Vanishing Act

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“How nice it is to disappear, float into a mist.” Musician and poet Lou Reed died on Sunday at the age of seventy-one. In this video, he recites the haunting and timely lyrics to “Vanishing Act.”

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Hubert Selby Jr.

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“Hubert Selby was the underdog and the voice for the...downtrodden, and was marginalized because he spoke up for the little guy,” says Henry Rollins. “But you see the great humanity and the warmth and richness that he brought to things.” The author of nine novels who died in 2004 is celebrated by two of his greatest champions, Rollins and Amiri Baraka, in this video from Open Road Media.

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David Rakoff

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Ira Glass, Calvin Trillin, and others are featured in this trailer for Rakoff’s posthumous book, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, a novel in verse forthcoming in July from Doubleday. One of the best and funniest essayists of our time, Rakoff died of cancer on August 9, 2012. He was forty-seven years old.

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Chinua Achebe

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The acclaimed Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe died earlier today at the age of eighty-two. A statement released on behalf of his family described the author as one of the great literary voices of his time, whose wisdom was an inspiration to all who knew him. The Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan said Professor Achebe would live forever in the hearts and minds of present and future generations. BBC’s Bilkisu discusses his legacy with Stephen Sackur.

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