Talking to Strangers

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“A stranger is someone who we know in only one dimension.” Malcolm Gladwell talks to the Economist’s Anne McElvoy about his latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know (Little, Brown, 2019), in which he examines how interactions between strangers often go wrong using high-profile cases such as the trial of Amanda Knox and the death of Sandra Bland as examples.

A Million Little Pieces

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A Million Little Pieces (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2003), the controversial and fabricated best-selling memoir by James Frey, has been adapted into a feature film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Odessa Young, the film focuses on the life of a young writer seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

Sara Borjas at Writers for Migrant Justice

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“Let’s be resentful about how / we didn’t have a quinceañera and forget / that we never wanted one...” In this Poetry.LA video, Sara Borjas reads “Pocha Café” from her debut collection, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff (Noemi Press, 2019), at the Writers for Migrant Justice reading in Los Angeles.

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Malina

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Malina, the 1971 novel by Austrian author Ingeborg Bachmann, was rereleased by New Directions in May with a revised translation from the German by Philip Boehm and an introduction by Rachel Kushner. A screening of the 1991 film adaptation of the novel, directed by Werner Schroeter, was recently presented in celebration of the book.

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Laura Lippman on Visual Outlines

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“There comes a point where you’ve gotten so deep into the novel that the words don’t really make sense anymore,” says Laura Lippman as she describes the need for a tactile writing process involving visual and colorful outlines. Lippman’s latest novel, Lady in the Lake (William Morrow, 2019), is set in 1960s Baltimore and follows a housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman.

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Motherless Brooklyn

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Motherless Brooklyn, a film adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel of the same name, stars Edward Norton as Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome who attempts to solve the murder of his friend and mentor. Directed by Norton, the film’s cast includes Alec Baldwin, Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Bruce Willis.

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Maxine Hong Kingston and Celeste Ng

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“Being born a writer, I had to tell, I had to blab these stories out.” Maxine Hong Kingston speaks about her award-winning book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, (Knopf, 1976) and the power of imagination with Jeffrey Brown and Celeste Ng, who chose the book for PBS NewsHour’s Now Read This book club.

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