Arts and culture

Ernest Hemingway, like all writers, means different things to different people. To some, he represents a hunting, drinking, smoking, womanizing machismo that is offputting — to say the least. To my high-school mind, he was just some old white guy going on about a crusty fisherman desperate to snag a marlin — though Ms. Fredericks, my English teacher, had forced us to read The Old Man and the Sea, I didn't come to appreciate it, nor any of Hemingway's books, until much later.

When choreographer Garth Fagan was growing up in Jamaica, he dreamed of a far off place where he could pursue his art and teach dance to others. And he found that paradise ... in Rochester, N.Y., where he founded the Garth Fagan Dance company.

Fagan choreographed The Lion King on Broadway, so we've decided to quiz him on lying kings — three questions about really deceitful people.

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'Thrill Me' Gets Personal About Life And Writing

4 hours ago

"Books were portals meant for escapism," Benjamin Percy says in "Thrill Me," the titular essay in his new nonfiction collection. He's speaking of his childhood in rural Oregon, where he found new realities in the imaginative works of authors like Ian Fleming, Louis L'Amour, and Stephen King. "Pop lit" is what he calls it, although it's more generally known as genre fiction: thrillers, mysteries, Westerns, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Percy knows the terrain.

It's Dec. 13, 1938, and Arnie Manoff, 24-year-old starving writer, has been sent by the government to interview the man who created the Reuben sandwich. The sandwich man is big, bawdy Arnold Reuben — he loves to regale audiences with the origin story of his sandwich nearly as much as he loves to name drop the B-list celebrities that frequent the booths of his restaurant. Sometimes, he tells Manoff, in a spitty voice brimming with pride, he even names a special after them.