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Elliot Ackerman Has Endless Inspiration for ‘Dark At the Crossing’

in Fiction by

Here is an author whose fiction cannot be separated from his life, or, if you indulge me, whose novels are based on his life. Once a marine, with an impressive five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Elliot Ackerman is now a journalist based in Istanbul, from where he has been covering the Syrian Civil War since 2013. Dark at the Crossing, Ackerman’s sophomore novel, after his much-heralded debut novel, Green on Blue, like its predecessor, deals with characters trapped in the middle of a brutal conflict. The conflict here is not just the obvious Syrian debacle, but also the one of a failed marriage. Ackerman comments on the genesis of the novel as an insight he had while…

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TED Talks: Bryan Stevenson on Identity and Injustice

in Non-Fiction by

Black History Month ends in just a few days, so this week’s installment of TED Talks Tuesday is one of the most elegant examinations of race in America ever given on the TED stage. Human Rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s moving talk from TED 2012 paints a hard picture of America’s criminal justice framework – but he does more than illustrate the obvious problems with our current system. Stevenson urges people to become more aware of what he calls “the dark and difficult things” in today’s society, and argues that history judges societies by how they treat their most disenfranchised populations. It goes beyond the political, and moves into the realms of morality and cultural self-awareness with a grace, courage and…

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