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Posts by: Anisse Gross

Letters to Fictional Characters

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To Humbert Humbert of Nabokov’s Lolita: “Hey Humbert, How’s jail? I hope it’s as bad as they make it out to be in those undercover exposes. I mean, I really hope you’re suffering, I want to be clear on that from the outset.”

To A.A.

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Cuba Pays for Sex Change Operations

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Cuba’s progressing fast when it comes to recognizing the rights of transgendered peoples.  First the ban was lifted on sex-change operations in 2007, and now not only are the surgeries being performed in Cuba, they’re being paid for under the government’s universal health care plan.

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The Not Top Ten Films of 2009

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The first weeks of 2010 are inevitably flooded with top ten lists of 2009, because people apparently can’t live without them.

But maybe instead of reading the same top ten lists, we could have interesting lists of overlooked, underrated, left behind things.  Yeah, we know that Inglorious Basterds is probably on most top 10 film lists, but what about those films that we missed?  Here’s a list of the ten great movies of 2009 that may have passed you by.

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Your DFW Fix

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It seems that people will only grow to love David Foster Wallace more as the years go on.  It’s what usually happens when you can’t get someone anymore.

Here’s a great link to more DFW morsels from Lincoln Michel over at The Faster Times, from the anticipation of Wallace’s unfinished novel, Pale King (due to be released this year), to a great video of him drinking from an empty glass while talking about getting irritated with people who make him parse unnecessarily.

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What to Read

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Laura Miller, staff writer at Salon as well as a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review, has come out with a new feature called What to Read.

Salon’s not doing away with it’s exceptional book coverage, from reviews to interviews – rather it’s just adding to it.  How?  Well, in Miller’s words:

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Universal Authorship

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You saw it coming.

Your grandma has a blog and your friend’s tweets are invading whatever small sliver of silent privacy you had left.  We’re all becoming authors.  Is this trend inevitable?

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Google’s Unicorn Defense

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This week in the New York Times, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wrote an op-ed about Google’s efforts in the realm of digitizing so-called orphan books.  Despite ongoing legal drama, Brin insists that their efforts are for the good of everyone, and for all important texts that would otherwise be lost.

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Sherman Alexie on Kindles, Sexiness and Controversy

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Sherman Alexie, whose novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was banned in some school districts, is no stranger to controversy.

He’s recently come out with a new collection of stories and poetry called War Dances.   In this latest Mother Jones interview, he talks about the weight of being American’s most famous Native American Indian author: ”I’m going to get grief from certain people about not having likable characters,” he says.

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The Woman Behind Your Weekends

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If you look up the New Deal on Wikipedia you’ll hardly see Frances Perkins‘ name mentioned.  Yet, as the first female cabinet member, serving as FDR’s Secretary of Labor, she was the major force behind such revolutionary acts like minimum wage,  unemployment, pensions, welfare, and also crafted laws to ban child labor.

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Reprinting the Public Domain, One Book at a Time

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As you may already know, Google has been spending the last seven years scanning their hearts out, digitizing more than two million books that are old enough to be part of the public domain.  They turn them into searchable documents, making many rare and hard to find books accessible for anyone with access to the Internet.

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