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Minor Figures Tend to Play Outsize Roles

Friday, October 9, 2015

An opera house would seem to be the very last place an aspiring young writer should frequent for inspiration. Opera has always gone to fiction for ideas, seldom the other way around. And yet when I was younger, living in New York, I went every chance I got, finding in the full-throated passion, the no-holds-barred melodrama, a welcome catharsis from the tighter, leaner emotions I was spending my mornings trying …

Henning Mankell L eaves an Enduring Legacy With Wallander

Friday, October 9, 2015

It’s not easy for an author to catch on across borders, but Swedish crime novelist Henning Mankell did it, all on the strength of a single character. Although Mankell wrote novels and plays about many things, he was best known for his beloved, difficult detective Kurt Wallander. His 10 Wallander books were adapted …

How to Give Your Bookshelf Style

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Bookshelves are one of the most underutilized pieces of furniture in a home. Stuffed with scattered books, papers and DVDs, they can be a complete eyesore. But styled in a chic way with just the right number of accessories, they can make a big statement. When it came to decorating the living room in my 1930s-era Tudor house, the bookshelves were the last …

Book Notes: Valley Native Wesley McNair Wins Award for New Book

Friday, May 8, 2015

After years of boiling down memories of his Upper Valley childhood hardships into poetry, Wesley McNair this spring harvested acclaim for exploring through verse what his mother endured growing up in the depths of the Great Depression. In …

‘It Never Goes Away’: Vermont Woman’s Novel Traces Grief After Sons’ Deaths

Friday, May 8, 2015

There’s a standard litany of questions you can expect to hear when you’re introduced to people. What do you do? Where do you live? And, if you happen to be middle-aged and married, or living with a longtime …

Book Review: Native Americans Won a Battle, but Lost the War

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Victory With No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway; Oxford University Press (224 pages, $24.95) The Victory With No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway is the true story of a …

Book Review: David Shipler Expounds on the Power of Debate and Dissent

Friday, May 8, 2015

Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword by David K. Shipler; Knopf (352 pages, $28.95) David K. Shipler calls himself a free-speech absolutist in his seventh book, Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword. “Lines are murky,” writes Shipler, a former Dartmouth College trustee, “and it’s always risky …

Russia Removes ‘Maus’ From Stores

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Russian law banning Nazi propaganda has succeeded in removing one of the greatest anti-Nazi chronicles from its bookshelves. Maus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, has been withdrawn from Moscow bookstores. In the book, which tells Spiegelman’s family’s story, Jews are portrayed as mice and Germans …

Stephen King Wins Edgar Award

Saturday, May 2, 2015

New York — Stephen King is a master of mystery as well as horror. King and Gillian Flynn were among the winners Wednesday night at the 69th annual Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. King’s crime story Mr. Mercedes received the best novel prize at …

For the Love of Books, Go to Tumblr

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To express her love to Judy Blume, a 1970s tween would have had to write a letter. These days, a young reader enchanted by YA books — by, say, author Rainbow Rowell — can make nail art that matches a book cover and share it on Tumblr, where …

The Wallenberg Mystery: Dartmouth Author’s Novel Looks at the Diplomat’s Life

Friday, April 24, 2015

W hen the writer Alan Lelchuk lived in Budapest from 1999 to 2000, teaching American literature at a local university, his errands routinely took him past a statue of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of …

Morrison’s Writing Still To the Point

Friday, April 24, 2015

In 1970 Toni Morrison detonated a beautiful atom bomb of a debut novel called The Bluest Eye. In telling the story of Pecola Breedlove, a little Ohio girl taught to hate her black skin, Morrison laid bare society’s poisonous obsession with racial appearance. She also introduced a theme …

Lessons From Space to Earth

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Col. Chris Hadfield has been in the space business for his entire career. A former top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, the astronaut has been on three missions, logging almost 4,000 hours in space. …