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Ten Days in the Hills: A Novel by Jane Smiley
Being a gifted writer means never having to say you're sorry -- at least when it comes to borrowing. Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Thousand Acres (1991), employed Shakespeare's King Lear as narrative scaffold for her tale of an Iowa farmer and his three daughters. In Moo (1995...
The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children by E. D., Jr. Hirsch
An educational experiment in 1989 pitted a group of students with high reading scores, selected especially for their lack of interest in baseball, against a group of low-scoring students who happened to be avid baseball fans. The two groups were asked to demonstrate their reading comprehension of a ...
Whiteman: A Novel by Tony D'Souza
Drawing on his own experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa's Ivory Coast, Tony D'Souza has assembled a likeable fish-out-of-water tale, generously peppered with parable. The eponymous Whiteman is Jack Diaz, a twenty-something aid worker who travels to the Worodougou village of Tégéso to...
Visigoth by Gary Amdahl
In one of the best stories in Gary Amdahl's debut collection, winner of the 2006 Milkweed National Fiction Prize, a left-leaning Minnesota political organizer reflects on the true motivation for his activism, about which he has begun to feel a gnawing sense of futility: The truth was that the...
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