Books

3:41pm

Tue May 15, 2012
Remembrances

Remembering Mexican Writer Carlos Fuentes

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 3:46 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One of Mexico's greatest writers has died: Carlos Fuentes. He was 83. Fuentes was a central figure in the Latin American literary boom of the 1960s and '70s. And he was publishing fiction and essays until the end, including an essay published today in the Mexican newspaper Reforma. Our own book critic Alan Cheuse knew Fuentes and reviewed many of his novels. Hi, Alan.

ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: Hi, Robert.

SIEGEL: And first, give us a sense of the broad sweep of Carlos Fuentes' career, and what made his work so important?

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2:18pm

Sun May 13, 2012
Author Interviews

Lessons In Counterterrorism From The Octopus

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 4:52 pm

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In 2002, Rafe Sagarin was working in Washington, D.C., as a science adviser. It wasn't long after the Sept. 11 attacks, and Sagarin started paying attention to the security measures on Capitol Hill.

"I'd watch these other Capitol Hill staffers and I noticed that they'd just put their hand over the keys in their pockets so they didn't have to waste 30 seconds putting it on the conveyer belt though the security screening — and that didn't set off the alarm when they did that," Sagarin tells host of weekend All Things Considered Guy Raz.

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4:24am

Sun May 13, 2012
Author Interviews

History, Heartbreak And 'The Chemistry Of Tears'

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:51 am

In Peter Carey's new novel, The Chemistry of Tears, the hero and the heroine are separated by 150 years. It is an object — a piece of technology — that brings Catherine and Henry together: An enormous, 19th-century, mechanical duck.

Catherine, a horologist — an expert on the inner workings of clocks — is restoring it in the present day. It's a distraction from the sudden death of her married lover. Henry, more than a century earlier, commissions the duck as a giant toy for his beloved, but very sick child.

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4:22am

Sun May 13, 2012
Author Interviews

Three Pilgrimages To Gain 'A Sense Of Direction'

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 10:09 am

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Gideon Lewis-Kraus was confused. A few years ago, the American 20-something was living in Berlin, hanging out in art galleries and nameless speak-easies, preoccupied with living a creatively meaningful life, but unsure what that meant or how to make it happen.

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3:23pm

Sat May 12, 2012
Author Interviews

The 12 Days Of Disaster That Made Modern Chicago

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:05 pm

In 1919, Chicago was called the "youngest great city in the world." World War I had just come to a close, troops were coming home, industry was booming and crime was down. Chicago's mayor at the time, William Hale Thompson — known as Big Bill — had just been re-elected and was spearheading an ambitious urban improvement program.

But in mid-July of 1919, just about everything that could go wrong in Chicago did. Among the headlines were a deadly dirigible crash, a bizarre kidnapping, race riots and a major public transit strike.

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