Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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(Note: A few details in this post have been updated after the fact. I do this from time to time when something needs correcting. Sometimes I also change headlines so they're funnier. That's what we like about the web!)

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies is Chicago's newest One Book.

No More Marriages! and equally film-savvy commenters answer the excellent question, "What would Pauline Kael say about Snakes on a Plane?"

Khademul Islam on the glories of Granta.

Edmund White, Nicole Krauss, Jonathan Safran Foer, Philip Gourevitch, Lillian Ross, and many more had tropical debates at the Parati festival. Brazilians really know how to enjoy themselves, don't they?

Jon Pareles on Indian singer Asha Puthli: "One performance impressed Ved Mehta, a writer for The New Yorker, whose article about a young singer who was determined to go abroad for real jazz -- 'a beautiful, mercurial girl,' he wrote -- appeared in the magazine and in Mr. Mehta's 1970 book, 'Portrait of India.' "

Remember the Jeffrey Toobin piece about the Tucson convenience-store shooting, the conviction (with death sentence) of Martin Soto-Fong, and the disbarment of prosecutor Kenneth Peasley for presenting false evidence? It appeared in the January 17 issue, and Toobin wrote this update as a Talk in March. Well, reported A.J. Flick in the Tucson Citizen on August 25:

A Tucson woman was convicted of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the 2004 shootings of two men at a midtown market.

Carole Anne Grijalva, 36, was indicted on first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, but jurors convicted her today of the lesser charges, said Pima County Superior Court spokesman David S. Ricker.

The jury also acquitted her on aggravated assault and armed robbery charges.

Police say Grijalva and Larry Kilgo, 51, drove to a convenience store in the 5300 block of East Pima Street around 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2004, to meet a man who arranged to buy prescription drugs from Kilgo. Kilgo went into the store and Grijalva confronted the two victims in their car with a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle, court records show.

The wounded man, who is not being identified by the Citizen because he is a victim, told police Grijalva demanded money and when he said he didn't have any, took his jewelry and shot him.

Michael Newton, 41, was shot and killed.

Grijalva's attorney, Thomas Hippert, said John Robert Salazar shot the men.

Salazar was Grijalva's boyfriend at the time.

Salazar was arrested along with Grijalva and Kilgo, but charges were dropped.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard S. Fields in June sentenced Kilgo to 14 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery.

Grijalva is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 2.

While Grijalva was awaiting trial, she told her first court-appointed attorney, Rick Lougee, that she knew the true identities of the killers in a 1992 triple slaying.

Martin Soto-Fong was convicted and sentenced to death for the shooting deaths of Fred Gee, 45; Huang Ze Wan, 77; and Raymond Arriola, 32, at the now-defunct El Grande market, 805 W. 36th St.

Because Lougee represented Soto-Fong, Hippert replaced him as Grijalva's attorney.

Pima County prosecutor Ken Peasley was disbarred in 2004 for intentionally presenting false evidence during two El Grande trials.

The Arizona Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Andre Minnitt, 22 at the time of the slayings, and dismissed the charges against him because of Peasley's actions.

Christopher McCrimmon, who was 20 at the time of the slayings, was acquitted at a second trial in the case.

Soto-Fong's death sentence was overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court said juveniles cannot be executed. He was 17 at the time of the slayings.

In February, Soto-Fong was given three consecutive life sentences for the triple slaying.

"I had no part in the deaths of those people," Soto-Fong said at his sentencing.

According to a story about Peasley's disbarment in the Jan. 17 New Yorker magazine, Grijalva told an investigator that a friend of hers blamed "the El Grande guy" for stealing cocaine and took the friend and two other men to the market on June 24, 1992.

"(I) heard a bunch of yelling," she said. "And I heard shots."

Lougee has said that he will not reveal the names of the men Grijalva implicated until the Pima County Attorney's Office recuses itself from the case.

"The information that I have from Miss Grijalva directly implicates prosecutors in the Pima County Attorney's Office," Lougee said last year.

"I will give them absolutely nothing until an honest prosecutorial agency takes over the investigation. Then I will hand over all the materials."

The County Attorney's Office has refused to turn the case over to another agency.

Despite some pending appeals in federal court, Martin Soto Fong remains in prison for life.

Finally, an entire short review. Newspaper writers never know which, if any, of their pieces are going to stick around, so sometimes I like to quote them at length when they're worth reading. Hector Saldaña writes in the San Antonio Express-News:

Review: One-man show explores life after 9-11

AUSTIN — Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11," which resides at No. 5 on the New York Times nonfiction best-sellers list, is no ordinary book.

And Wright's dramatic, thought-provoking, work-in-progress presentation at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on Tuesday evening was no ordinary book reading. In fact, it wasn't one at all.

Wright will debut his first one-man show, "My Trip to Al-Qaeda," on Oct. 7 at the New Yorker Festival in New York. Nearly 1,000 people attended the invitation-only run-through at LBJ Auditorium.

Filmmaker Elizabeth Avellan, who is married to "Spy Kids" director Robert Rodriguez, was in the audience and was thrilled by her good friend's very public rehearsal.

"I felt it was so typical of Larry, so creative," Avellan said. "It's so smartly told and without politics."

But she did pick up on one of Wright's messages. "We cannot live in fear and we have to stand up for our country," Avellan said.

Equally impressed was Wright's wife, Roberta. She beamed proudly as her husband, an author, screenwriter and staff writer for New Yorker magazine, received a standing ovation.

"It was very powerful to me," Roberta Wright said. "He's captured something we need to say."

She was referring to her husband's closing thoughts that Americans need to stand up for the values and principles that this country has stood for and not allow fear to dictate political action that erodes civil liberties and freedoms.

Al-Qaida, an organization that Lawrence Wright believes loves death and runs on despair, cannot destroy America. "Only we can do that to ourselves," he said.

Before the presentation, as he signed copies of his book for the invited guests, Wright admitted that he was "a little anxious." His wife explained that her husband had been working for weeks on the one-man show, quite "different from his usual lectures."

Indeed, Wright mixes startling slide show images, audio from interviews and an effective narrative that tells of his journey to understand what happened after the attacks of 9-11, "sobered by the scale of the disaster."

His only prop was a wooden desk and a rolling chair.

One of the most powerful moments of the evening came when Wright expressed the guilt that comes with infiltrating and befriending terrorists in his research.

"Yes, I have moral qualms," Wright said. "Who am I when I'm talking to al-Qaida?"

Here's an interview with Wright, with excellent photos, from the Austin American-Statesman. Its headline: "Chasing beliefs: Five years of distant trips, 600 interviews and an uber research system behind Lawrence Wright's new book about al Qaeda."

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