Leigh Newman is a powerhouse, even when shes shuffling her schedule to try and meet with you.
What links a dragon and pearls? Which esteemed author in Roman times mentions the folk belief that foals are born with a love philter on their foreheads?
Boxes of chocolates and red paper hearts are unavoidable fixtures of Valentines Day. But this year, the Hallmark holiday also inspired a different kind of display: a collective handwringing over the sex and dating lives of 20-something women.
Any account of 20th century authors with larger-than-life biographies has to begin with Vladimir Nabokov. The famed Aurelian and author of Lolita was born into the Russian nobility, inherited vast wealth and estates as a teenager (childless uncle), then lost everything in the Bolshevik revolution (Black sea escape, boat attended by gunfire).
In 1986, after dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier was whisked out of Haiti on a U.S. cargo plane, it was as if the entire country had “burst out talking,” writes Amy Wilentz in Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti. The foreign correspondents had a name for Duvalier: “Fred Voodoo”a pejorative for Haiti’s prototypical straw man.
It is arguably not possible to imagine human stupidity on a grander scale than what Rudolph Herzog has stockpiled in his new book A Short History of Nuclear Folly. In it he details some of the most absurd, disturbing, and woefully misguided ways we dealt with, or failed to deal with in many cases, the most destructive technology in the history of humankind.
Ayana Mathiss debut novel The Twelve Tribes of Hattie has received a lot of warm and well-deserved attention since its release in the winter of 2012.