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September 17, 2012 | By James Rainey
It was the advice of relatively junior aides and the memory of the U.S. standing idle during the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s that helped push President Obama toward the bombing of Moammar Kadafi's army, which staved off a potential slaughter in the undefended city of Benghazi, Libya, last year, according to a Vanity Fair article. The article by Michael Lewis portrays Obama as an introspective soul, who purportedly pays little heed to political ramifications in making the biggest decisions, finds wisdom outside the regular centers of power and focuses on some of his most important decisions by writing.
April 26, 2014 | David Colker
Mark Shand - brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall - was a modern version of the eccentric, slightly bumbling British adventurer. And he came by it honestly. He once walked and canoed across Indonesia for 12 days to get to a place where he could phone his mother. "And after all this enormous trouble," Shand told the Evening Standard in London in 2010, "I got through to the home number and said, 'Hi, Ma, it's me,' and she said, 'I can't talk to you now, I'm watching "Coronation Street.
August 14, 2003
I must object when Susan Carpenter describes Candace Bushnell as "unusually glamorous for a writer" ("More Glamour, Dish From the 'Sex'-y Gal," Aug. 7). Writers are always put down in Hollywood, but we could dress better if we wanted to. And had the money. And had taste. (By the way, have you heard the one about the dumb starlet? She was so dumb that she slept with the writer.) Richard Showstack Newport Beach
April 24, 2014 | By Robert Abele
A resourcefully stylish indie sci-fi entry from Britain, "The Machine" drapes sleek visuals over an artificial intelligence tale set in a top-secret British government facility where robots are being developed to fight a cold war with China. Empathic computer genius Vincent (Toby Stephens) has more on his mind, however, than creating a weapon-strength, self-aware being for his military boss (Denis Lawson). Vincent imagines a revolutionary future in which the brain-damaged (be they wounded soldiers or his medically afflicted daughter)
January 15, 2012 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's been nearly 15 years since his last feature, but the influence of writer-director Whit Stillman, the indie auteur who assayed the social and emotional mores of an urban haute bourgeoisie with his films "Metropolitan," "Barcelona" and "The Last Days of Disco," has only grown, his talky nuance and spiky affection becoming more resonant with time. Which makes the new "Damsels in Distress" both such a welcome return and somewhat of an unexpected departure. Pitched as something of an old-fashioned campus comedy, the film, set to open in March, follows a group of coeds led by the determined Violet (Greta Gerwig)
May 17, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Talk about taking issues into your own hands. National Review writer Kevin Williamson did just that Wednesday night, in what's now become either an infamous public outburst or a heroic arts effort. During a performance of the musical “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” at the New York pop-up bar and performance space Kazino, Williamson hurled a nearby woman's cellphone across the room when she refused to stop texting.  “I had a genuinely new experience at the theater tonight,” Williamson wrote that night on the National Review's website.
December 21, 2012 | By Hector Tobar
Few people read more literature that's written outside their own borders than the French. And if you want to get a really good sense about what's out there in the vast multilingual world of books, there's no better place to look than a French newspaper. This week, the respected Paris daily newspaper Libération asked 20 non-French writers to recommend 20 recently published books to their readers. (Among them there is a certain American novelist and blogger for Jacket Copy - moi .)
October 10, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Alice Munro was my teacher. No, I've never actually met the Canadian writer, who was enshrined Thursday as a Nobel laureate for literature. I mean she was my "teacher" in that way we writers think about the great authors whose published works instruct us in what the art can be. Like many other writers, I turned to Munro for help with a certain essential element of the craft of literary fiction. She taught me to see the glories of the everyday, the epic inside the ordinary. An Alice Munro story is the antithesis of melodrama.
September 15, 2010 | By John Kenney
"Jonathan Franzen's new novel, 'Freedom,' like his previous book, 'The Corrections,' is a masterpiece of American fiction.... Like all great novels, 'Freedom' does not just tell an engrossing story. It illuminates, through the steady radiance of its author's profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew. " — The New York Times Book Review Once in a generation, or perhaps once every two generations, or twice in one generation, or even something longer than a generation time-wise (be it once or twice)
February 13, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
With the succcess of Judd Apatow's movies, one stample of romantic comedies has become the loser adult guy who finds love. Once, that guy was a 40-year-old virgin working in an electronics store. Another time, he was a slacker on a bong water-stained couch. In the hands of other writers, he has changed -- he's become, of all things, a writer. The new film "Finding Joy," which opened in limited release last week, features a writer who is such a failure that he has to move in with his parents.
