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The Vanishing Velázquez

The Vanishing Velázquez
  • Author : Laura Cumming
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2016-04-12
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 1476762163
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Summary : NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016 “As compelling and entertaining as a detective novel” (The Economist), the incredible true story—part art history and part mystery—of a Velázquez portrait that went missing and the obsessed nineteenth-century bookseller determined to prove he had found it. When John Snare, a nineteenth century provincial bookseller, traveled to a liquidation auction, he found a vivid portrait of King Charles I that defied any explanation. The Charles of the painting was young—too young to be king—and yet also too young to be painted by the Flemish painter to whom the piece was attributed. Snare had found something incredible—but what? His research brought him to Diego Velázquez, whose long-lost portrait of Prince Charles has eluded art experts for generations. Velázquez (1599–1660) was the official painter of the Madrid court, during the time the Spanish Empire teetered on the edge of collapse. When Prince Charles of England—a man wealthy enough to help turn Spain’s fortunes—proposed a marriage with a Spanish princess, he allowed just a few hours to sit for his portrait, and Snare believed only Velázquez could have been the artist of choice. But in making his theory public, Snare was ostracized and forced to choose, like Velázquez himself, between art and family. A thrilling investigation into the complex meaning of authenticity and the unshakable determination that drives both artists and collectors of their work, The Vanishing Velázquez is a “brilliant” (The Atlantic) tale of mystery and detection, of tragic mishaps and mistaken identities, of class, politics, snobbery, crime, and almost farcical accident that reveals how one historic masterpiece was crafted and lost, and how far one man would go to redeem it. Laura Cumming’s book is “sumptuous...A gleaming work of someone at the peak of her craft” (The New York Times).

The Vanishing Man

The Vanishing Man
  • Author : Laura Cumming
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2016-01-07
  • Total pages :320
  • ISBN : 1448182360
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Summary : WINNER OF THE JAMES TAIT BLACK BIOGRAPHY PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION Selected as a Book of the Year in the Herald In 1845, a Reading bookseller named John Snare came across the dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velázquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history - a quest that led from fame to ruin and exile. Fusing detection and biography, this book shows how and why great works of art can affect us, even to the point of mania. And on the trail of John Snare, Cumming makes a surprising discovery of her own. But most movingly, The Vanishing Man is an eloquent and passionate homage to the Spanish master Velázquez, bringing us closer to the creation and appreciation of his works than ever before.

The Vanishing Man

The Vanishing Man
  • Author : Laura Cumming
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2016-01-07
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 9780701188443
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Summary : *BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week* "The Vanishing Man is a riveting detective story and a brilliant reconstruction of an art controversy, but it is also a homage to the art of Velázquez, written by a critic who remains spellbound by his genius, as readers will be spellbound by this book" - Colm Tóibín In 1845, a Reading bookseller named John Snare came across the dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velázquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history. When Laura Cumming stumbled on a startling trial involving John Snare, it sent her on a search of her own. At first she was pursuing the picture, and the life and work of the elusive painter, but then she found herself following the booksellerâe(tm)s fortunes too âe" from London to Edinburgh to nineteenth-century New York, from fame to ruin and exile. An innovative fusion of detection and biography, this book shows how and why great works of art can affect us, even to the point of mania. And on the trail of John Snare, Cumming makes a surprising discovery of her own. But most movingly, The Vanishing Man is an eloquent and passionate homage to the Spanish master Velázquez, bringing us closer to the creation and appreciation of his works than ever before.

On Chapel Sands

On Chapel Sands
  • Author : Laura Cumming
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2019-07-04
  • Total pages :320
  • ISBN : 9781784742478
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Summary : **BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK** 'A modern masterpiece' Guardian Uncovering the mystery of her mother's disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize-winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story. In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered nothing of these events and nobody ever spoke of them at home. It was another fifty years before she even learned of the kidnap. The girl became an artist and had a daughter, art writer Laura Cumming. Cumming grew up enthralled by her mother's strange tales of life in a seaside hamlet of the 1930s, and of the secrets and lies perpetuated by a whole community. So many puzzles remained to be solved. Cumming began with a few criss-crossing lives in this fraction of English coast - the postman, the grocer, the elusive baker - but soon her search spread right out across the globe as she discovered just how many lives were affected by what happened that day on the beach - including her own. On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir. Two narratives run through it: the mother's childhood tale; and Cumming's own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vick's jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth. Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album - with its curious gaps and missing persons - finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter. 'A moving, many-sided human story of great depth and tenderness, and a revelation of how art enriches life' Sunday Times

