Carver Country

May 25: On this day in 1938 Raymond Carver was born.

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Brodsky the Parasite-Poet

May 24: Joseph Brodsky was born on this day in 1940 in Leningrad.

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Margaret Wise Brown

May 23: Margaret Wise Brown was born on this day in 1910.

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On the Oregon Trail

May 22: America's "Great Migration" westward began on this day in 1843, some 1,000 heading west in the first pioneer exodus over the Oregon Trail.

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Gypsy & the Ecdysiasts

May 21: The smash-hit musical Gypsy opened on Broadway on this day in 1959.

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Auden, Orwell, Spain

May 20: On this day in 1937 W. H. Auden's Spain was published.

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Camus & The Stranger

May 19: Albert Camus's first and most famous novel, The Stranger (or The Outsider), was published on this day in 1942.

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Hemingway, Crane, War

May 18: After two months in Spain as a journalist covering the Civil War, Ernest Hemingway returned to the United States on this day in 1937.

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"The Genius They Forgot"

May 17: On this day in 1873 the innovative British novelist Dorothy Richardson was born.

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West's "Screwballs and Screwboxes"

May 16: Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust was published on this day in 1939.

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The First Leaves of Grass

May 15: On this day in 1855 Walt Whitman registered the title Leaves of Grass with the clerk of the United States District Court, New York, clearing the way for the first edition, published seven weeks later.

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Cutting Clockwork Orange

May 14: On this day in 1962 Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange was published.

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"How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?"

May 13: On this day in 1950, The New Yorker published Lillian Ross's controversial profile of Ernest Hemingway, "How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen?"

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Twain's Mississippi

May 12: On this day in 1883 Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi was published.

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The Oldest Dated Book

May 11: The world's oldest dated book, the Diamond Sutra, was published "by Wang Jie on behalf of his parents on the fifteenth of the fourth moon of the ninth year of Xian Long" -- this day in 868.

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Grahame and the Open Road

May 10: On this day in 1907 Kenneth Grahame wrote the first of a series of letters to his son, Alastair, telling the stories that would become The Wind in the Willows.

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Rabbits Silly & Serious

May 9: Shel Silverstein died on this day in 1999.

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Faulkner in Hollywood

May 7: On this day in 1932, thirty-four-year-old William Faulkner began his off-and-on career as a screenwriter, reluctantly (and just barely) reporting for work in Hollywood.

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Beethoven's Ninth

May 7: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony premiered in Vienna on this day in 1824.

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"Our Pan Is Dead"

May 6: On this day in 1862 Henry David Thoreau died at the age of forty-four.

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Woolf's Lighthouse

May 5: On this date in 1927 Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse was published by the Hogarth Press.

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Huxley, Science & the Royal Society

May 4: T. H. Huxley was born on this day in 1825. "Darwin's Bulldog" was one of the Victorian era's preeminent men of science, a respected social commentator, and a shaping influence on the Royal Society of London.

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Machiavelli in Florence

May 3: The Italian humanist Niccolò Machiavelli was born on this day in 1469.

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The Hoover File

May 2: J. Edgar Hoover died on this day in 1972, eight days away from his forty-eighth anniversary as director of the FBI.

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May Day, May Day…

May 1: Historians cite the 1886 May Day parade in Chicago -- some 80,000 marching for an eight-hour workday, the Haymarket Square Massacre coming just days later -- as one of the pivotal moments in modern labor history.

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White at the World's Fair

April 30: The New York World's Fair opened on this day in 1939.

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Cavafy, Forster & Cohen

April 29: The Greek poet Constantine Cavafy was born on this day in 1863, and he died on this day in 1933.

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Pinter Party

April 28: Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, his first full-length play, opened on this day in 1958 in Cambridge, England.

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Malamud's Artistry

April 26:  "Broke what breaks. He was talking to me how bitter was his life…but the next minute his face got small and he fell down dead."

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Young Man's Game

April 25: "[S]cience could be like baseball: a young man's game whose stars made their mark in their early twenties."

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Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).