North by Shakespeare, An Underdog Defies 500 Years of Literary Doctrine

North by Shakespeare

We all love underdogs: the urban breakdancer that one day makes it on Broadway; the business school dropout that becomes a millionaire; the single parent who takes on the school board and wins; the whistleblower who exposes corporate or governmental corruption. Yet few of us have the stamina to undertake…

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Suite Française, historic novel and tragic account of the woman who wrote it

Book cover of Suite Française

I recently read Suite Française, a poignant novel by Irene Némirovsky that would have remained hidden from history were it not for the courageous actions of her daughter, Denise Epstein. In 2004, sixty-two years after Némirovsky’s death in Auschwitz, Suite Française appeared in French libraries for the first time. It…

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The Puzzling Mind of Patrick Modiano

Patrick Modiano, 2014

Last year, when Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize in literature, I had never heard of him.  It’s not surprising.  None of my friends, many of whom who are far more well-read than I, had heard of him either.  As it turns out, not many of his works had been translated…

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