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Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

When Milwaukee Took the World Series

 A number of remarkable circumstances had to come together to make the 1957 World Series the once-in-a-lifetime, cosmic drama that it was. John Klima gets to the heart of the circumstances in Bushville Wins!
Monday, July 16, 2012

Novelist Mantel returns to reign of Henry VIII, Cromwell

In an afterword to her second novel about Thomas Cromwell, Hilary Mantel writes that there is still uncharted territory in his character. I wonder what it could be. Her portrait of him in Wolf...
Monday, Aug. 15, 2011

Norman Mailer, Jack London among selected authors

Pro boxing kills. Emile Griffith beat Benny “Kid” Paret into his grave. Sugar Ray Robinson punched Jimmy Doyle to death. Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, in a WBA title defense, killed South Korea's Duk Koo Kim with the infliction of a right, subdural hematoma. The human head...
Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

Book Review

Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit From the Goon Squad falls in that range between brilliant and overreaching. The plot and narrative intricacies are as challenging as William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. She has a myriad of well-developed characters, and nearly each one gets a shot at his or her own chapter.
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010

Remarkable characters carry Christie Hodgen’s winning novel

Small wonder Christie Hodgen dedicates her jewel of a novel Elegies for the Brokenhearted (W.W. Norton) “for Michael, who works in pessimism.” Her characters live on a blasted heath where love is illusory, family a horror show, and crushing failure the norm...
Monday, July 26, 2010

The eccentric world of John Waters

Anyone who has ever felt like a misfit, an outsider or a hopeless dweeb needs to adopt John Waters as his or her fairy godfather. Waters put himself on America’s reverse cultural map with Pink Flamingos, in which his star, Divine, snacks on dog feces. He subsequently went on to more conventional fame with the...

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