Scary landscapes and spirit creatures appear in many ghost stories. But author Alan Heathcock knows that for the best of them, only the writings of Algernon Blackwood will do. These spooky tales will have you shivering with fright and delight.
In his novel Anatomy of a Disappearance, Hisham Matar tells the tale of a father kidnapped — much like his own. Matar's father, a vocal opponent of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, disappeared 20 years ago. No one knows if he is dead or alive. "Living in hope is a really terrible thing," Matar says.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, linger in our thoughts, but not so much in our speech. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says "it's striking that 9/11 and its aftereffects have left almost no traces in the language of everyday life."
The sound of the sea, the smell of rain — what makes Ireland such a magical place? Maybe its writers like Claire Keegan who tease the nuance and grace out of everyday interactions. Author Keith Donohue says each of Keegan's stories is a morsel worth savoring.
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" returns for a second season tonight on Bravo. This was in doubt because one of the people on the show — the estranged husband of one of the housewives — recently committed suicide. Bravo has re-edited the first few episodes to take him out. But this isn't going to prompt the reality TV industry to take a hard look at its practices.
Author Marc Kaufman recommends this tale of an explorer on the hunt for a rare animal — and something more. The Snow Leopard shows that while we can't always find what we're looking for, we still get what we need.
For commentator Sandip Roy, his niece's departure for college on another continent brings a level of unexpected poignancy. In this essay, he counsels her on how to say goodbye to her Indian neighborhood — while leaving room for the memories that make her community a home.
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