Writers and thinkers are fixed with labels these days so that people can order up opinions like flavors in an ice cream shop. But you couldn't fix a label on Christopher Hitchens; that's why he was worth reading and hearing.
Queen Jackson has been homeless for about a year. As she recently told her case manager, Debra MacKillop, it all started in 2009, when she was laid off. Since then, there have been hard moments — and some precious ones, as well.
Iowa's popular Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't endorsed any of the Republican presidential candidates crisscrossing his state yet. Still, Branstad will eventually be endorsing someone after the Jan. 3 caucuses. As he told All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block Thursday: "I want to work to help unite the party behind the winner of the nomination process."
We do know that it's a lot easier to tell a pollster you're for somebody than it is to vote for that somebody. The former is theory, the latter is fact. People know when they are going to vote and they get ready. No one knows when or even whether they're going to be polled.
2011 was a terrific year for fiction — both from first-time novelists and much-decorated veterans. Maureen Corrigan's recommendations range from Karen Russell's dazzling debut, to David Foster Wallace's posthumously published novel, to what may be the Sept. 11 novel.
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