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The Political Writer

I could be wrong, but I suspect that a majority of readers, if polled, would say that writers in the United States are less political than their peers of the prior generation. No less than the Nobel committee has called American writers too “insular and ignorant” to compete with European authors. One need only look at the low numbers of  works in translation published in the United States as one reason for the charge of insularity. There are, of course, notable exceptions. Take Nick Flynn. This poet and memoirist has published a new book titled “The Ticking is the Bomb,” a book that interweaves stories from his own life as well as a discussion of the use and acceptance of torture. He was recently interviewed on NPR’s “The Story” discussing a trip that he made where he was a firsthand witness to the testimony of Abu Ghraib prisoners.

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