Hold the Flag High by Catherine Clinton

William H. Carney is an officer of the first all African-American regiment of the Civil War. Carney’s determination not to allow the flag to touch the ground inspired his men to move forward into battle. Catherine Clinton gives an historical account of the first African American who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Paul Auster wins major literary award in Spain

Paul Auster wins major literary award in Spain

Paul Auster, 59, was awarded Spain's The Prince of Asturias Award for Letters yesterday.

Auster, whose latest novel, Brooklyn Follies (2006), was released earlier this year was praised by prize committee president, Victor Garcia de la Concha, as "...one of the U.S. greatest living writers."

Auster, married to author Siri Hustvedt, will receive the 50,000 Euro ($70,760) purse in an October 2006 ceremony.

Fresh Air Picks from the Week of May 22nd, 2006

Award-winning Australian novelist Peter Carey has a new novel out, called Theft: A Love Story. Publisher's Weekly calls it "a magnificent high-stakes art heist wrapped around a fraternal saga." Carey has already won the Booker Prize twice, for Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang. Listen to the review on Fresh Air here.

You may know Leonard Cohen from his music, but he's also been writing poetry for over fifty years. On Monday, he spoke on Fresh Air about his new volume of poetry, Book of Longing. Listen to the piece on Fresh Air here.

Prolific country music singer and songwriter Willie Nelson also has a new book out, called The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart. Also, check out the two-disk set The Essential Willie Nelson or Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits (and some that will be). Listen to the piece on Fresh Air here.

Curiouser and curiouser ...

Ever feel as though it's all been done before? As though you may as well give up trying to create anything new, because your efforts will never equal those of the masters?

The Alexandrians, named "for the fire, not the library," feel the same way.

To help pave the way for new art, they have orchestrated the planned removal from society of works of art, literature, music, film ...

A talking dog, a nine-year pregnancy, Hank Williams ... with this strange brew, Terry Bisson, author of the short story "Bears Discover Fire," delivers the increasingly odd story of one of those charged with doing the removing: The Pickup Artist.

In the Wake of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was a good chance to finish reading Flights of Passage: Recollections of a World War II Aviator by Samuel Hynes, a fabulously personal account of one man's experience learning to fly and fighting in the Pacific at the tail end of World War II. Many veterans of Hynes' generation are participating in the Veterans History Project organized by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

The Today Show features AWOL

The Today Show highlights a new book on "The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service-and How It Hurts Our Country".

How many famous people can you name that are currently serving in the armed forces? Why aren't the rich and famous in uniform? Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaffer discuss how "we were raised in a culture, a privileged culture, that misunderstands and underestimates the meaning of military service".

The Dragon King of Hogwarts

It's true--a recently discovered dinosaur fossil in South Dakota has been named Dracorex hogwartsia after the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In case you've been hiding in a cave for the past ten years, Hogwarts' most famous student is young Harry Potter. Dracorex hogwartsia earned its name because the dinosaur's flattened head looks a lot like a dragon, and dragons play an important role at Hogwarts. (Their Latin motto, in fact, translates to "a sleeping dragon must never be tickled.") Read more about the dragonlike pachycephalosaur or go see it the next time you are in Indianapolis.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

The award winning classic, COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA, is being staged from June 1-4 at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti. COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA was William Inge’s first play and won the Tony and Academy Award for Shirley Booth, for her portrayal of Lola, the housewife, who reflects on her faded dreams as she searches for her beloved lost dog Sheba. Redbud’s version of this American classic will feature an accomplished cast including well-loved area actress Sandy Ryder as the touching Lola and Tim Grimes as her disillusioned husband. The play is directed by Loretta Grimes. Take a break from gardening to root(!) for little Sheba to come home.

X-Men Extravaganza

Loved the new movie and want more? Didn't care for it and want something different? Somewhere in the middle? Wherever you fall, the AADL is here to help.

Ultimate X-Men, a guide to the universe, covers the original Dark Phoenix saga. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1: Gifted contains the story of the "cure" for mutancy, as written by Joss Whedon of Buffy and Firefly fame.

One thing is certain: for better or for worse, none of the books feature Kelsey Grammer in a Cookie Monster suit.

"The Purpose of All War is Peace"-- Saint Augustine

Memorial Day

Its Memorial Day Weekend, a time to contemplate the sacrifices of men and women in the armed services. So remember that when you're out at the barbeque and enjoy the sunny weather!

Memorial Day Reads and Vids
Fog of War
Ken Burns' Civil War series

Imperial Grunts : the American military on the ground by Robert Kaplan
No true glory : a frontline account of the battle for Fallujah by Bing West
Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln By Doris Kearns Goodwin

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