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The man behind 'Gullivers Travels,' Johnathan Swift, is celebrated in a new biography

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) had the most coruscating mind and enigmatic character of any writer in English. Sturdily built, with bright blue eyes, bristling brows and double chin, he was an energetic walker and long-distance rider. He loved congenial dinners, French wine, lively conversation and sparkling wit. When a doctor claimed a dying patient did not lose ground, Swift bitterly replied, “He got

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Refugees and free speech: How Hollywood classics 'Casablanca' and 'High Noon' were shaped by politics

What does it mean to be a moral person?  Faced with adversity, would we choose to do the right thing? These fundamental questions are at the heart of two of Hollywood’s most iconic films —“Casablanca” and “High Noon”— and contribute to their timeless appeal. To coincide with “Casablanca’s” 75th and “High Noon’s” 65th anniversaries, two new books explore how this preoccupation with questions of conscience

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Take a walk on the Parisian side with Lauren Elkin's 'Flâneuse'

Lauren Elkin’s “Flâneuse,” part cultural history, part personal memoir, fervently celebrates women who have asserted their freedom and sharpened their identities by taking to urban streets — whether on solitary, exploratory rambles or amid crowds of demonstrators. Although Elkin’s book went to press before the massive, global women’s rights marches that followed President Trump’s inauguration, she

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Artist tattoos, 'Teen Angels' and writers in performance: 8 things to see at the 2017 L.A. Art Book Fair
Junot Diaz puts the audience center stage at REDCAT

Moments before Junot Diaz was scheduled to appear at REDCAT, a young woman who braved the storm to wait for a ticket on standby caught sight of the author and asked if he’d sign her copy of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” After the crowd had shaken off their umbrellas and filed into their seats, Diaz took the stage and called out, “This young sister named Guadalupe. Is she actually here?”

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L.A. Times Book Prize finalists include Zadie Smith and Rep. John Lewis; Thomas McGuane will be honored

The finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were announced Wednesday, including five nominees in a new 11th category.  And the Prizes named one winner: novelist Thomas McGuane, who will take home the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

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