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Private Life

May 9, 2010 | By Richard Eder, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Private Life A Novel Jane Smiley Alfred A. Knopf: 324 pp., $26.95 "O the wo that is in marriage," the Wife of Bath proclaimed while emerging, for all that, lusty and free. In her new novel, Jane Smiley stirs up marital woe as thick as mud, yet her female protagonist never manages to send up more than a rebellious bubble or two before sinking back under. The sardonically titled "Private Life" — the one that Margaret and Andrew Early construct is a fetid horror — loads the dice.
August 16, 2009 | David Sarno
When Maya Rupert wrote an article frowning at several Southern states for officially celebrating Confederate History Month, Internet critics lined up to fire back. But this time, they arrived with more than harsh words. The 28-year-old Los Angeles attorney's detractors dug up a photo of her and posted it, along with details of political contributions she'd made, in an online discussion of the article she wrote for the L.A. Watts Times. They called their finds evidence of her bias on the emotionally charged subject.
Marion Barry: Washington, D.C. councilman, mayor, womanizer, drug abuser, convict, punch line, councilman, mayor, councilman. Viewed from a safe distance, his extravagant misadventures have been good for a laugh or two over the years, the odd bemused shake of the head. Nowadays, of course, scandal-beset politicians can seem as common as crows. But what sets Barry apart is that however crazy his private life has become, he has been continually returned to office. Now 73, he's in his second term representing D.C.'s disadvantaged Eighth Ward on the City Council.
July 8, 2009 | Henry Chu
No one accuses Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of being a reluctant host. In fact, as he greets the world leaders jetting in to Italy today for a three-day summit, the billionaire head of government's problem is just the opposite: Eyebrows are raised at home and abroad at Berlusconi's willingness to welcome guests who tend to be young, photogenic women.
June 7, 2009 | Cathleen Decker
The mayor of Los Angeles has another girlfriend, we learned last week. Like a previous one, whose presence inspired the breakup of his marriage, she is a newscaster; she had a bikini shot on her website -- at least before it was blocked. The actress wife of San Francisco's mayor has a bikini portrait on her website too, as well as a bunch of what once would have been described as come-hither shots.
March 2, 2009 | Karin Klein, Karin Klein is a Los Angeles Times editorial writer.
Time was, kids would come home to show off their latest test, adorned with a star from the teacher. At the dinner table, they talked about what happened at school -- or, in response to questions, sullenly said, "Nothing," leaving their parents to worry about how badly things had gone. Now they just give you the password to the browser. Who needs maternal instinct? Today, the school's online data systems tell me everything I need to know about my children's classroom performance.
March 2, 2008 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
It is Christmas Eve. Two women sit on a hotel bed, gazing into each other's eyes. They kiss. The younger woman begins to remove her blouse. Then the older woman puts an end to the moment of intimacy and the younger one, confused and embarrassed, storms off.
December 29, 2007 | Steve Padilla, Times Staff Writer
I like to call it my night with the atheist and the rabbi. The American Jewish University invited me, as an editor of articles on religion, to moderate a debate this fall between author Sam Harris and Rabbi David Wolpe, and for about 90 minutes they analyzed the role of religion in public and private life. Harris, author of the bestsellers "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation," noted the violence committed in the name of religion.
June 16, 2007 | Duke Helfand, Times Staff Writer
With the collapse of his 20-year marriage spilling into public view this week, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is fighting to keep private the most intimate details of his life. Rumors persist about Villaraigosa and other relationships, but he and his staff have so far refused to address the buzz. In this era of nonstop campaigning and 24-hour news cycles, experts say the voting public may be indifferent to a politician's personal foibles and marital transgressions.
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