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.
Impostors can be scheming, even villainous, but their stories tempt us with an attractive possibility — the chance to wear a mask. Writer David Anthony suggests three tales about nefarious characters that let us indulge in our fascination with the art of manipulating outward appearances.
Homage to the Iliad lingers in literature even today, but most retellings do not live up to the grandeur of their ancient ancestor. Author Dawn Tripp recommends a rare find that does measure up — the haunting Homeric novel Ransom, by David Malouf.
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