Robert Stone's characters fall all over the moral spectrum, but between a revolutionary nun, a treacherous spy and an alienated anthropologist, they certainly make for good reading. Author Roland Merullo recommends Stone's A Flag for Sunrise, a rich depiction of Central America in the turbulent '70s.
In the span of less than a year, Aatish Taseer's father was killed and his brother was kidnapped. Taseer writes about a violent and turbulent Pakistan in his new novel, Noon. "There's a general sense of a society disintegrating," he says.
To its family, a beloved dog is always more — more than a wagging tail, more than a living garbage disposal, more than an ear to scratch. Commentator Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh mourns the loss of her Hound and his unconditional adoration.
Stephen Greenblatt chronicles the unlikely discovery of Lucretius' poem "On the Nature of Things" — by a 15th-century Italian book hunter. The Swerve is a masterfully written meditation on the fragile inheritance of ideas.
In her weekly commentary, host Michel Martin says Americans don't know how to talk about money, even though we talk about money all the time. She also says the current debate about deficit and debt has undertones of wealth and class.
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