Of Africa

Nobel Prize-winner Wole Soyinka peers into Africa's past and speculates about the continent's future. Though he complains it has been exalted and abused, overlooked and misapprehended, exploited and overstuffed with false charity, Soynika remains optimistic, full of a kind of rational spirituality, and predicts that Africa's best days yet lie ahead.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…