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Whatever happened to Jesus foreskin? The Apocryphal Gospels reveal that shortly after his birth, Jesus mother gave it to an old Hebrew woman who had the prescience to preserve it in a jar of nard.
In his seminal essay, The Painter of Modern Life, Charles Baudelaire defined the modern artist, or flâneur, as a solitary individual endowed with an active imagination. This figurewas a detached but passionate individual walking through the city, carried along by its tumultuous crowds, observing but unobserved.
Set 30 years before her Commonwealth Prize winning novel, The Secret River, Kate Grenvilles The Lieutenant tells a similar tale of a misunderstood Englishman discovering the Aboriginal people of New South Wales. What differentiates The Lieutenant from The Secret River is a surprising and refreshing theme of belonging and connectivity.
This collection of 31 pieces by newly-translated writers and well-known authors, plus photos and copies of Communist-era surveillance reports, doesnt focus on Berlin. As Keith Gessen notes in his breezy introduction, these voices come from the entire multifarious universe of former Soviet Bloc countries, and the complexity of that universe gets full respect from the books editors, Words Without Borders.
China, however vilified in the West, whether by the media or human rights organizations, has become an undeniable player on the world stage. This is especially true in matters of economics.
Peering into window displays at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and Henri Bendel has, for decades, delivered countless smiles. In The Puzzle King Betsy Carter creates Simon Phelps, a display designer on par with the best Fifth Avenue has to offer.
James MacGregor Burnss lucid narrative demystifies the Supreme Court, appealing to layman and specialist alike. Burns brings alive the major eras of the Court, along with its key personalities and the presidents who tried (usually unsuccessfully) to mold the Court to their will, or pack it.
What crime Kazim Ali has committed to explicate his title Bright Felon remains a mystery. But the conviction is certain. A gay Muslim in the West, he is doubly dubioushis self-questioning, intense.
I can sympathize with peoples pains, but not with their pleasure, said Aldous Huxley, author of the 1932 novel, Brave New World. There is something curiously boring about somebody elses happiness.