Marie reviews “Jack 1939”

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I once heard a master of suspense say that the craft was actually quite simple: Take a perfectly normal situation, a trope readers know well, then throw in a wild “what if?” What if your mild-mannered, homebody spouse — so familiar to you — is the midnight stalker in the black balaclava? What if the […]

The Queen’s Lover.

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A society dame with the shrill voice of a street vendor hides her lover upstairs, then steals up for nocturnal raptures. A gay king who can’t stomach his queen sends his most trusted courtier to impregnate her. A palace congested with vermin and lice harbors lamb chops and cakes tucked deep into the upholstery. A […]

The Hay-Adams Author Series in Washington DC

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The Hay-Adams Author Series, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Marie co-hosted a special luncheon appearance and conversation with Joyce Carol Oates at 12 noon at the Hay-Adams, on the corner of 16th St and H, Washington DC. For future tickets for Hay-Adams events, contact: mmiller@hayadams.com    

A Russian at Large

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Vassily Aksyonov. Say it to a Washingtonian and you’re likely to get a blank stare. And yet Aksyonov may well be the most important writer in this century to hold a Washington address. He has been hailed as a Salinger, a Dostoevsky, a Hemingway, a Tolstoy. Aksyonov is one of the giants of 20th-century Russian literature, but after 16 years of Washington tenure, hardly anyone seems to know he is here.

Orhan Pamuk

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One of the trickier subjects in fiction is that of the hapless suitor, besotted with love, locked in a lifelong obsession with a woman he can neither leave nor have. Yet, for all the perils of that soupy scenario, great literature has come of it. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote memorably of just such a man in “The Great Gatsby”; William Styron, in “Sophie’s Choice”; Gabriel García Márquez, in “Love in the Time of Cholera”; and Mario Vargas Llosa, in “The Bad Girl.”

Law of the Jungle

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Maybe it’s because you’re not allowed to wear government-issue camouflage; maybe it’s because — when all is said and done — you’re going to war for the money. But if you’re a private military contractor fighting on foreign soil, you might as well be a cowboy looking for payday, and you won’t convince anyone you’re […]

He’s Not Black

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We call him that — he calls himself that — because we use dated language and logic. After more than 300 years and much difficult history, we hew to the old racist rule: Part-black is all black. Fifty percent equals a hundred. There’s no in-between.

 
 

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