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Ralph Ellison

August 13, 2000
On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, Book Review wondered how the literature of conscience--a literature that includes such authors as Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair, Honore Balzac and Emile Zola, to name only a few--has blossomed (or not) in our own time. We asked a number of writers to consider the following questions: Which novel (or novels) prompted (or deepened) your own political awakening? How old were you when you read it and what effect did it have upon you?
April 15, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Lloyd L. Brown, 89, a novelist and journalist who helped write Paul Robeson's autobiography "Here I Stand," died April 1 at his home in New York of causes associated with aging. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Brown went to Europe in the 1930s as a freelance journalist and served in the Army Air Force during World War II. Later he became managing editor of New Masses, a weekly journal that published works by literary figures such as Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.
March 26, 1993 | SARA CATANIA
Starting next fall, novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be sharing shelf space with William Shakespeare at schools in the Oxnard Union High School District. The district board this week approved a proposal to add 13 books written by women and minorities to its core reading list. The additions will supplement the district's original 29-book list, introduced in 1986 in response to state-stipulated curriculum standards, said Assistant Supt. Gary Davis.
January 22, 2006
YES, Thomas Gibbons, you should continue to write about blacks, and more people should try to think about and write about blacks, and blacks should write about us. The day when we are all writing about each other, intermingling and intermarrying and every American is a nice beige color, we will at last have solved one of our greatest problems. ALICE HICKOX SELZER Oxnard ONE can only admire you for your courage to risk controversy by daring to write about African American (or "black")
November 22, 1998
Lisa Demattia, mother: "The Tortilla Curtain" by T.C. Boyle (Viking Penguin). "I had no expectations for this book and had never read Boyle before my book club chose 'Tortilla Curtain.' It is an excellent book club book because it raises so many issues: about the haves and have-nots in this country, about people crossing the border." * Sue DiJulio, elementary school principal: "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman (Bantam).
November 11, 2000 | EVANNE SCHNEIDER
Ten years ago, studies showed that a gap existed along ethnic lines on the SAT. Today's headlines reveal that more African American and Latino students are taking college entrance exams than ever before, but their average SAT scores are dropping further below those of their Asian American and white counterparts. What have we been doing? Or not doing?
October 11, 2007 | Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writer
Novelist Denis Johnson's "Tree of Smoke," a story drawn from the Vietnam War, was nominated Wednesday for the 2007 National Book Award in fiction, along with two first-time novelists and two short story writers. Essayist Christopher Hitchens was nominated in the nonfiction category for "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything," as was Edwidge Danticat's memoir of the Haitian diaspora, "Brother, I'm Dying," and Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes," about the history of the CIA.
November 19, 2009 | Carolyn Kellogg
The National Book Award for Fiction went to Colum McCann for his novel "Let the Great World Spin," a story of New York in 1974 that doubles as an allegory of 9/11. It was the final award at the black-tie event Wednesday evening in New York City. "In a certain way, novelists become unacknowledged historians, because we talk about small, tiny, little anonymous moments that won't necessarily make it into the history books," McCann told The Times last week. "I think we need stories, and we need to tell the stories over and over and over not only to remind us, but to be able to have that clarity of experience that changes us, so that we know who we are now because of who we have been at some other time."
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