Kinder Than Solitude, the latest novel from Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, examines the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on a generation of youth. Following three friends, the novel alternates between 1990s Beijing and present-day America, where two of the friends immigrated. At the heart of the story is the mysterious murder that brought the three friends together over 20 years ago, and what they're only now learning about it.
Omar is a young Palestinian baker who often climbs the Israeli-built security barrier that divides his hometown — to visit his secret Israeli love, Nadia. After he's arrested and accused of the murder of an Israeli soldier, he starts working as an informant for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service; it's a dangerous game Omar plays, one that brings trust, love and friendship into question.
The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."
Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.
Hollywood helped win World War II — and by that, we don't mean John Wayne, but five of the country's most celebrated film directors, who went to work making films for the War Department that showed Americans at war, overseas and in the skies, living, fighting, bleeding and dying. Those films changed America — and deepened the men who made them, including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra.