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The Great Loss of the Great War

Some may believe that standing, hand over heart, for "The Star-Spangled Banner" is a profoundly patriotic gesture, but as a measure of homage to homeland it out-and-out pales in comparison to the giddy excesses America--and the world--took when going off to war a hundred years ago.

A well-weathered American diplomat named Hugh Gibson, posted to Belgium in 1914, took note of the frenzy all around him, even though the early rumblings of a real world war were still an ocean and more...

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I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.

I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe, revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Jazz Greats

Oct 17, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Cafe. Each day, we'll revisit some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Robert Plant

Oct 14, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Cafe. Each day, we'll revisit some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Elvis Costello

Oct 10, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: The Beatles

Oct 7, 2011

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

World Cafe Looks Back: Guitar Greats

Oct 5, 2011

Over the years, World Cafe has seen its share of guitar gods.

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.

The Steve Miller Band On World Cafe

Jul 25, 2011

Some people call him space cowboy, some people call him the gangster of love, but most know him as Steve Miller, the guitarist and vocalist whose laid-back, infectiously catchy tunes have soothed the nation for decades.

Elton John And Leon Russell On World Cafe

May 30, 2011

From his start with the band Bluesology in 1961, multi-award winner Elton John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight) has time and time again proven himself to be one of the most iconic singer-songwriters of our day. Rising to international fame by the 1970's with the hit "Your Song," Elton has since released an overwhelming number of studio albums, many of which have climbed their way to the top of the charts.

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Live storytelling: December 1st at ISU Design West

We’ll have live music by Jessica Zepeda, starting at 7 p.m., followed by stories about “Holiday Joy & Mayhem.” Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of show.

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