Everything is Happening

Everything is Happening
  • Author : Michael Jacobs
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2015-08-06
  • Total pages :240
  • ISBN : 1847088090
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Summary : A fascinating journey through a single painting’s history, meanings and associations by “one of the great non-fiction writers of this and the last century” (Simon Schama, Financial Times). Acclaimed travel author and art historian Michael Jacobs was haunted by Velázquez’s enigmatic masterpiece Las Meninas from first encountering it in the Prado as a teenager. In Everything is Happening Jacobs searches for the ultimate significance of the painting by following the many associations suggested by each of its characters, as well as his own relationship to the work. From Jacobs’ first trip to Spain to the politics of Golden Age Madrid, to his meeting with the man who saved Las Meninas during the Spanish Civil war, to his experiences in the sunless world of the art history academy, Jacobs delivers a brilliantly discursive meditation on art and life that dissolves the barriers between the past and the present, the real and the illusory. Cut short by Jacobs’ death in 2014, and completed with an introduction and coda by his friend and fellow art lover, the journalist Ed Vulliamy, this visionary and often very funny book is a passionate, personal manifesto for the liberation of how we look at painting.

A Face to the World: On Self-Portraits

A Face to the World: On Self-Portraits
  • Author : Laura Cumming
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2014-01-30
  • Total pages :320
  • ISBN : 0007391943
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Summary : Focusing on the art of self-portraiture, this effortlessly engaging exploration of the lives of artists sheds fascinating light on some of the most extraordinary portraits in art history.

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018
  • Author : Peter Schjeldahl
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2019-06-04
  • Total pages :400
  • ISBN : 1683355296
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Summary : Hot Cold Heavy Light collects 100 writings—some long, some short—that taken together forma group portrait of many of the world’s most significant and interesting artists. From Pablo Picasso to Cindy Sherman, Old Masters to contemporary masters, paintings to comix, and saints to charlatans, Schjeldahl ranges widely through the diverse and confusing art world, an expert guide to a dazzling scene. No other writer enhances the reader’s experience of art in precise, jargon-free prose as Schjeldahl does. His reviews are more essay than criticism, and he offers engaging and informative accounts of artists and their work. For more than three decades, he has written about art with Emersonian openness and clarity. A fresh perspective, an unexpected connection, a lucid gloss on a big idea awaits the reader on every page of this big, absorbing, buzzing book.

Baby, Don't Hurt Me

Baby, Don't Hurt Me
  • Author : Chris Kattan
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2019-05-07
  • Total pages :270
  • ISBN : 1944648763
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Summary : You may know him as Mango, Mr. Peepers, the gibberish-spouting Suel Forrester, or one half of the head-bopping brothers in A Night at the Roxbury. Maybe you remember him as the forlorn gothic kid Azrael Abyss, Gay Hitler, or the guitarist in the “More Cowbell” sketch. Whichever it is, Chris Kattan has earned a spot in the hearts of a generation of comedy fans. Chris Kattan has defied comparison, expectations, and sometimes gravity with his inimitable style of physical comedy. By creating some of the most memorable Saturday Night Live characters, as well as his many roles in film and television, Kattan has remained one of the most fearless and versatile comedians in the world. Not long after Chris was labeled one of the improv group Groundlings’ “must-see” performers in the company, he was cast on SNL—and within the first six weeks, Chris’s film career also took off. Now, for the first time, Kattan opens up about eight seasons on SNL, performing alongside friends and future legends including Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, and Tina Fey, and guest hosts from Charlize Theron to Tom Hanks to David Bowie. He also shares stories of his unusual childhood (involving a secluded mountain with zen monks) with Leonard Cohen and Alan Watts. Baby, Don’t Hurt Me offers an unprecedented look into Chris’s life, from his fascinating relationship with Lorne Michaels, a private Valentine’s Day dinner with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, an unforgettable flight with Beyoncé, and even breaking his neck on live television. Baby, Don’t Hurt Me is a candid, revealing memoir from a timeless comedian and a window into the world of millennium-era SNL, from the rehearsals to the after-after parties, as narrated by your hilarious and inspiring friend—who just so happened to be there for all of it.

Velázquez and The Surrender of Breda

Velázquez and The Surrender of Breda
  • Author : Anthony Bailey
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2011-11-08
  • Total pages :288
  • ISBN : 1429973773
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Summary : Behind the famous painting by Diego Velázquez lies a rich story of the artist's life in art What began as propaganda art to celebrate a rare Spanish victory in the Eighty Years' War with Holland, The Surrender at Breda is today recognized as Velázquez's narrative masterpiece. Breda is packed with vivid military detail—whole armies are suggested on the huge canvas, twelve feet high and eleven feet wide. Unlike typical surrender scenes, there is neither a heroic victor on horseback nor a vanquished commander on his knees. Instead the rivals appear on foot almost as equals. The loser bends forward to offer the key and receives a chivalrous pat on his shoulder, as if to say: "Fortune has favored me, but our roles might have been reversed." Anthony Bailey examines the paintings from which the artist arose, coaxing stories from them that flesh out a complete portrait of one of the world's major artists whose personal life has remained largely unknown.

