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Writing is hard. Writing WELL is even harder. There are some writers who devote their lives to honing their specific craft, to finding ways to excel in their chosen niche. Some write fiction, some write nonfiction. Some lean toward the literary, while others revel in genre. Some are reporters and journalists. Some write essays or memoirs or comic book arcs. A person who is able to do any one of those things well is worthy of celebration.

Ta-Nehisi Coates does ALL OF IT.

The National Book Award winner and Macarthur Genius Grant recipient has made his first foray into the realm of fiction (leaving aside his magnificent Marvel turns on Black Panther and Captain America books); his newest work is “The Water Dancer” (One World, $28), a heartbreakingly powerful work of historical fiction and magical realism. It’s a fictionalized exploration of one young man’s struggle with (and against) the peculiar institution that remains our country’s greatest shame.

It’s also a story about the magic of memory and the power of stories, a look at how our pasts can shape our futures and how words can change the world. It’s a tale of love lost and rediscovered, all under the looming shadow of slavery. Freedom – real freedom – comes with costs both expected and surprising, but there are many who are willing to pay all that and more.

Published in Style
Thursday, 01 March 2012 22:00

Attorney Matt Quinlan Ousted on 'Survivor'

 "I was a character who was either loved or hated." - Matt Quinlan

I'm a huge "Survivor" fan and I have been since the shows very first season back in 2000 when Richard Hatch won the title of sole survivor and the $1 million dollar prize. Since then we've seen a lot of memorable "Survivor" participants come and go and the same will be true for "Survivor: One World."  This season, the tribes which are divided into men verses women, live on the same beach. This week, the men lost the immunity challenge and found themselves at tribal council. I recently had the chance to speak with the latest contestant to get his torch snuffed out, 33-year-old Matt Quinlan of San Francisco, to ask him about his "Survivor" experience and just what went wrong.

Published in Buzz

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