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Omnivore

About Ferguson

From the Upshot, Neil Irwin, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz on America’s racial divide, charted. Todd Purdum on why Obama can’t go there: The first African-American to run the country is constrained from addressing the nation’s original sin in anything but the loftiest, most dispassionate terms. Riots, confrontations, violence and disorder don’t always, or even usually, make things better— they sometimes makes things worse; but police violence, racism and radical social inequality


Paper Trail

The second part of a series by NPR’s Lynn Neary, on diversity in the writing world, has aired. Publishing is “overwhelmingly white,” the writer Daniel José Older says. “That’s not a controversial fact, but sometimes to point it out becomes a controversial thing.” Publishing companies often say that they would publish books by more diverse writers

Syllabi

Weird Sex

Vanessa RovetoThere's good sex and there's bad sex. And then there's weird sex—a Freudian purgatory that somehow neither stimulates the libido nor inhibits it. In art and life, we're inclined to seek out pleasure

Daily Review

Tell the World the Facts

As I monitor the images and information streaming from Ferguson, Missouri, I can’t help thinking of the novelist Charles Baxter’s observation about writing fiction: “If you want a compelling story,” he has advised, “put your protagonist among the damned.” Pictures, some from gifted photojournalists like Scott Olson and Lawrence Bryant, others from fearless amateurs with

Interviews

Yelena Akhtiorskaya

Most extraordinary about Yelena Akhtiorskaya's first novel, Panic in a Suitcase, is the language, which can dive in and out of the consciousness of multiple characters in the space of a sentence. Akhtiorskaya writes about Russian immigrants who fail to fully embrace their new country. Often, they dream about returning, or at least about taking a vacation.

Video

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Thomas Piketty on the history of money

Miscellaneous

Whatever Happened to St. Petersburg?

Greg Afinogenov

Catriona Kelly’s Petersburg: Shadows of the Past takes the city’s marginal and offbeat local culture not as a fall from grace but as an opportunity. Despite its foreboding subtitle, the book ventures into this least heroic period of the city’s life—from 1945 to the present—with the briskness of a government inspector.

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