Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 11:44 am
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's Kenya is a country knit together by secrets. Each character in Dust, her debut novel, owns a share of his land's violent past, a history that longs to be forgotten. They live and love in an atmosphere of mutually agreed-upon silence, a mindset best summed up by Nyipir Oganda, a former soldier: "For the good of the country," he tells his daughter, "we know, nyara, that to name the unnameable is a curse."
Clement and Angel, fraternal twins separated at birth, have very different lives. After being abandoned, both are raised in Stillwater, Minn., around the time of the Civil War. But Clement dwells among orphans and prostitutes; Angel is adopted by a wealthy couple, and she lives in the town's mansion.
Paleontologist Paul Sereno is a globe-trotting, headline-making explorer. He's a University of Chicago professor who has discovered several new dinosaur species — and he's also been named to People magazine's list of the 50 most beautiful people.
Since he's an expert on the dinosaurs of the past, we're going to ask him about a big, friendly dinosaur of the present. We'll present him with three questions about Barney, the purple dinosaur.
Jan. 31 brings the beginning of the Year of the Horse, and while concerns about air pollution have led to fewer celebratory fireworks than usual in China, Patty Chang Anker says that for her, there is no shortage of traditional food. Anker recommends a cookbook that eases the anxieties of anyone trying to cook Chinese-American meals.