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The Weekend Read

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Ann Patchett, Los Angeles Police Recruit?

Ann Patchett is the author of one of the best novels we've read in the past five years, Bel Canto, as well as the lovely memoir Truth & Beauty and the upcoming novel Run. So when we heard about her short essay in The Washington Post Magazine, "The Wall," our first response was surprise that such a gentle and funny writer once attempted to qualify for the Los Angeles Police Academy.

Finding God in Love and Death

A year ago Christian Wiman, a brilliant poet and the editor of Poetry magazine, was diagnosed with incurable cancer on his 39th birthday. His short memoir "Gazing Into the Abyss" appears in the current issue of The American Scholar, and Wiman's writing is remarkable for both its toughness in the face of difficult times and its vulnerability to the power of deep emotion.