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Born in 1913 in Algeria, Albert Camus was a French novelist, dramatist, and essayist. He was deeply affected by the plight of the French during the Nazi occupation of World War II, who were subject to the military's arbitrary whims. He explored the existential human condition in such works as…read more

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The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, forty years after its first publication, the essential portrait of America- particularly California-in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes,…read more

The Writing Life

by Annie Dillard|

November 12, 2013

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Annie Dillard has written eleven books, including the memoir of her parents, An American Childhood ; the Northwest pioneer epic The Living ; and the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek . A gregarious recluse, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.read more

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Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their…read more

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First published in 1979, The White Album records indelibly the upheavals and aftermaths of the 1960s. Examining key events, figures, and trends of the era-including Charles Manson, the Black Panthers, and the shopping mall-through the lens of her own spiritual confusion, Joan Didion helped to…read more

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In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace…read more

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Letters written over a period of several years on the vocation of writing by a poet whose greatest work was still to come.read more

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From personal loss to phantom diseases, The Empathy Exams is a bold and brilliant collection, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Essay Collection of Spring 2014 Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical…read more

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Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the mania for memoir on its ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview-a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable. A…read more

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Sixteen literary luminaries on the controversial subject of being childless by choice, in this critically acclaimed, bestselling anthology One of the most provocative and talked-about books of the year, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed is the stunning collection exploring one of society's most…read more

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Inspired by the surreal accounts of the explorer Marco Polo, Imaginary Cities charts the metropolis and the imagination, and the symbiosis therein. A work of creative non-fiction, the book roams through space, time and possibility, mapping cities of sound, melancholia and the afterlife, where time…read more

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Reflections by the creator of the essay form display the humane, skeptical, humorous, and honest views of Montaigne, revealing his thoughts on sexuality, religion, cannibals, intellectuals, and other unexpected themes. Included are such celebrated works as "On Solitude," "To Philosophize Is to…read more