The Bellini Madonna

The Bellini Madonna
  • Author : Elizabeth Lowry
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2009-04-27
  • Total pages :352
  • ISBN : 9781429953511
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Summary : Thomas Lynch was once a brilliant young art historian. Now he is a disgraced, middle-aged art historian, overly fond of the bottle and of his fresh young students. But everything will change now that he's on the trail of a lost masterpiece, a legendary Madonna by the Italian master Giovanni Bellini. Insinuating himself into the crumbling English manor house where the painting may be concealed, Lynch attempts to gull the eccentric and perversely beautiful women who live there—though he himself seems to be the pawn in this elaborate game. A Victorian diary that draws Robert Browning into the painting's complicated provenance might provide the key—if only Lynch can manage to beat his hosts in the search. In the end, it will be Lynch's own vulnerable heart that betrays the betrayer. Interlaced with complex clues and hidden jokes, The Bellini Madonna reels from the lush English countryside to the sternly lovely hill towns of the Veneto, from the fifteenth century to the twenty-first. It is a spectacularly original debut.

Painted Horses

Painted Horses
  • Author : Malcolm Brooks
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2014-08-05
  • Total pages :386
  • ISBN : 0802192602
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Summary : The national bestseller that “reads like a cross between Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms” (The Dallas Morning News). In this ambitious, incandescent debut, Malcolm Brooks animates the untamed landscape of the West in the 1950s. Catherine Lemay is a young archaeologist on her way to Montana, with a huge task before her. Working ahead of a major dam project, she has one summer to prove nothing of historical value will be lost in the flood. From the moment she arrives, nothing is familiar—the vastness of the canyon itself mocks the contained, artifact-rich digs in post-Blitz London where she cut her teeth. And then there’s John H, a former mustanger and veteran of the U.S. Army’s last mounted cavalry campaign, living a fugitive life in the canyon. John H inspires Catherine to see beauty in the stark landscape, and her heart opens to more than just the vanished past. Painted Horses sends a dauntless young woman on a heroic quest, sings a love song to the horseman’s vanishing way of life, and reminds us that love and ambition, tradition and the future, often make strange bedfellows. “Engrossing . . . The best novels are not just written but built—scene by scene, character by character—until a world emerges for readers to fall into. Painted Horses creates several worlds.” —USA Today (4 out of 4 stars) “Extraordinary . . . both intimate and sweeping in a way that may remind readers of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient . . . Painted Horses is, after all, one of those big, old-fashioned novels where the mundane and the unlikely coexist.” —The Boston Globe

Of Arms and Artists

Of Arms and Artists
  • Author : Paul Staiti
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2016-10-18
  • Total pages :400
  • ISBN : 1632864673
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Summary : A vibrant and original perspective on the American Revolution through the stories of the five great artists whose paintings animated the new American republic. The images accompanying the founding of the United States--of honored Founders, dramatic battle scenes, and seminal moments--gave visual shape to Revolutionary events and symbolized an entirely new concept of leadership and government. Since then they have endured as indispensable icons, serving as historical documents and timeless reminders of the nation's unprecedented beginnings. As Paul Staiti reveals in Of Arms and Artists, the lives of the five great American artists of the Revolutionary period--Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart--were every bit as eventful as those of the Founders with whom they continually interacted, and their works contributed mightily to America's founding spirit. Living in a time of breathtaking change, each in his own way came to grips with the history they were living through by turning to brushes and canvases, the results often eliciting awe and praise, and sometimes scorn. Their imagery has connected Americans to 1776, allowing us to interpret and reinterpret the nation's beginning generation after generation. The collective stories of these five artists open a fresh window on the Revolutionary era, making more human the figures we have long honored as our Founders, and deepening our understanding of the whirlwind out of which the United States emerged.

Painter to the King

Painter to the King
  • Author : Amy Sackville
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2019-04
  • Total pages :319
  • ISBN : 9781783783922
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Summary : This is a portrait of Diego Velázquez, from his arrival at the court of King Philip IV of Spain in May 1622, to his death 38 years and several hundred paintings later. It is a portrait of a relationship that is not quite a friendship, between a king and his subject and between an artist and his subject. It is a portrait of a ruler, always on duty, and increasingly burdened by a life of public expectation and repeated private grief. And it is a portrait of a court collapsing under the weight of its own excess.

