Playwright (The Clean House, Passion Play: A Cycle ) and 2006 MacArthur Fellow
If Ruhl hits a snag while writing, she reaches for a book. "Reading authors who have a very particular approach to language, like Gertrude Stein, can unleash something—scrambling the letters around in your head so you start hearing things differently. Pablo Neruda, Elizabeth Bishop, really any poet I take off the shelf is like reprogramming my brain as far as language goes." But Ruhl says the best medicine for mental burnout is a change of pace. "I visited Oxford and wrote at the Bodleian Library. Time is ancient there. America has a very fast clock, and to get serious work done you need to feel a sense of time being elongated."
At the peak of the transatlantic slave trade, 80,000 slaves were transported from Africa to the new world. Now, New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof reports that more than 10 times as many women and girls are being forced into brothels o
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