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    Romance Rehab Paid Member

    Sex Is Forbidden: A NovelBy Tim ParksArcade Publishing, 2013304 pp.; $24.95 cloth While sitting a traditional Vipassana retreat at an ancient hillside monastery in Italy, the British author Tim Parks found himself unable to silence the internal monologue of his mind. Inevitably, his self-mocking thoughts turned from sitting to writing: Of course I then imagined writing about this meaningless chatter and how brilliantly I could deconstruct myself, or someone like me (very like me), in a novel perhaps. I could very cleverly show how useless I was. Should I write a novel or should I make it nonfiction? Which would seem more necessary? More »
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    Going Native Paid Member

    The Empty Chair: Two NovellasBy Bruce WagnerBlue Rider Press,December 2013304 pp.; $26.95 cloth More »
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    Books in Brief Winter 2013 Paid Member

    Iconoclasts often fare badly in their lifetimes, their genius acknowledged only later on. Such was the fate of Gendun Chopel, a scholar, artist, and activist who now, six decades after his death, is a cultural hero to Tibetans both at home and in exile. Born in 1903 and trained in the Nyingma and Gelug traditions, Gendun Chopel traded in his monk’s robes in the mid-1920s to travel extensively in southern Asia, the first Tibetan to set foot in what is now Sri Lanka. Steeping himself in other languages and cultures, he recorded his research, observations, and insights in a lavishly illustrated volume he considered to be his life’s work. It was intended to introduce the insular Tibetans to the ways of the modern world but instead was rejected. More »
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    They Eat Puppies, Don't They? Paid Member

    They Eat Puppies, Don't They?By Christopher BuckleyGrand Central, 2013352 pp.; $15.00 paper The giant military contractor Groepping-Sprunt has a problem. Their executives dream of building the ultimate 21st-century weapon: a “predator drone the size of a commercial airliner,” complete with Gatling guns, Hellfire missiles, and cluster bombs. But Congress is balking at the multi-billion-dollar price tag. A “breathtakingly large and lethal killing machine” like this—let alone the even more deadly materiel they have secretly planned—requires a similarly large and lethal enemy. And right now, it’s not clear that America has one.  More »
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    A Tale for the Time Being Paid Member

    A Tale for the Time BeingBy Ruth OzekiViking, 2013422 pp.; $27.95 cloth “The time being” is an English translation of the Japanese word uji, which is the title of a short piece of writing about time, by the 13th-century Zen master and poet Eihei Dogen. The time being is deep time, as opposed to linear, chronological time. The time being is a kind of eternal present. A time being is also a being who lives in time, who is alive, and who will therefore die.  More »
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    Dunhuang Paid Member

    Dunhuang: Buddhist Art at the Gateway of the Silk RoadApril 19–October 6, 2013China Institute, New York Situated at the edge of the Gobi Desert between Mongolia and Tibet, the oasis city of Dunhuang is home to a complex of Buddhist cave shrines created between the 4th and 14th centuries. It is one of a number of such complexes built in northern China following the breakup of the Han empire in 220 CE. While a weak imperial government in the south retained Confucianism as its official doctrine for somewhat longer, the non-Han nomadic tribes who took control of the north enthusiastically adopted Buddhism, which had arrived in China from India in the first century.  More »