At the center of David Gilbert's new novel & Sons is a famous and famously reclusive writer in the J.D. Salinger model. It's a book about the writer as author of books, and as the father of sons — sons who don't feel nearly as warmly toward him as readers do. When & Sons begins, the writer, Andrew Newbold Dyer — or A.N. Dyer as he's known to his readers — is nearing 80.
Is Ryan Braun just the leadoff hitter for a lineup of stars who, like him, will soon be suspended by Major League Baseball for their dealings with a Miami-area clinic that allegedly sold performance enhancing drugs?
After World War II, the population of American bald eagles was devastated by DDT — a pesticide that was put into heavy use to control mosquitoes and other insects.
After DDT was banned in 1972, bald eagles rebounded from 417 breeding pairs in 1963 to more than 11,000 today in the lower 48 states.
Eagles were taken off the federal endangered species list in 2007, but they’re still considered “a species of concern” in many states. And in Connecticut, their status is “threatened,” so sightings there are not all that common.
Pioneering musician Carline Ray died July 18 at age 88. In the 1940s, when it was difficult for women to be accepted as jazz musicians, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as the guitarist and a featured vocalist. She was also a bass player who performed with Sy Oliver, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.
Ray was born in Harlem in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance. She graduated from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Her husband, Luis Russell, led his own band and worked as Louis Armstrong's music director.
Switching gears now. We are about halfway through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. That's where observant Muslims abstain from food, drink and intimacy during daylight hours and take special care to pray and reflect on their spirituality. If you are currently observing Ramadan, you might sometimes forget that it's time to pray or eat until you hear this coming out of your pocket.