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NWPR Books
10:49 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Lydia Davis' New Collection Has Stories Shorter Than This Headline

Lydia Davis is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The writer Lydia Davis has released a new collection of short stories — and, in her trademark style, some of them are really short stories. Here's "Contingency (vs. Necessity)" in its entirety:

He could be our dog. But he is not our dog. So he barks at us.

And the title story of the collection, Can't And Won't:

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Africa
9:42 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Since Genocide, Rwanda's Women Have Helped Lead The Recovery

Rwanda is commemorating the 20-year anniversary of the genocide. Since that time, more women have entered politics to help with the recovery.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 10:49 am

The Rwandan genocide left a deep and profound wound. It not only decimated the Rwandan people, it destroyed the nation's political and social structures.

In 1994, after the killing stopped, women made up 70 percent of the population.

They were needed to lead Rwanda's recovery. Rwandan women moved away from traditional roles and joined politics in unprecedented numbers.

Twenty years later, the Rwandan Parliament has more women than anywhere else in the world.

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Economy
4:05 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Americans Are On The Move, But In The Wrong Direction

Moving to San Bernardino from Los Angeles may help with housing costs, but the area doesn't have much economic opportunity.
Reed Saxon AP

Jamika lives in a two-story apartment complex surrounded by a 10-foot-high security gate in San Bernardino, Calif. The yellow paint on the buildings' outside walls is peeling.

She doesn't want to use her full name. She doesn't want too many people to know about her situation.

Jamika and her siblings had to leave the house her family was renting in South Central L.A. when the property went into foreclosure. With money so tight, Jamika moved to San Bernardino, along with three of her siblings.

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Africa
8:46 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Hotel Rwanda' Manager: We've Failed To Learn From History

Paul Rusesabagina, who sheltered more than 1,000 people in his hotel during the Rwandan genocide, says the brutal violence in Syria, the Central African Republic and the Congo shows history repeats itself while people fail to learn from it.
Courtesy Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 10:38 am

Paul Rusesabagina is a figure from history — a terrible history.

He was the manager of the Diplomat Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, 20 years ago, when the genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi people began. More than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus would be killed in just three months.

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Sports
2:33 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Should The NCAA Change Its Rules To Pay For Play?

University of Miami President Donna Shalala cuts down the net after a basketball game against Clemson last year.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 4:34 pm

In the next few days, the last four teams play for the NCAA men's basketball championship, a hugely profitable event for college sports.

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NWPR Books
1:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

In The 1870s And '80s, Being A Pedestrian Was Anything But

Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 8:58 am

We may think of baseball as America's national pastime, but in the 1870s and 1880s there was another sports craze sweeping the nation: competitive walking. "Watching people walk was America's favorite spectator sport," Matthew Algeo says in his new book, Pedestrianism.

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NWPR Books
4:53 am
Thu April 3, 2014

A Song Of Frogs, Motherhood And Murder In Swampy San Francisco

Emma Donoghue's previous novel was Room.
Andrew Bainbridge

In her bestseller Room, writer Emma Donoghue imagined what life would be like for a little boy born into captivity, to a mother who'd been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

And in her new novel, Frog Music, she's imagined a possible solution to a very real murder, one that took place in California in 1876.

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NWPR Books
1:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Rise And Fall Of Stefan Zweig, Who Inspired 'Grand Budapest Hotel'

Stefan Zweig was born to a prosperous Jewish family in Vienna. He wrote novels, short stories and biographies.
Keystone/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 6:54 pm

In Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a writer relates the long and twisting life story of a hotel owner. It's about youthful love and lifelong obsession, and while the story is original, there's a credit at the end that reads: "Inspired by the Writings of Stefan Zweig."

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NWPR Books
9:51 am
Tue April 1, 2014

In Early Memoir, Bette Midler Adorned The Truth In Sequins

Bette Midler is a Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-nominated actress.
Jonathan Pushnik Simon & Schuster

Before Bette Midler was in movies like Beaches and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, the actress and singer wore masks and costumes on stage, playing scantily clad, scandalous characters like a wheelchair-riding mermaid and, of course, the Divine Miss M — Midler's early stage persona.

Midler wrote about her early career in A View From a Broad, a memoir she published in 1980. A new edition of that book was recently released with a brand new introduction in which Midler writes:

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Parallels
12:21 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Latvia's Ex-President: 'We Have To Worry' About Russia

Latvia's former president, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, is shown here at a NATO summit in 2006. During her presidency, Latvia joined both NATO and the European Union in 2004.
ROMAN KOKSAROV AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 7:45 am

Russia's takeover of Crimea sent shivers through Latvia.

The tiny Baltic state was itself taken over by the Soviet Union in 1940 and did not regain its independence until the Soviet breakup in 1991. Latvia has a population of just 2 million, and roughly a quarter of those are ethnic Russians.

Given this history, Latvia was eager to align itself with the West. In 2004, under then-president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Latvia joined both the European Union and NATO and is counting on those allies for protection.

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