Late Night Library

Archives about Famous First Words

Famous First Words: Leaf Storm

The town of Macondo was founded near the northern coast of Colombia, a Caribbean region community whose inhabitants remained almost completely isolated during the first phase of their collective history. Whatever else might be learned from a more concerted research effort, there are two major points that have come to be recalled most readily. The

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March 4, 2015

Famous First Words: The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo

Throughout most of the 1960s, Judy Blume was known to those in her life as a homemaker. “I wanted to become an elementary school teacher and to find a husband,” Blume later explained. “That’s what was expected of most young women back then.” She accomplished the latter, getting married in 1959 to a law student

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February 4, 2015

Famous First Words: Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930, and he grew up reading the same version of Africa that was handed down to children everywhere else on the planet—a detached, reductionist anthropological assessment that had been reinforced through the centuries, generally by authors from a colonial perspective. That “dark continent” interpretation of Africa amounted to the official

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January 7, 2015

Famous First Words: Player Piano

Strolling past a crew at work on the construction of a milling machine that was designed to cut rotor blades for jet engines, Kurt Vonnegut could see the writing on the wall. It was 1949, and he was working as a PR man for General Electric in Schenectady, New York, a job that was wrangled

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December 17, 2014

Famous First Words: Postcards

An honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work. Supper for a song. Canoe for a story. It’s all relative, really. Particularly if you’re in the market for a canoe. Born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1935, Annie Proulx was an established freelance writer in the 1980s when Gray’s Sporting Journal found themselves low on cash

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November 12, 2014

Famous First Words: Hear the Wind Sing

Haruki Murakami would very much like it if you kept your distance. It’s nothing personal. He doesn’t resent your interest; by the very nature of his profession, he actively (if indirectly) courts it. He may not go out of his way to schedule interviews or attend promotional soirées, but he certainly doesn’t lead anything resembling

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October 15, 2014

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