Wendy Nicole Duong (Denver): From Puccini’s Madam Butterfly to the Statue of the Awaiting Wife in North Vietnam: Where is Portia in the Vietnamese American Experience? Sangmi Lee (ASU): Searching for the Hmong People’s Ethnic Homeland and Multiple Dimensions of Transnational Longing. Old wars never die: An article on the unhappy fate of the Hmong. From Irrawaddy, a review of Than Shwe: Unmasking Burma’s Tyrant by Benedict Rogers; an interview with James Ross of Human Rights Watch on efforts to bring Burma's generals to justice; and Burma’s despised despot is on track to face some earthly justice, if the divine variety doesn’t catch up with him first. Mechai Viravaidya on how Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place. The Buddhist Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University allows English-language speakers the opportunity to study with monks in Thailand. The New York Times profiles Lee Kuan Yew, the man who defined Singapore. From Inside Indonesia, a special issue on the killings of 1965-66; who’s to blame for Papua’s tragedy? A review of An Act of Free Choice: Decolonisation and the Right to Self-Determination in West Papua by Pieter Drooglever; and critics say it’s just a fad but some young upper middle-class Indonesians are rediscovering forgotten histories. Up until 2005, Indonesia seemed sure to succumb to a wave of Islamist terror, but, in the post-Suharto era, even political Islamists seem intent on democracy, tolerance and keeping the peace. An interview with Wulan Mei Lina on what it’s like to take sexy pictures in Indonesia. Southeast Asian nations seek a peaceful end to South China Sea disputes.

From Transcript, a special issue on Gaza. Stephen R. Alton (Texas Wesleyan): The Game is Afoot! The Significance of Gratuitous Transfers in the Sherlock Holmes Canon. What will future generations condemn us for? Kwame Anthony Appiah wonders (and an interview at Bookforum). Music on the brain: The emotions teeming inside the works of the Romantic composers may have neurological explanations, as a recent meeting explored. From The Public Eye, Kathryn Joyce on abortion as "black genocide": An old scare tactic re-emerges; and a review of The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther by Jeffrey Hass. Masturbation benefits women more than men, and yet they masturbate less; contemporary science has dispelled the outlandish historical myths about masturbation, and yet it has not managed to close this gap — why? A review of Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View by Stephen Breyer (and more and more and more and more). An interview with True Prep author Lisa Birnbach about her bestselling followup to The Official Preppy Handbook. A review of Woodrow Wilson: A Biography by John Milton Cooper. From Asia Sentinel, beauty is as beauty does, or as it talks especially in beauty contests. Neil Irwin on why it doesn't feel like a recovery. An article on The Breakfast Club at 25: Where are Claire, Andy, Brian, John and Allison?

From Swedish Book Review, a special issue on crime fiction. America's Rebel Artist: Was Jack Kerouac a keeper of visions or a self-destructive individualist? Why We Love Fiction: Stories play a large part in our lives, not only as a pastime; more important is that fiction has helped humanity survive — even though science can explain the need of fiction, it cannot replace it. An excerpt from Bring on the Books for Everyone: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture by Jim Collins. Alberto Manguel reviews The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600 by Steven Moore (and more). Tom Wolfe and other writers used to tell us about the state of America, but now if you’re looking for great social novels you’d better turn to crime writers like Richard Price and Dennis Lehane. Get a real degree: Elif Batuman reviews The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl. The first chapter from Playing Gods: Ovid's Metamorphoses and the Politics of Fiction by Andrew Feldherr. Fred Kaplano on how Howl changed the world (and more). Can fiction be trusted to tell the truth? Jose Rodrigues dos Santos discusses the complicated relationship between truth and fiction, in both journalism and novels. From The Paris Review, an interview with Michel Houellebecq. Modernism still matters: Writers such as T S Eliot and Samuel Beckett worked in synchrony with continental Europeans such as Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka, pushing against the limitations of art — why have English-language writers turned away from this challenge? A review of What Ever Happened to Modernism? by Gabriel Josipovici (and more and more and more). Walter Russell Mead on how science fiction is a genre that everyone should read. 666 is a tale of the Tribulation so bad, it's good: Eschatology is maybe the worst literary genre of all time, but it's still a guilty pleasure.

A new issue of Public Diplomacy is out. From the Claremont Review of Books, a review of books on George Washington (and more at The New Yorker). It is, perhaps, the logical sequel to a decade in which Americans were encouraged to use their homes as ATMs: the recent announcement that next month will see the debut of the first gold-dispensing ATMs in the United States. Killing Fields: A review of Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder and Stalin's Genocides: Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity by Norman M Naimark. No such thing as a private source of information: In these days of the internet, says Jonathan Wolff, it's impossible to hide your sources. What the Romans do for us: The head of MI5 is in good company when he admits to being inspired by the classical stories. Redeeming the Almanac: Molly McCarthy on learning to appreciate the iPhone of Early America. Inside Government TV interviews Bill Fletcher, Jr. about his book, co-authored with Fernando Gapasin, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice. A review of Everything is Broken: The Untold Story of Disaster Under Burma's Military Regime by Emma Larkin (and more and more and more). The Vigilante: Italy’s Northern League party exploits a brutal crime for a dubious law. Here's a modest proposal for single black women in South Florida.

David Kolb (Bates): Impure Postmodernity — Philosophy Today. From Radical Philosophy, what is — or what is not — contemporary French philosophy, today? Derek Parfit’s On What Matters will probably be the most important publication in moral philosophy since Henry Sidgwick’s Methods of Ethics. Jay Kennedy’s recent paper in Apeiron could transform our understanding of Plato; he sets out his ideas at length for the general reader. An excerpt from How to Be a Philosopher: or How to Be Almost Certain that Almost Nothing is Certain by Gary Cox. While Penguin classics of Aristotle and Descartes sell year in and year out, some publishers think philosophy gets a bad rap among book buyers, and they’re doing something about it — Wiley is in the process of rolling out a new series on pop philosophy called Philosophy for Everyone. A review of Manga and Philosophy: Fullmetal Metaphysician. Get your brain in gear: Pop philosophy is taking over the bookshops. When The Philosophers' Magazine started, they didn’t exist — now the blogs are here to stay. From Philosophy Experiments, framing the epidemic: Here is a quick test of your decision-making processes; and the Euthyphro dilemma: Are you're one of those insufferable new atheist types? From PhiloSophos, a website for open learning resources, advice and inspiration for philosophy students, a series of articles and downloads. Philosophy TV is a video website devoted to philosophical thinking. UNESCO’s 9th annual World Philosophy day has been hit by controversy after one of the keynote speakers pulled out of the event, due to be held in Tehran on 18 November (and more by Scott McLemee and more at ResetDOC).