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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft

I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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SandyPP has commented on (18) products.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

SandyPP, November 10, 2013

This life story of a man, told in the guise of a self-help book, is clever, touching, funny, politically subtle and brilliant. The reader sees how the luck of moving to the city provides the protagonist the opportunity to use cleverness and corruption to get filthy rich. His luck includes his position in his family as, with the author's usual economy and elegance, we see the contrast between his life and that of his siblings. We also follow the life of the ‘pretty girl’ he falls in love with as a child and how she too manages to ‘make it’ in her own (and very female) way.
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In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
In the Country of Men

SandyPP, October 13, 2013

This one really grabbed me--it'd been a long time since I couldn't put a book down. Suleiman is 9 in 1979 Libya. Criticizing the dictatorship is dangerous so lies become the norm, which may ultimately be more dangerous than the truth. Great characters and gripping plot. I envy those who can read it for the first time.
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Absolution by Patrick Flanery

SandyPP, June 12, 2013

Is there a way to navigate South Africa's apartheid years without guilt? Or maybe Clare Wald has more guilt than others? As the aging famous writer is interviewed by her biographer in present day, very dangerous South Africa, she mourns and imagines what happened to her disappeared activist daughter and obsesses over her betrayal of her right-wing sister. The reader has to work a bit; Clare and her biographer have different stories to tell, or is the reality of history impossible to know? In any case, it's work worth doing.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

SandyPP, January 1, 2013

What do we really know about North Korea? Next to nothing. I was so grateful to finally learn something that feels accurate.

Journalist Demick was stationed in Seoul and managed to get a visa to go to the north but found it wasn't possible to be allowed to actually talk honestly with anyone. So she came back to the south and interviewed people who had escaped. It feels balanced because among her subjects is a woman who belonged to the Communist Party and believed in the government, who hadn't even wanted to leave but was tricked by one of her children.
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As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis Devoto by Joan Reardon
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis Devoto

SandyPP, August 31, 2012

I never read letters but a friend raved about this book and I love Julia Child so I gave it a try and was immediately hooked! Julia was trying to write a cookbook for use in America from France. Avis was testing recipes, sending her ingredients, telling her what was available in the U.S. (e.g. shallots, hearing the process of this influential cookbook was fabulous. But the book is about all sorts of other things too: strangers becoming bosom buddies; liberal intellectuals being affected by the McCarthy witch hunts; differences between French and American culture; the hunt for a publisher...
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