April 24, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It sounds contrived, and it is. It sounds like a bit of a stunt, and it is that too. It may even sound boring, but that it is not. In fact, whip-smart filmmaking by writer-director Steven Knight and his team combined with Tom Hardy's mesmerizing acting make the micro-budgeted British independent "Locke" more minute-to-minute involving than this year's more costly extravaganzas. Though a dozen actors are listed in "Locke's" credits, Hardy is the only one who appears on screen in this real-time drama that unfolds inside a moving BMW during the 85 minutes it takes construction foreman Ivan Locke to make a nighttime drive from Birmingham to London.
April 22, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The author and journalist Elena Poniatowska, who gained fame in Mexico for her chronicles of social injustice and government repression, is this year's winner of the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish language. Poniatowska, 82, has penned more than three dozen books, including several novels, children's books, essay collections, and works of nonfiction, including “La Noche de Tlatelolco,” (“The Night of Tlatelolco”) a groundbreaking oral history of the 1968 army massacre of student protesters in Mexico City.
April 18, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Gina Frangello's "A Life in Men" ( Algonquin ) is a novel about a woman with cystic fibrosis who decides to explore the word, making reckless choices with the knowledge that her time is limited. Frangello keeps very busy: She is fiction editor of the Nervous Breakdown, Sunday editor of the Rumpus, editor of Other Voices Books, an imprint of Dzanc, and teaches creative writing. "Frangello writes with epic ferocity," Beth Kephart wrote in the Chicago Tribune review of "A Life  in Men. " "She inhabits many countries brilliantly, many characters seamlessly, and a carousel of points of view.
April 17, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Perhaps at some point it will again be possible to write the name Woody Allen and go from there. But after a year marked by artistic highs and controversial lows for the filmmaker, it seems impossible. To address the elephant in the room, all you'll find on the docket today is a look at "Fading Gigolo," an amusing indie film that includes some of Allen's finest work as an actor in years. Written and directed not by Allen but John Turturro, "Fading Gigolo" is something of a tart meditation on romance and morality through the prism of the oldest profession.
April 17, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
It may be generations before we see another writer reach Gabriel Garcia Marquez's stature; he was so well-known and well-loved. His novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" became an international bestseller of previously unknown proportions. After he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982, he rubbed shoulders with world leaders, kept writing, and, in countries all over the globe, celebrated books. Now, with Garcia Marquez gone, his fans -- presidents, writers, and more -- have been sharing their appreciation for the man and his work.
April 14, 2014 | By Margaret Gray
As he has done so often in print under his pseudonym, Lemony Snicket, the writer Daniel Handler ("A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "All the Wrong Questions") doled out sage life advice to fans of all ages Sunday during a chat with fellow author Ransom Riggs ("Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children") at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. After telling a story about meeting in a bar with the agent who would agree to represent the gothic "Series," Handler reminded himself that there were probably children present.
November 20, 1994
A funeral service has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Old North Church at Forest Lawn Mortuary, Hollywood Hills, for Bea Maxwell, longtime columnist and feature writer for The Times. Mrs. Maxwell was 63 when she was found dead of respiratory complications at her Northeast Los Angeles home Nov. 11. Among her other assignments, Mrs.
September 7, 2005 | From a Times Staff Writer
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has located a veteran reporter who was last heard from the day before Hurricane Katrina struck the region on Aug. 29. Rising water had forced the newspaper to abandon its offices Aug. 30 but it returned to print a few days later at a new location with the help of a neighboring newspaper. The paper had its last contact with Leslie Williams as he was en route to the Mississippi coast to report on a hurricane shelter.
April 13, 2014 | By Adam Tschorn
There was no shortage of chuckles, guffaws, sniggers, giggles and flat-out belly laughs at the Saturday afternoon panel discussion "Make Me Laugh! Humor Writing Across Genres" at the Festival of Books, which featured Mary Lou Belli, Sandra Tsing Loh and Michael Price, and was moderated by M.G. Lord. The panelists held forth for an hour (they and the audience seemed full well ready to clock a second hour), in front of an overflowing crowd, about the TV shows that helped shape their sense of humor ("F Troop," "MASH" and "Get Smart" among them)
April 13, 2014 | By Soumya Karlamangla
Fiction writers discussed what it means to write novels about characters and cultures with specific ethnic identities, while also debating who is able to tell those stories, in a panel called "Fiction: Writing Culture and Character" at the Festival of Books on Sunday.  Rebecca Walker has written several memoirs, including "Black, White and Jewish," but wrote her first novel last year, about an American who goes to to Africa. Walker said she paid attention to, and made sure not to fall into, the tropes of the noble savage and the privileged American in telling a story that was both "true and subversive.
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