April 12, 2013 |
A few weeks ago, I visited Rachel Kushner in her Angelino Heights home to talk about her second novel, “The Flamethrowers.” Taking place in lower Manhattan and Italy in the late 1970s, “The Flamethrowers” is an inquiry into art, politics and identity, set against a pair of landscapes defined by turmoil. Kushner is smart and deeply thoughtful; her reflections on the book, and the issues it raises, appear in this Sunday's Arts & Books . Here is more of our conversation.
April 12, 2013 |
Rachel Kushner's house in Angelino Heights feels about a million miles - and a million years - from the tumult embodied in her novels. There are books on shelves and stacks of children's games; in one corner, a music stand holds a beginner's songbook for guitar. And yet, even on a quiet afternoon in early spring, one finds traces, echoes of the broader world. Perhaps most prominent is the large framed map of Cuba, the setting for Kushner's first book, "Telex from Cuba," a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award.
April 10, 2013 |
ROME -- The operator of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which struck rocks and partially sank off Italy last year, killing 32 people, agreed Wednesday to pay a $1.3-million fine to avoid a possible criminal trial. A judge in Tuscany accepted the plea agreement for Costa Crociere , a division of Miami-based Carnival Corp. , in connection with the shipwreck off the island of Giglio in January 2012. The company will not face trial, but a hearing is scheduled Monday in Tuscany to determine whether six of the firm's employees -- including the vessel's captain, Francesco Schettino , who is accused of steering the vessel ontothe rocks -- must stand trial on charges that inclu de manslaughter.
March 30, 2013 |
We spent our 25th wedding anniversary in Italy. We stayed at the wonderful Borgo Argenina B&B in the Chianti area of Tuscany as our home base. We visited Siena and Montalcino, as well as many small villages and castles in the area. The true star was Elena Nappa, who runs the B&B. Her cooking class was wonderful, and her hospitality and knowledge of the area are second to none. Meeting and getting to know her was the highlight of our trip. Borgo Argenina, Gaiole in Chianti, Siena; 011-39-0577-747117, http://www.borgoargenina.it . Rooms from about $219, villas from about $309.
March 26, 2013 |
ROME -- Italy's highest court Tuesday ordered Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to stand trial again for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, overturning their acquittals. The Seattle-born Knox and Sollecito, her former boyfriend, were convicted in 2009 of murdering fellow student Kercher, 21, who was found half-naked in a pool of blood in the house in Perugia that she shared with Knox. The convictions were overturned in 2011 on grounds of a lack of sound evidence and motivation.
March 26, 2013 |
ROME -- Amanda Knox, who was ordered Tuesday by Italy's highest court to again stand trial for the murder of her housemate, called the turn in her case "painful. " In a statement, Knox, 25, said that the prosecution's theory in the case "has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair. " Knox, an American from Seattle, was attending school in Italy in 2007 when British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in the house they shared in Perugia. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted two years later in a case that garnered headlines around the world.