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'The Making of Asian America' is a stirring chronicle long overdue

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing minority population in the United States. They have been living in this country in significant numbers since Chinese immigrants came hunting for gold in the middle of the 19th century. But even before then, Asians migrated to the Americas, beginning in the 1500s, as slaves, sailors, merchants, explorers and adventurers.

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'The Story of the Lost Child' is a masterful conclusion to Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan quartet

Elena Ferrante's quartet of Neapolitan novels all contain small but thrilling acts of feminist revolt. Like the writer Mary Gaitskill, who has also written extensively about female friendship, Ferrante portrays women's lives and relationships as unsentimental and fierce.

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Salman Rushdie's new novel 'Two Years' lets the jinn out of the bottle

In his new novel, Salman Rushdie lets the genie out of the bottle and puts her straight into the arms of a 12th-century philosopher. Their relationship kicks off a story that pits reason against religion, imagination against order, and genies against puny humans.

Rushdie corrects "genie" to "jinn," the original Arabic for the fantastical creatures born of fire with the ability to shape-shift.

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Read before you speak

I have a suggestion: If you want to complain about curriculum, you need to read the books. Twice in the last week, undergraduates in North Carolina — first at Duke University and then at the University of North Carolina — have objected to assigned books they haven’t read.

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National Book Awards to honor Don DeLillo for lifetime achievement

Because of its popularity on college syllabi, most people know Don DeLillo from his book "White Noise." But reading his other novels -- "Libra," "Ratner's Star," "Great Jones Street," "The Names," "Falling Man," "Americana" and of course "Underworld" -- prove DeLillo's astonishing breadth and depth. 

DeLillo will be honored with a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Award ceremony in November, it was announced Wednesday. The presenting organization, the National Book Foundation, will present DeLillo with its 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

“Don DeLillo is unquestionably one of the greatest novelists of his generation,” Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the National Book Foundation, said in a statement. “He has had an enormous influence on the two generations of writers that followed, and his work will continue to resonate for generations to come.”

Prior recipients of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, which was first awarded in 1988, include E.L. Doctorow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joan Didion, Elmore Leonard, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Philip Roth and Toni Morrison.

DeLillo will attend the award ceremony, which will be part of the National Book Foundation's Nov. 18 gala. He'll presented with his award by novelist Jennifer Egan.

Book news and more; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter

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No third novel from Harper Lee, expert says after examining manuscript

The publication of Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" this summer rocked the publishing world and dominated literary conversations around the globe. But it looks like there won't be a repeat anytime soon.

James S. Jaffe, an expert in rare books, examined the contents of a safe deposit box used by Lee, and determined that it does not contain a third novel, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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