Lost keys, a snagged button, a wine glass upset—you spilled it, didn’t you, the wine didn’t spill itself? “The Complete Ghost Stories,” by M. R. James, first published between 1904 and 1935—and reprinted this year by Macmillan, in a hardbound pocket edition, perfect for reading in a stalled subway car—incorporate what the author, the master […]

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e blog A Gay Girl in Damascus began appearing in early 2011, with posts by Amina Arraf, a self-described Syrian-American lesbian. The title said it all. The Web site quickly grew in popularity, and Arraf began several online relationships with lesbian political activists, one of whom considered Arraf her long-distance girlfriend. When Arraf disappeared, a […]

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e first, incomplete Navajo-English Dictionary was compiled, in 1958, by Leon Wall, an official in the U.S. government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Wall, who was in charge of a literacy program on the Navajo reservation, worked on the dictionary with William Morgan, a Navajo translator. ’ąą’: “well (anticipation, as when a person approaches one as […]

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ilip Roth’s new collection of nonfiction, mostly writing about writing and about other writers, is called, with Rothian bluntness, “Why Write?” (Library of America). It’s the first nonfiction collection Roth has produced in many years, though some pieces in it have appeared in two previous volumes, “Reading Myself and Others” and “Shop Talk.” Where John […]

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