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Archive for February, 2011

cover Latro in the MistI occasionally run across a book that challenges me; that makes me work for the story and enjoy the labor; that awes me with the craft of the writing. Usually these are considered “literary novels.” I also find a lot of literary novels tedious, because I’m partial to plot-driven stories. But Latro in the Mist surprised me. It’s a fantasy novel with gods and ghosts (which may not be real, see my discussion below.) It’s a historical novel about real events set in Greece in 479 B.C., and populated with historic characters. It’s also a finely crafted literary novel that makes the reader think beyond the story and characters about the nature of memory and self, friendship and loyalty, and the journey that is life. (more…)

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Tutankhamun

Gilded image of Tutankhamun damaged at Cairo Museum

The boards were buzzing. “What’s happening in Egypt? Are there riots? Are the museums being looted? Is the Library at Alexandria burning…again? Are the archaeological teams okay? WHAT’S HAPPENING?”

With the internet down and Twitter blocked, we had to rely on second hand reports from friends of  friends or relatives in Egypt with land lines. Western papers speculated on rumors. Al Jazeera posted a series of scary photos on Flickr showing damaged items from the Cairo Museum. I’m sure visions of the criminal looting of the Baghdad Museum in Iraq, while U.S. troops guarded the Oil Ministry, flashed through more than one person’s mind. (more…)

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