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Back in 1958, Boris Pasternak became only the second author (later Jean-Paul Sartre) to ever refuse the Nobel Prize for Literature. The thing is that while Sartre turned down the prize for philosophical reasons, Pasternak turned it down because the Soviet government would have given him a severe trouble if he'd dared to accept it. Wait, why? It was only one year before, in 1957, that Pasternak published his masterpiece Doctor Zhivago. He wrote the book in Russian, but since the book criticized......Read More
Based on its name, you may think that The Book Thief is a spy thriller or a Holmes-style detective story. Yep, a ten-year-old woman is the name's thief. Along with the books she is stealing are not top-secret documents-- they're only... books. If you have caught sneaking books today, you'd get in serious trouble (or at least collect a shocking library good). But we adore Liesel Meminger, and we root for her and her thieving ways throughout her narrative. This young German woman growing up in......Read More
August Wilson was born Fredrick August Kittle on April 27, 1945. His parents were Frederick Kittel, a German immigrant, and Daisy Wilson, an African woman woman. The playwright never saw much of his father growing up. He was mostly raised by his mother, in an apartment with no hot water, at Pittsburgh's Hill District, a largely black neighborhood. When he was 20, August Kittle formally became August Wilson. He ditched his absent father's name altogether, aligning himself with his mother, her......Read More
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