: "I didn't want to get into people's faces."

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This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone'

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 4:04am

Margaret Drabble's The Millstone, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant. Author Tessa Hadley says this 50-year-old novel is a weekend must-read.

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A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 8:03am

Racial tensions between blacks and whites are at the heart of the "Ol' Man River" musical. Asian-American actors say it doesn't make sense to get onboard.

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