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Mario Vargas Llosa Returns to the Dictator Novel

There were two powers running Guatemala after the Second World War, and only one of them was the government. The other, an American corporation called the United Fruit Company, was known inside the country as the Octopus, because it had tentacles everywhere. It was Guatemala’s largest employer and landowner, and it controlled the country’s only Atlantic port, almost every mile ...

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Ann Patchett’s essays unfold her warmth, generosity, and humor

Ann Patchett’s essays unfold her warmth, generosity, and humor

“These Precious Days,” Ann Patchett’s generous new collection of essays, nearly all of which were previously published in periodicals, offers a burst of warm positivity. Like her first collection, “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage” (2013), this appealing mix of the personal and the professional highlights the centrality of books, family, friendship, and compassion in Patchett’s life. At ...

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Book News: NPR books editor Petra Mayer has died

NPR books editor Petra Mayer has died Nov 15 2021 Petra Mayer, a beloved books editor on NPR’s Culture desk, died on Saturday. She died suddenly at Holy Cross Hospital in Maryland of what’s believed to be a pulmonary embolism, said Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news, in an email to staff. “Petra was NPR through and through,” ...

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“Eternals,” Reviewed: Chloé Zhao’s Lifeless Marvel Movie

The word “auteur” is used to refer both to independent filmmakers displaying their originality under conditions of artistic freedom and to filmmakers who assert their individuality within the confines of the studio system. Chloé Zhao, the director of “Nomadland,” has always been the first kind of auteur, and with “Eternals,” which opens today, she takes her place among the second. ...

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Book News: Jerry Pinkney, the beloved, award-winning children’s book illustrator, has died at 81

Jerry Pinkney, the beloved, award-winning children’s book illustrator, has died at 81 Oct 21 2021 The celebrated illustrator Jerry Pinkney has died. According to his long-time agent Sheldon Fogelman, Pinkney suffered a heart attack today; he was 81. Pinkney was a legend in the world of children’s publishing. He won a Caldecott medal for his 2010 picture book The Lion ...

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Colin Powell’s Fateful Moment

It’s a terrible paradox in the life of Colin Powell, who died Monday, that the most important moment of his celebrated career came not when he led troops under fire in Vietnam, or when he orchestrated the successful expulsion of Iraqi invaders from Kuwait in 1991, or when he became the nation’s first African American national-security adviser and Secretary of ...

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