| May 11, 2008
The driver tossed our bags into the trunk of a white Ambassador cab and pressed his palms together.
"Welcome to India, sir. Is this your wife?"
"No, she's my mother."
Mom giggled; neither of us was sure whether the driver's motivation was flattery...
| Sep 28, 2008
Twenty years ago, Ballantine Books decided it no longer wanted to publish paperbacks exclusively, as it had done for the previous 35 years. Bucking convention, the firm launched its hardcover program with a first novel by an untested female writer that...
| Dec 29, 2008
Even in casual conversation, British author Neil Gaiman sometimes sounds as if he's narrating some dark fairy tale -- his sentences slither across old stone floors or flit on gossamer wings. He also happens to live in a rambling Minnesota manse that...
| Nov 24, 2008
That barack obama is the antithesis of George W. Bush is by now axiomatic. The president-elect is expected to change everything, from the prevailing ideology to the government's order of priorities to the partisan atmosphere in Washington to even the mood...
| Dec 5, 2008
Fans of musical dramas may experience some deja vu while watching "Cadillac Records"; the story is remarkably similar to one told in the middle of 2006's "Dreamgirls," in a montage sequence set to "Steppin' to the Bad Side."
There's the plucky upstart...
| Mar 29, 2009
Tzara & Lenin Play Chess
Princeton University Press: 238 pp., $16.95 paper
The job is gone, the 401(k) is gutted, college tuition is due, and "Grey's Anatomy" is a shadow of its former self. Can't decide...
| Jun 4, 2009
Koko Taylor, a Chicago musical icon who became one of the most revered female blues vocalists of her time with signature hits such as "Wang Dang Doodle," "I'm a Woman" and "Hey Bartender," died Wednesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago of...
| Nov 22, 2009
A decade ago, art historian and impresario RoseLee Goldberg, who literally wrote the book on performance art -- "Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present," first published in 1979 -- found herself being pushed by her publisher for an updated...
| Sep 21, 2009
Like a lot of kids in the summer of 1972, I was riveted by a strange spectacle unfolding in Iceland: a chess match between Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, the mercurial young American.
The games weren't televised -- Fischer...
| Mar 8, 2010
True "Star Trek" fanatics who visit "Star Trek: The Exhibition" at San Jose's Tech Museum may find some flaws in the life-size replica of the starship Enterprise's bridge.
Sure, Capt. James T. Kirk's chair sits in the middle of the bridge, encircled by...