In this interesting if highly disturbing read, James E. Mitchell, one of the chief architects of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program and introducer of waterboarding to the program, gives his side of the story and describes the techniques used, the interrogations conducted, and the intelligence gathered as a result. Mitchell brings up a number of […]
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“The New Voices of Fantasy” is an eclectic mixture of diverse fantasy authors, featuring a multitude of subgenres in stories set around the globe. Although the short story format means that the worlds and cultures the authors have created appear only in snippet form, which is not normally my favorite way to experience fantasy, this […]
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My latest essay on The Mighty, about finally learning to accept my body once I developed a serious chronic illness, can be found here (That’s a picture of Mandelstam, whose poem “A Body Has Been Given to Me” begins the essay. It’s not the most flattering picture of him, but it’s the bravest: it’s his mug […]
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“Forgotten Reflections” tells two stories: one of feisty village girl Iseul, trying to survive during the Korean War, and the other of her granddaughter Jia, who goes on a quest to find out about her dying grandmother’s past instead of studying for her end-of-school exams like the dutiful, obedient girl her mother wants her to […]
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What can I say about Politkovskaya that I haven’t already said? Maybe that this book, written specifically for publication abroad, is perhaps the most foreigner-friendly of her works. Unlike “A Dirty War,” which is a compilation of her early articles on the second Chechen war, or later books such as “A Russian Diary,” which are […]
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What a fabulous find! I’d never read any Estonian literature before encountering this book, so naturally I jumped at the chance. It’s the late 1690s, and Laurentius Hylas, accompanied only by his parakeet Clodia, has come from Lieden, where he ran into trouble at the university there for his unusual views, to the University of […]
Read more "“The Willow King” by Meelis Friedenthal, trans. Matthew Hyde"
“The Bedlam Stacks” is an enchanting mixture of historical fiction and fantasy. It’s 1860, and Merrick Tremayne, former employee–read: smuggler-of the East India Company, now an invalid, is sitting around in his family estate, which is falling down around his ears. When his old boss invites him to go on an expedition to Peru to […]
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I’ve been a fan of Graham Norton as a television personality ever since I first saw his delightfully frenetic performances on “Father Ted” back in the ’90s, so naturally I had to read this book when I found out about it. “Holding” is equally as delightful as Norton’s tv appearances, but different. Instead of urbanity, […]
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