Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.
For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?
Say what you will about the slow pace of Congress. Lawmakers were really cooking yesterday. Yes, the Minnesota delegation held its Third Annual Hotdish Competition. Nine lawmakers entered but only one could take the official golden casserole dish trophy home. Representative Tim Walz won handily with an artery-clogging recipe, a casserole made of Kraft cheese, tater tots and bratwurst, all seasoned with a bottle of beer.
Good morning. I'm David Greene. There's a Hamburglar on the loose in the Garden State. Apparently, he's driving a big rig. Police say someone made off with $100,000 worth of burger patties. They were being stored in a New Jersey shipping yard. Surveillance footage shows a 40-foot refrigerated container holding 3,000 burgers being towed away by a tractor trailer Monday night. No word if the driver was wearing a mask, cape, or striped shirt.
Christian Wiman has "a cancer that is as rare as it is unpredictable." A poet and the former editor of Poetry, Wiman has found himself, when overwhelmed by the painful disease and pain-inducing treatments, praying not to God or for language to express his condition, but to the pain itself: "That it ease up ever so little, that it let me breathe. That it not — but I know it will — get worse."
In the days before elevators, there was no such thing as a penthouse on the top floor. The highest floors of a building had cheaper rents because the stairs were hard to climb.
Caracas, Venezuela, is organized roughly the same way, with many poor neighborhoods climbing up the sides of a mountain valley. Some of the poorest homes are among the most remote, accessible not by any road but by alleyways and long flights of stairs.
Well, the first round of golf's first major tournament of the year tees off today. And if people are not excited enough about the Masters, there is added drama this year. The most recognizable golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods, is a bonafide favorite to win his fifth green jacket. NPR's Tom Goldman has been wandering, strolling the grounds of golf's most storied course. He joins us now from Augusta, Georgia. And, Tom, how did you get this assignment?
Now to Paris, France - where a walkout briefly shut down one of the world's most visited museums. Our last word in business: Pickpocket Protest.
The Louvre is famous for its priceless works of art - think the Mona Lisa - which it protects with high-tech security. But apparently, the Paris museum is less effective at protecting the valuables of patrons and staff.