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The Captive Condition
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5 Gripping Novels About Greed and The Human Condition

ther a list of exciting, discussion-worthy books about greed and the human condition. Ed King Written by David Guterson Ed King re-imagines one of the world’s greatest tragedies—Oedipus Rex—for our own era, bringing contemporary urgency to a tale that still has the power to shock and inform. In Seattle of 1962, Walter Cousins makes the biggest error of his life: He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking…

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Parallel Play by Tim Page

…of the condition. “Simply lovely… Page does not glorify or mythologize his condition, nor does he render a portrait of a soul victimized by circumstance. The view from this window is merely one of the human condition, painted in emotions known to us all, yet rarely so finely drawn.” —The Los Angeles Times “An improbably lovely memoir… In fascinatingly precise detail and often to pricelessly funny effect, [Page] describes ways in which his efforts…

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Featured Short Story: Mirrorball by Mary Gaitskill

…ust the girls, either. His soul was starting to get in on it, too. The new captive was talking to it and it was beginning to talk back—or at least half of it was. For this was a young man with a soul in two parts; he’d split it up so it would be harder to get. He’d done this when he was about two. He’d done it at his mother’s advice; she had done it early in life herself. She advised her son to follow her example after his father had walked away a…

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The Master Switch by Tim Wu

…ormation industry, beginning with the telephone, has eventually been taken captive by some ruthless monopoly or cartel. With all our media now traveling a single network, an unprecedented potential is building for centralized control over what Americans see and hear. Could history repeat itself with the next industrial consolidation? Could the Internet—the entire flow of American information—come to be ruled by one corporate leviathan in possessio…

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An Interview with Marti Leimbach

…n American writer Marti Leimbach’s fascination with female reporters taken captive during the Vietnam War became obsessive, she knew she had her next book in the making,” Reuters reports. Click here to read the full interview, which includes Leimbach’s advice to aspiring authors. The book has been praised by Dr. Abraham Verghese, author of the national bestseller Cutting for Stone: “You might question the ambition of a contemporary novelist electi…

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Our Favorite Female Thought Leaders

…hydrogen or oxygen. In her long-awaited book—her first to reckon with the condition of water on our planet—Erin Brockovich shows us what’s at stake. From the environmental activist, consumer advocate, and renowned crusader—a stirring call to action that gives us the tools we need to take action ourselves, to make our voices heard, to ensure our water is safe, and to finally bring about change. Buy the book | Read an excerpt In Other Words by Jhum…

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A Guide to the Brilliant Works by Dr. Oliver Sacks

…tured in these stories emerge as brilliantly adaptive personalities, whose conditions have not so much debilitated them as ushered them into another reality. Buy the book The Island of the Colorblind “Magical . . . Sacks’s fans are in for a treat.” — Kirkus Reviews “An explorer of that most wondrous of islands, the human brain,” writes D. M. Thomas in The New York Times Book Review, “Oliver Sacks also loves the oceanic kind of islands.” Both kinds…

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Nostalgia: Inside the Trauma of the Civil War

…that nostalgia was one of the names used in the nineteenth century for the condition we today call post-traumatic stress disorder, I thought it an irresistible title for the book: not only did it have the double meaning (a mental disorder and a past time recalled), but in this context it was also ironic—contemporary usage often connotes a past time fondly recalled. Also, the word’s etymology (ancient Greek for “return home” and “pain”) made a grea…

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Acclaimed and Riveting Reading Now in Paperback and eBook

…with anxiety, Scott Stossel presents a moving and revelatory account of a condition that affects some 40 million Americans. Stossel offers an intimate and authoritative history of efforts by scientists, philosophers, and writers to understand anxiety. We discover the well-known who have struggled with the condition, as well as the afflicted generations of Stossel’s own family. Revealing anxiety’s myriad manifestations and the anguish it causes, h…

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Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

…ho are bereaved may receive comforting “visits” from the departed. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. As a young doctor in California in the 1960s, Oliver Sacks had both a personal and a professional interest in psychedelics. These, along…

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