Author Archives: mkevane

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.

“Novels are machines for falsely generating belief”… essay on fiction, by Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books

Great essay on writing (and reading) fiction by Zadie Smith. Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) I’m sure I’m not the first novelist to dig up that old Whitman chestnut … Continue reading

Posted in Reading

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

My neighborhood book group read this and we had a fun discussion. This is a great novel. Sure some parts are no longer politically correct, but you have to read past that. Chandler’s writing is so literary: crafted, thoughtful, evocative. … Continue reading

Posted in Book and film reviews

Fiasco, by Thomas Ricks

From 2006. Not the best-written book. Lots of vignettes, often little narrative flow. He drops characters that he should be coming back to: Cheney is never mentioned after page 100 for example. I don’t think any Iraqi leaders other than … Continue reading

Posted in Book and film reviews

Adam and Allison Grant rewrite children’s books and much fiction: “Noble deed doers, you should first lecture the victims and help them help themselves more otherwise you are an enabler…”

OK I’m making fun a little, but their essay on The Giving Tree just rubs me the wrong way. Instead of marveling at the moral ambiguity of the book, the impulse is to “fix” it by explaining to you child … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso

Great article in The New York Times about rural America and public services

I watched the fight unfold with a sense of sadness, anger and frustration. I started arguing. It didn’t work. The pay request was pulled from the Quorum Court’s agenda.I didn’t realize it at first, but the fight over the library … Continue reading

Posted in Burkina Faso

Trivia from movie version of The Big Sleep

From a great blog post on the film The Big Sleep: Agnes Lowzier, the saleslady at Geiger’s bookstore and Joe Brody’s accomplice, played by Sonia Darrin. Although her face is very familiar it’s difficult to find information on her. … Continue reading

Posted in Book and film reviews

UEMOA : La masse salariale du Burkina a dépassé la norme –

Burkina on a public employee spending spress? Selon la commission chargée des politiques économiques et de la fiscalité intérieure de l’Uemoa, la masse salariale du Burkina présente un taux de 48%, dépassant ainsi la norme Uemoa qui est de 35 … Continue reading

Posted in Economy