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Gavin Francis reviews ‘Pale Rider’ by Laura Spinney · LRB 25 January 2018

I can’t remember the last time, before the current outbreak, when one of my patients died from flu. The strain involved in the last flu pandemic, the swine flu outbreak in 2009, was highly infectious, but milder than other...

Letters · LRB 25 January 2018

Class and Style I was very surprised by Jean McNicol’s review of Harriet Harman’s book (LRB, 14 December 2017). There is no doubt that a commitment to women’s equality has been at the centre of Harriet’s political life. But...

A Novel of 1918 New Orleans, With Murder and All That Jazz

Photo Louis Armstrong, holding his trumpet, poses with a band at a radio station in New Orleans in the 1920s. Credit Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images KING ZENO By Nathaniel Rich386 pp. MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $28. A street preacher, perhaps...

Gifted and Talented and Complicated

What happens to alter the trajectory of shooting stars like Follett? In “Off the Charts,” Hulbert attempts to capture the complicated lives of child prodigies without descending into voyeurism or caricature. She has tried to “listen hard for the...

Keorapetse Kgositsile, 79, South African Poet and Activist, Dies

Mr. Kgositsile’s poetry often meditated on the mystery and power of memory, as in “Point of Departure: Fire Dance Fire Song,” a multipart poem published in 1968 in the journal Negro Digest. It begins, “Distances separate bodies not people.”...

Multiculturalism and Mental Illness: An Interview With Mira T. Lee

JANUARY 16, 2018 MIRA T. LEE did not grow up expecting, or even wanting, to be a writer. But then her mother died. Her short story “While We Waited,” a fictionalized chronicle of her mom’s final weeks, appeared in...

In This Thriller, a Cold Case Turns Hot 26 Years Later

Yates’s previous book, “Black Chalk,” had a delicious premise: an escalating game of dare over the years among friends who meet at Oxford. But it didn’t, in the end, prove as thrilling as it might have. This one is...

“For 25 Years I’ve Kept Something from You”: “Twin Peaks” in Print

JANUARY 16, 2018 “FOR 25 YEARS I’ve kept something from you” is a line of dialogue spoken by FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole (played in wonderful deadpan style by David Lynch) in the penultimate episode of the 2017 television...

Mr. Ratchett Is Dead Again

JANUARY 16, 2018 WHY DID SIDNEY LUMET in 1974 and Kenneth Branagh in 2017 go to the trouble of assembling star-studded casts to revisit Agatha Christie’s ingenious but very creaky novel of the 1930s, Murder on the Orient Express?...

Around the World in Books

Some books haven’t worked as well for us. My niece started “A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush,” by Eric Newby, and couldn’t get past the first section. I didn’t care for “Among Flowers,” by Jamaica Kincaid; it was...