Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:42 am
President Obama beat at least one of his adversaries on the stage at Hofstra University last night. He easily outperformed that guy — whoever he was — who debated against former Gov. Mitt Romney two weeks ago in Denver.
That much was obvious — and necessary for the president. The question now is whether it will be sufficient to restore his momentum in the race itself.
In 1990, a bloodless revolution brought down the Communist government of Mongolia,and their memorials to communist heroes were destroyed or sold for scrap. But one remaining statue of Lenin is being sold at auction.
What happens to underground artists after they step, blinking, into the harsh, flat light of the upper world? If they are Robert and Aline Crumb, not a whole hell of a lot — at least, not in their approach to their art. As amply demonstrated in Drawn Together, which collects comics the two cartoonists have created together since the late '70s, their specific subjects may change, but how they go about depicting those subjects — their shared impulse for autobiographical, self-deprecating logorrhea — remains constant.
Dellarobia Turnbow, the smart-mouthed heroine of Barbara Kingsolver'sFlight Behavior, is frustrated by her marriage to Cub, the boy who got her pregnant in high school, and by the grinding privation of life on her in-laws' failing farm. Kingsolver mixes a story of personal awakening with themes of environmental stewardship and climate change as a freak natural phenomenon begins to transform Dellarobia's life. This exclusive excerpt exhibits one of the book's pleasures — Kingsolver's closely observed depictions of rural life — as it introduces the main characters.