Breaking Free

Breaking Free
  • Author : Rachel Jeffs
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2017-11-14
  • Total pages :304
  • ISBN : 0062670549
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Summary : In this searing memoir of survival in the spirit of Stolen Innocence, the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the FLDS Church, takes you deep inside the secretive polygamist Mormon fundamentalist cult run by her family and how she escaped it. Born into the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Rachel Jeffs was raised in a strict patriarchal culture defined by subordinate sister wives and men they must obey. No one in this radical splinter sect of the Mormon Church was more powerful or terrifying than its leader Warren Jeffs—Rachel’s father. Living outside mainstream Mormonism and federal law, Jeffs arranged marriages between under-age girls and middle-aged and elderly members of his congregation. In 2006, he gained international notoriety when the FBI placed him on its Ten Most Wanted List. Though he is serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, Jeffs’ iron grip on the church remains firm, and his edicts to his followers increasingly restrictive and bizarre. In Breaking Free, Rachel blows the lid off this taciturn community made famous by Jon Krakauer’s bestselling Under the Banner of Heaven to offer a harrowing look at her life with Warren Jeffs, and the years of physical and emotional abuse she suffered. Sexually assaulted, compelled into an arranged polygamous marriage, locked away in "houses of hiding" as punishment for perceived transgressions, and physically separated from her children, Rachel, Jeffs’ first plural daughter by his second of more than fifty wives, eventually found the courage to leave the church in 2015. But Breaking Free is not only her story—Rachel’s experiences illuminate those of her family and the countless others who remain trapped in the strange world she left behind. A shocking and mesmerizing memoir of faith, abuse, courage, and freedom, Breaking Free is an expose of religious extremism and a beacon of hope for anyone trying to overcome personal obstacles.

Chagall

Chagall
  • Author : Jackie Wullschlager
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2008-10-21
  • Total pages :608
  • ISBN : 0307270580
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Summary : “When Matisse dies,” Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, “Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” As a pioneer of modernism and one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall achieved fame and fortune, and over the course of a long career created some of the best-known and most-loved paintings of our time. Yet behind this triumph lay struggle, heartbreak, bitterness, frustration, lost love, exile—and above all the miracle of survival. Born into near poverty in Russia in 1887, the son of a Jewish herring merchant, Chagall fled the repressive “potato-colored” tsarist empire in 1911 for Paris. There he worked alongside Modigliani and Léger in the tumbledown tenement called La Ruche, where “one either died or came out famous.” But turmoil lay ahead—war and revolution; a period as an improbable artistic commissar in the young Soviet Union; a difficult existence in Weimar Germany, occupied France, and eventually the United States. Throughout, as Jackie Wullschlager makes plain in this groundbreaking biography, he never ceased giving form on canvas to his dreams, longings, and memories. His subject, more often than not, was the shtetl life of his childhood, the wooden huts and synagogues, the goatherds, rabbis, and violinists—the whole lost world of Eastern European Jewry. Wullschlager brilliantly describes this world and evokes the characters who peopled it: Chagall’s passionate, energetic mother, Feiga-Ita; his eccentric fellow painter and teacher Bakst; his clever, intense first wife, Bella; their glamorous daughter, Ida; his tough-minded final companion and wife, Vava; and the colorful, tragic array of artist, actor, and writer friends who perished under the Stalinist regime. Wullschlager explores in detail Chagall’s complex relationship with Russia and makes clear the Russian dimension he brought to Western modernism. She shows how, as André Breton put it, “under his sole impulse, metaphor made its triumphal entry into modern painting,” and helped shape the new surrealist movement. As art critic of the Financial Times, she provides a breadth of knowledge on Chagall’s work, and at the same time as an experienced biographer she brings Chagall the man fully to life—ambitious, charming, suspicious, funny, contradictory, dependent, but above all obsessively determined to produce art of singular beauty and emotional depth. Drawing upon hitherto unseen archival material, including numerous letters from the family collection in Paris, and illustrated with nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, and photographs, Chagall is a landmark biography to rank with Hilary Spurling’s Matisse and John Richardson’s Picasso. From the Hardcover edition.

