Kent Haruf died at the end of last year, leaving behind one final tale. It’s set, like all his previous novels, in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado. Titled “Our Souls at Night” and just published, it will thrill aficionados of his earlier books and hook readers new to his work with simple yet concentrated language that gorgeously evokes the lives of its central characters Addie Moore and Louis Waters.
Even the most talented composer of songs is lucky if he can find one lyricist as a collaborator, but Richard Rodgers was blessed with two great ones, first Lorenz Hart and then Oscar Hammerstein.
Fairly or not, polygraph examiners for the Central Intelligence Agency and other institutions that require security clearances for staff are not necessarily the most popular guys in the coffee shop. And for good reason: much of their professional lives are devoted to ferreting out secrets their subjects would prefer to leave untold.
Perhaps it’s something in the water: The National Archives has an ongoing exhibit, “Spirited Republic,” celebrating America’s love affair with drink. And last week this newspaper reported skullduggery in Kentucky where whiskey has been burgled by the barrel and one brand of local hooch fetches $2,000 a bottle. Now comes a book to champion bourbon alone. Perhaps we’re getting over the hangover of Prohibition, and it’s OK to enjoy drinking again, “responsibly,” of course.
For nearly a decade, American forces fighting in Afghanistan were largely blinded by a lack of intelligence from roughly half the Pashtun population of Afghanistan; that being women. Pashtunwali (the way of the Pashtun) decrees that women be protected from the eyes and presence of men not from their immediate families.
Sophisticated cynicism is the coin of the realm for distinguished British journalists like Andrew Marr, who has a reputation as an editor, a BBC political commentator and a historian. This is a dark and shining example of his talent as a satirist.
For most diehard Monty Python fans, the excitement generated at the idea of John Cleese writing an autobiography must have been enormous. After the announcement of the book’s release, the speculation must have included thoughts such as: