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Annie Ernaux caps a remarkable stretch of unorthodox memoirs with 'The Years'

Annie Ernaux is ruthless. I mean that as a compliment. Perhaps no other memoirist — if, in fact, memoir-writing is what Ernaux is up to, which both is and isn’t the case — is so willing to interrogate not only the details of her life but also the slippery question of identity.

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Susan Straight on the powerful connection between memory, photos and the stories we tell

Since I was a child, I’ve been obsessed with photographs, probably because I’m of the generation between nothing and everything. Our grandparents often left behind so few photographs that we try to excavate their history with words alone. But our children, with smartphones, can document their lives every single day and send Instagram pics worldwide to relatives as well as strangers.

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Elena Ferrante, whoever she is, will be a columnist for the Guardian

Elena Ferrante, the reclusive, internationally bestselling Italian novelist, will write a weekly column for the Guardian. The tricky part is “Elena Ferrante” isn’t a person — it’s a pen name.

The Guardian announced its columnist coup on Thursday.

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PBS, with help from celebrities and authors, aims to find 'The Great American Read'

PBS has enlisted the help of several celebrities to determine “The Great American Read” in an upcoming competition series, the network announced Wednesday.

The network's eight-part show will begin with a two-hour special on May 22. Throughout the series, stars such as Gayle King, Lauren Graham and Diane Lane will discuss their favorite American novels.

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David Simon is adapting Philip Roth's 'The Plot Against America' for television

David Simon, the award-winning writer and producer of the hit series “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “The Wire,” is adapting Philip Roth's novel “The Plot Against America” into a six-part television miniseries.

The news was announced in a New York Times interview with Roth, which noted that Simon had visited Roth, and that Roth “was sure his novel was in good hands.”

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Books: An editor with a vision, the late Denis Johnson and more book news

Hello, book lovers! I’m book editor Carolyn Kellogg with this week’s literary news.


John Freeman’s name is in lights — literary lights, that is, on the cover of the journal Freeman’s. In it, he encourages some of our greatest writers — Mohsin Hamid, Valeria Luiselli, Dave Eggers — to dig into challenging issues like immigration by way of nonfiction, fiction and poetry.

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