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In Conversation

1984 2.0: Gary Shteyngart with Alessandro Cassin

Lenny Abramov and Eunice Park are the protagonists of the unlikely romance at the core of Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story. He, a schleppy 39-year-old Russian-American, and she, a beautiful 24-year-old Korean-American, meet in Rome before returning to New York.

SIR FRANK KERMODE AND SHIGEO TOKUDA: Scholar and Porn Star

I want to write about sex and about death. Since writing was invented it is hard to think of a writer who didn’t embrace these two states of the human condition.

The Spring Festival

When I was 20 years old, and a college student, I defaced a portrait of Chairman Mao. For this act, and without a trial, I was declared a political prisoner and sent to a forced labor prison in Taihu Lake, where I served in a labor reform brigade—in this instance, a stone quarry—for seven years.

ART ATTACK

City Council Leader Warren Bradley: “Brouhaha is one of Liverpool’s most colorful, vibrant, and diverse cultural celebrations. To see so many people from so many communities getting involved in activities from dance to costume-making, and from music to carnival parades, really captures what Capital of Culture is all about—creativity, inclusion and participation.

In Conversation

A REAL FUTURE: Sam Green with Astra Taylor

Sam Green, whose 2004 documentary The Weather Underground was nominated for an Academy Award, has a new project. Utopia in Four Movements is a “live documentary.” Green cues images and narrates in person while musicians, led by Dave Cerf, perform the soundtrack.

Art of Theft

In the public eye, art theft is a glamorous crime. It is the stuff of movies and our conception of it is blurred by our cinematographic vision, one in which well-dressed gentlemen stroll into museums and devise complicated plans to steal the world’s treasures.

Wes Is Moore

The book-jacket overview of The Other Wes Moore describes the kind of random-probability event that works so well in non-fiction precisely because it would work so poorly in fiction.

Ellison's Latest

To most, Ralph Ellison is the author of the greatest novel by and about a black American—Invisible Man. To a growing throng of critics, his inability to finish a second novel more than 40 years in the making is the tragedy that defines him.

Bourdain's Grill

Anthony Bourdain made his name as a chef, but today can barely survive a Tuesday double shift at Les Halles, the Manhattan brasserie he helmed while writing his 2000 New York Times bestseller, Kitchen Confidential.

The Imperfect Storm

Sebastian Junger’s newest book, War, is the story of his time spent with an American platoon in Afghanistan. Over the course of a year, Junger made five visits to the Korengal Valley, perhaps the most fiercely contested area in the entire country.

Never Stop Writing

“Transparent things, through which the past shines!” Nabokov writes in his short novel regarding the wellsprings and pitfalls of memory.

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SEPT 2010

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