A Look Back at Iraq, The Lost Weekend's Author, Piero della Francesca at the Frick, and Our Word Maven

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We continue our three-day series to mark the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Then, we talk about writer Charles Jackson, whose life and work captured what it meant to be an addict and a closeted gay man in mid-century America. Curator Nathaniel Silver discusses the exhibit of Piero della Francesca paintings at the Frick Collection. And our word maven Patricia T. O’Conner takes your calls and questions on the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the English language.

Iraq and Oil

International energy expert Daniel Yergin looks at the oil industry in Iraq ten years after the U.S.-led invasion. He is the author of The Quest: Energy, Security & the Remaking of the Modern World.

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George Packer Reflects on the Iraq War, 10 Years Later

On the 10-year-anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, New Yorker staff writer George Packer tells Leonard Lopate about lessons he's learned in covering the conflict for a decade. He's the author of The Assassin's Gate: America in Iraq.

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The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson

Prizewinning biographer Blake Bailey talks about his new biography of Charles Jackson, the author of The Lost Weekend, the story of five disastrous days in the life of alcoholic Don Birnam, which was published in 1944 and was very successful. Jackson was a doting family man with two daughters, and was often industrious and sober, but he found it nearly impossible to write without pills or alcohol. Bailey’s book Farther & Wilder: The Lost Weekends and Literary Dreams of Charles Jackson looks at a writer whose life and work encapsulated what it meant to be an addict and a closeted gay man in mid-century America, and what one had to do with the other.

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Piero della Francesca at the Frick

Piero della Francesca was a founding figure of the Italian Renaissance. A new exhibition at the Frick Collection brings together seven of Francesa's works, including six panels from the Sant’Agostino altarpiece.

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Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner Sends Smoke Signals

Following the dramatic election of the pope, announced with a puff of white smoke from the Vatican, our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner talks about the history of communicating through smoke signals. She’ll also answer questions about language and grammar. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, is available in paperback, as is  Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman.

If you have a question about language and grammar, leave a comment or call us at 212-433-9692!

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