Arts & Culture

The Two-Way
6:26 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Book News: North Carolina County Reverses 'Invisible Man' Ban

Ralph Ellison testified at a Senate Subcommittee hearing in 1966 on the racial problems in big cities.
AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Julian Barnes 'Levels' With Us On Love, Loss And Ballooning

General Photographic Agency Getty Images

"Every love story is a potential grief story," Julian Barnes writes in Levels of Life, a quirky but ultimately powerful meditation on things that uplift us — literally, as in hot air balloons, and emotionally, as in love — and things that bring us crashing to earth: to wit, that great leveler, the death of a loved one.

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Code Switch
4:35 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Ancient Jewish Tradition Meets Contemporary Design

Sukkah City finalists spread out across New York City's Union Square Park in 2010.
Babak Bryan BanG Studio

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:07 pm

At Georgetown University this week, an outdoor religious display looks more like a public art installation than a commandment from the Torah, Judaism's holy book.

First, the basics: It's called a sukkah, a temporary dwelling — translated from Hebrew as a "booth" — where observant Jews traditionally eat and sleep during the weeklong harvest holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday, which began the night of Sept. 18, also pays homage to the 40 years during which the Israelites wandered in the desert, living in temporary structures.

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The Salt
2:32 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Pork Politics: Why Some Danes Want Pig Meat Required On Menus

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:16 pm

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

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Monkey See
1:58 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

In His Silences And His Songs, An Unmistakable Note Of Genius

McCraney in rehearsal for The Brother/Sister Plays at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where he's a member of the ensemble.
Mark Campbell Steppenwolf Theatre

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 4:22 pm

In my memory, Tarell Alvin McCraney's plays are weighted with silence. It fills the stage like a stone, so that even when characters are talking or singing or shouting, the emptiness echoes hard and heavy.

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