Comedy Sex God

Comedy Sex God
  • Author : Pete Holmes
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2019-05-14
  • Total pages :320
  • ISBN : 0062803999
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Summary : Part autobiography, part philosophical inquiry, and part spiritual quest, Comedy Sex God is a hilarious, profound, and enlightening romp around the fertile mind of stand-up stand-out, podcast king, and HBO superstar Pete Holmes. Pete Holmes is a sold-out-every-night stand-up comedian with two HBO specials and the host of the hugely successful podcast You Made It Weird, and he was the creator-star of the hit HBO show Crashing. But it wasn’t always roses for Pete. Growing up, Pete was raised an evangelical Christian, but his religion taught him that being “bad”—smoking, drinking, having doubts or premarital sex—would get him sent to an eternity in hell. So, terrified of the God he loved, Pete devoted his life to being “good,” even marrying his first girlfriend at the age of twenty-two only to discover a few years later he was being cheated on. Thanks for nothing, God. Pete’s failed attempt at a picture-perfect life forced him to reexamine his beliefs, but neither atheism, nor Christianity, nor copious bottles of Yellow Tail led him to enlightenment. Pete longed for a model of faith that served him and his newfound uncertainties about the universe, so he embarked on a soul-seeking journey that continues to this day. Through encounters with mind-altering substances, honing his craft in front of thousands of his comedy fans, and spending time with savants like Ram Dass, Pete forged a new life—both spiritually and personally. Beautifully written and often completely hilarious—imagine Dass’s Be Here Now if penned by one of the funniest people alive—Comedy Sex God reveals a man at the top of his game and a seeker in search of the deeper meanings of life, love, and comedy.

Lake of Secrets

Lake of Secrets
  • Author : Lael Littke
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2002-05-01
  • Total pages :208
  • ISBN : 1466839112
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Summary : Can Carlene really be remembering things from a past life? Strange, fragmented memories have been haunting Carlene since she and her mother came to Lake Isadora. The vivid recollections don't seem to relate to anything in Carlene's own past. Until now, she hadn't even seen the place where Keith, the brother she never knew, disappeared during a storm fifteen years ago. Some think he drowned, but his mother thinks he was kidnapped and is still alive somewhere. She is sure the little boy's clothes that have just been found near the lake belonged to her son. Carlene knows that her bizarre memories have something to do with Keith. They might even help her discover the truth about what happened the day he disappeared. But she can't possibly be remembering things that happened before she was born-unless the memories are from a past life.

Secret Knowledge

Secret Knowledge
  • Author : David Hockney
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2009-05
  • Total pages :328
  • ISBN : 9780500600207
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Summary :

The Classical Tradition

The Classical Tradition
  • Author : Anthony Grafton,Glenn W Most,Salvatore Settis
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2010-10-25
  • Total pages :1067
  • ISBN : 9780674035720
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Summary : Collects alphabetically arranged essays on how classical tradition has shaped popular culture, government, mathematics, medicine, and drama.

The Weight of Ink

The Weight of Ink
  • Author : Rachel Kadish
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2017-06-06
  • Total pages :576
  • ISBN : 0544866673
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Summary : WINNER OF A NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD A USA TODAY BESTSELLER "A gifted writer, astonishingly adept at nuance, narration, and the politics of passion."—Toni Morrison Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. When Helen is summoned by a former student to view a cache of newly discovered seventeenth-century Jewish documents, she enlists the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph." Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is about women separated by centuries—and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

Surviving Pablo Escobar

Surviving Pablo Escobar
  • Author : Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez
  • Publisher :Unknown
  • Release Date :2017-05-03
  • Total pages :384
  • ISBN : 9588243513
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Summary : I've begged God for forgiveness, but I won't know till the day I die if He has truly forgiven me ... I've paid my dues to society by serving my long sentence, but perhaps I haven't earned His indulgence ... Oh my God, I've lived so many different lives! I survived Pablo Escobar Gaviria, El Patrón (The Boss), and it was the strength of his indomitable spirit that kept me going all these years; I don't quite know how or why. I still feel his presence every day of my existence. The Medellin cartel's crimes weigh as heavily on my shoulders today as they did yesterday. My youth, wasted in crime, became the sword that now hangs over my graying head. To the world, I'll always be known by my alias, Popeye, the fearsome hitman of the Medellin cartel, Pablo Escobar Gaviria's right-hand man ... How can I make you understand I'm a new man ... that twenty-three years behind bars in that hellhole have transformed the person I once was. Now the freedom I yearned for is vanishing in the murderous hands of my enemies. Perhaps fate has extended my life only to toy with me by preparing my own dying moments. I survived in captivity but I don't know if I'll be able to live in freedom ... A prisoner of my own mind, I'll try to fight to find some peace ... It's very cold ... now it's August 2014. I'm one step from freedom and I'm still breathing ... still here in this dimly lit cell in the maximum security prison in Cómbita, Boyacá.