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Writer Max Schott Reads at UCSB

I got to know Max Schott in the mid-1970s when I started teaching literature classes in the College of Creative Studies (CCS) at UCSB. This was just before he published his first book, Up Where I Used to Live: Stories. By then, Max had been teaching at CCS for nearly 10 years, beginning soon after Marvin Mudrick founded the college in 1967.

Pulp Politics

Any political issue that floats into the public consciousness brings with it a trail of journalists, academics, pundits, and cranks, all eager to make their points. They do so by writing books-lots of them-and here at The Independent, they crowd our shelves to the breaking point. For this month’s Hot Off the Press, we’ve taken a sample of the newest crop of high-profile political releases meant to push all sorts of buttons on the day’s big topics: global warming, the Middle East, socialism’s Latin American resurrection, and, of course, Tony Blair.

Liberian Activist Kimmie Weeks Discusses African Aid

Kimmie Weeks spent much of the civil war that shook the prospering West African nation of Liberia, beginning in 1989, in a sprawling refugee camp where he contracted severe cholera and nearly died. He was 10 years old at the time. Not long thereafter, Weeks began working to stem poverty, hunger, and the use of child soldiers in Liberia. In 1999 he was forced to seek political asylum in the U.S. after death threats from the government of then dictator Charles Taylor.

Halloween Tales from Storyteller Michael Katz

Although he agrees with most of the literate children of the world that there are few things more fun than reading stories, Michael Katz believes there’s something unique and wonderful about the telling of tales out loud. “It is a sharing,” he said. “That’s what I love about it.”

UCSB Lecture Series Fosters the Holocaust Narrative

U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic-who was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1938-once wrote of the Holocaust, “Human indifference to suffering and the pleasure of inflicting it are common; the only surprise is that we have no convincing explanation for it. : Why some people choose to do evil, while others follow their conscience, is something for which no one has a good answer.” On October 23, the Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies at UCSB will inaugurate a lecture series intended to explore the nature of the Holocaust, and the social, political, literary, and philosophical reverberations it has had in the 60 years since its culmination.

Turkish Writer Orhan Pamuk Discusses His Love of Literature

Orhan Pamuk is Turkey’s most well-known author, and his works have been published worldwide in more than 50 languages. Last year, he won the Nobel Prize for literature; in announcing the award, the Swedish Academy cited his devotion to “the study of mixture and plurality.” A secular-minded Turk, Pamuk’s novels-which include The Black Book, My Name Is Red, and Snow-are haunting, multilayered explorations of the nature of Turkish identity and the tension between East and West, modernity and Islam.

Pete Hamill’s New Novel, North River

Among mature people, love develops in a series of small moments,” explained Pete Hamill, on the phone from New York City to discuss his new novel, North River. “It’s about needs, desires, and understandings. It’s not like Wuthering Heights; that’s not the way people connect with each other. I wanted to do a love story for grownups.”

Rebecca Solnit’s Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

It’s not just the weather, the beautiful beaches, and the hiking that make Santa Barbara one of the best places in the world to live, although they could be indirectly responsible for one of our other advantages: the great number of luminary authors and thinkers who come to town each year. Santa Barbara is more than a beautiful natural setting-it’s an inspiring cultural landscape. But if this is paradise, we’re about to be taken by storm.

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