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Books

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Blow speaks on the complexity of the black male experience in ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’

Sunday, September 28, 2014

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s new memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was released Tuesday. So far, headlines about the book have focused almost entirely on one thing: Blow’s grappling with his attraction to other men. The author says that’s fair and that the attention to the issue is understandable. The story is about much more than just his sexuality, though. It poetically chronicles the writer’s life, taking readers on a journey from a painful childhood in a Louisiana town to a role as one of America’s most respected journalists, in a coming-of-age story with universal lessons. The Root spoke to Blow … 0

Easy Rawlins eyes Hearst-like case

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walter Mosley evokes the curious turns of the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga and the fractured culture of that era in Rose Gold, his latest Easy Rawlins crime thriller. Rawlins, a black private investigator based in Los Angeles, follows leads from poor, simmering L.A. streets to secluded beachside mansions and laid-back hippie encampments. His … 0

Brilliant new biography of Tennessee Williams

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When The Glass Menagerie opened on Broadway in March 1945, the actress cast as Southern matriarch Amanda Wingfield got so drunk before the show that a bucket was placed in the wings so she could throw up between scenes. Seated six rows from the stage was the 34-year-old playwright, Tennessee Williams, who was … 0

A boy, his dog and atheism: Weingarten talks about new children’s book

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten is known for exploring morality in both somber and extremely silly ways, including an in-depth article on parents who mistakenly leave their children to die in hot cars and an essay … 0

On My Nightstand: ‘Red Sparrow’ a spy novel like no other

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews is a spy novel unlike any I’ve ever read. It hits like a freight train with double agents, double crosses, high-level espionage, pulse-pounding danger and relentless action that never stops! Need I say … 0

‘Laughter in Ancient Rome’ is like a great piece of archaeology

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Once there was a king who had a reputation as a ladies’ man, and after he died, his heir’s first duties included a tour of the provinces. In one town he … 0

‘The Human Age’ says there’s hope of saving the world

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In Paris, flowers, butterflies and birds live on the exterior of the Quai Branly Museum, a cultural destination that doubles as a natural ecosystem. A garden stuffed with breathing plants in the thousands, and soon to house frogs … 1

Women in politics: Gillibrand and Davis release memoirs

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Two prominent women in politics, New Yorker Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who shot to fame in pink sneakers with an abortion-rights filibuster, are out this month … 0

17th-century Amsterdam reimagined

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Jessie Burton’s accomplished first novel, The Miniaturist, is many things – a deftly plotted mystery, a feminist coming-of-age drama and a probing investigation of marriage. Burton evokes the sights, sounds and smells of 17th-century Amsterdam as she brings … 0

A tale of a dangerous double life

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A gent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA reads like a screenplay for a James Bond movie written by Joel and Ethan Coen. An unlikely double agent from Denmark infiltrates al-Qaida. His managers, the clandestine … 0

‘Epilogue’ lacks shape, movement, humor, appeal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Now in his mid-30s, Will Boast has not had an easy life. When he was a boy, his parents uprooted him from his native England and moved to Wisconsin, where his father had found work as a “project … 0

Miranda Corbie confronts her own ‘City of Ghosts’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A love of San Francisco – its flaws, strengths and eccentricities – permeates Kelli Stanley’s intriguing novels about private detective Miranda Corbie. Stanley’s novels capture San Francisco – and the United States – in the years just before … 0

‘Politics is a Joke!’ highlights importance of late-night TV for candidates

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In September 2008, as the economy was imploding, John McCain suspended his campaign for the presidency and canceled a guest spot on David Letterman’s late-night TV show. “I’m more than a little disappointed by this behavior,” fumed the … 1