The Plot Against America

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The Plot Against America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004), Philip Roth’s alternative history novel in which Charles Lindbergh wins the 1940 presidential election and fascist anti-Semitism is on the rise, has been adapted into an HBO television miniseries. The series, directed by Minkie Spiro and adapted by David Simon, stars Ben Cole, Winona Ryder, Morgan Spector, John Turturro, and Zoe Kazan.

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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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Samuel Menashe

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Samuel Menashe, the first poet to receive the Neglected Masters Award from the Poetry Foundation in 2004, died Monday night in his sleep on August 22, 2011. He was eighty-five years old. In this clip, from the WNYC series “Know Your Neighbor,” Menashe is seen in his New York City apartment, where he lived for fifty years.

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Alaa Al Aswany

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“At some point I feel that the characters do exist...they become independent.” In this video from Louisiana Channel, Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany speaks about how the characters in his novel The Yacoubian Building (American University in Cairo Press, 2004), translated from the Arabic by Humphrey Davies, began to take on a life of their own as he wrote them.

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Jesse Ball

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"The beekeeper paused by his hives. A cloud of bees is missing, he said, to no one in particular. I hope the little creatures aren't up to any mischief." In this video, Jesse Ball reads the poem "Lester, Burma" from his first collection, March Book (Grove Press, 2004). Ball's latest novel, How to Set a Fire and Why (Pantheon, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ben Lerner's First Time

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"I kind of always assume that you don't write the poem you want to write...that's actually quite freeing because it means you discover something in the act of composition that you didn't know in advance." Ben Lerner talks about his first poetry collection, The Lichtenberg Figures (Copper Canyon Press, 2004), for the Paris Review's "My First Time" video series. Lerner's first nonfiction book, The Hatred of Poetry (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

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To anyone who has read Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir, the new movie starring Robert DeNiro, Paul Dano, and Julianne Moore will be known as Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. To Hollywood, it is known as Being Flynn, forthcoming next spring from director Paul Weitz.

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