• IN MEMORIAM

Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

Today the world mourns the passing of musical icon Pete Seeger, the singer, songwriter and activist who spearheaded the revival of American folk music, wrote and performed some of the most resonant anthems of 1950s and 60s, and remained throughout his long and intensely active life a figure of inspiration to millions.

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  • IN MEMORIAM

A Reader's Guide to Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

With the news of Gore Vidal's death at 86, our editors' guide to essential reading from the novelist, essayist and provocateur.

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  • IN MEMORIAM

Stars and Tennis Shoes: Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Certainly the highest posthumous praise that can be conferred upon any writer is the assertion that his or her writing permanently altered the literary landscape for the better, opening new textual doors and engaging new readers. That the author's oeuvre was essential and irreplaceable and transformative. In short, that the work mattered, was unique and influential, was accepted and enjoyed, and will be preserved for future generations yet unborn.

 

Ray Bradbury, who died at the age of 91 on June 6, 2012, has unquestionably earned this accolade.

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  • IN MEMORIAM

Graeme Wood on Christopher Hitchens

 Atlantic contributing editor and BNR contributor Graeme Wood discusses the influence and legacy of Christopher Hitchens.

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  • IN MEMORIAM

A.C. Grayling on Christopher Hitchens

"Even those who were on the opposite side of any argument from Christopher Hitchens," writes A.C. Grayling, "were compelled to admire the sharpness, control, and extraordinary richness of his mind."

 

Click "Read More" to see his full rememberence.

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  • IN MEMORIAM

Remembering Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011)

The literary world grapples with an enormous loss today:  Journalist, author, and provocateur Christopher Hitchens has died of pneumonia, arising from cancer of the esophagus.  His death was announced by Vanity Fair, where he had been a contributing editor since 1992. 

 

His reputation was built on his eloquence, his delight in putting entrenched opinions to challenge, and his eager assumption of Orwell's mantle as a defender of truth against ideological distortion. His impact as a stylist -- Hitchens wielded both a deadly wit and an implacable sense of joy in literary combat -- was as large on his fellow writers as his politically unclassifiable positions (he defended atheism as fiercely as he did the War in Iraq) have been on the surrounding culture.

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April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.