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Autopsies show COVID-19 victims had blood clots in ‘almost every organ,’ doctor says
Autopsies found blood clots in “almost every organ” of coronavirus victims, according to a top New York City pathologist, who called the results “dramatic.” Early on, doctors found blood clots “in lines and various large vessels” of COVID-19 patients, Dr. Amy Rapkiewicz told CNN on Thursday. But then autopsies showed the damage was far worse....
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Army Secretary announces independent review of command culture following Vanessa Guillen's death
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has directed an independent "comprehensive review" following the death pf Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen. 
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Phoebe Robinson's imprint, Tiny Reparations Books, will amplify marginalized voices
Phoebe Robinson, star of "2 Dope Queens," has transitioned from writing to publishing to making social change.
latimes.com
California to sue Trump admin over foreign students decision
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra explains to CNN's Wolf Blitzer his decision to sue the Trump administration to allow international students to stay in the US, adding that there are real consequences to what President Donald Trump is doing to students.
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Adding toll lanes to Maryland Beltway, I-270 could require government funds, study finds.
Maryland officials have said the highway expansion would come at “no net cost” to taxpayers.
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Gregg Jarrett: Biased anti-Flynn rogue judge exceeds authority by refusing to dismiss wrongful charges
Judge Emmett Sullivan, who presides over what the Justice Department now admits was the wrongful prosecution of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, refuses to dismiss the case despite an outstanding order from a higher court to do so.
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Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin warns Dems about polls favoring Biden: The Trump vote is 'fundamentally undercounted'
Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin is warning other Democrats who believe Joe Biden is the heavy favorite to win the presidential election based on recent polling. 
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s still not seeing anyone
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s still one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. Cuomo, 62, who split from longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee last year, twice said “no” when asked if he was dating during a radio interview Friday. “What happened to the woman you are recommending,” Cuomo playfully asked WAMC radio interviewer Alan Chartock after...
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Outerknown takes up to 70 percent off for Summer Warehouse Sale
You can stock up on sustainable fashions with Outerknown’s Summer Warehouse Sale. During the sale, which launches on July 12, the popular fashion brand is taking 70% off apparel, shoes and accessories. Standouts include a variety of swim trunks, tees and dresses. Whether you’re looking for chic looks or summer fits, you’re sure to find...
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Coronavirus spikes could mean return to lockdowns, WHO warns
The World Health Organization said Friday that countries may have to lock down again as coronavirus cases continue to spike worldwide, with over 12 million now reported — more than double the amount reported six weeks ago. “We all want to avoid whole countries going back into total lockdown, that is not a desire that...
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Over 150 Minneapolis officers file disability claims after death of George Floyd
MINNEAPOLIS — More than 150 Minneapolis police officers are filing work-related disability claims after the death of George Floyd and ensuing unrest, with about three-quarters citing post-traumatic stress disorder as the reason for their planned departures, according to an attorney representing the officers. Their duty disability claims, which will take months to process, come as...
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Despite hopes that it would, summer weather has not stopped virus’s spread in the U.S.
Newly reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States reached their highest levels in July and continue to ascend, suggesting that it will take a lot more than heat to slow its spread.
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Law firm says Bill Cosby still owes over $2.75M in legal fees
The firm says because of 10 percent interest that has accrued, they are now owed $2.98 million.
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With no end in sight, where does Scott Dixon stack up among IndyCar's all-time greats?
After winning back-to-back races to start 2020, and as he approaches several all-time records, Scott Dixon's place in history may already be cemented.        
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The Irwin family documents COVID-19 lockdown in a zoo in Animal Planet series
Most people are restricted to their homes these days — and for the Irwin family, that's a giant zoo.
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As the pandemic surges, old people alarm their adult kids by playing bridge and getting haircuts
These ‘lions of the human race’ have a different take on risk management, experts say.
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Video shows Houston man helping officer with arrest: 'Don't get on his neck now'
A passerby recorded Houston police making an arrest on the sidewalk in front of a gas station—and then helped them deescalate the situation by getting directly involved, according to reports.
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Juice Wrld gets new life with his posthumous album, ‘Legends Never Die’
Juice Wrld gets new life with his posthumous third studio album, “Legends Never Die.”
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Rao’s bows to popular demand by making full menu available for takeout
Just text Rao’s manager Marc Mel for info at (646) 200-1787.
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Jada and Will confirm her relationship with August Alsina
On an episode of "Red Table Talk," Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith explain what happened when Jada started a relationship with singer August Alsina.
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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘The Twelve’ On Netflix, Where Each Member Of A Jury Brings Their Lives Into A Sensational Murder Case
The lives of the jurors in a well-publicized Flemish murder case are examined in this new drama.
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Saints' Malcolm Jenkins calls DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic posts 'a distraction'
The controversy surrounding DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic social media posts this week continued to spiral on Friday.
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Jada Pinkett Smith confirms August Alsina relationship while she and Will were split
Jada Pinkett Smith confirms she had a romantic relationship with singer-songwriter August Alsina — but she and Will Smith both say they've worked through it.
latimes.com
Subway stations flood as Tropical Storm Fay batters NYC
Leaks of many shapes and sizes sprung up on subway platforms, track and mezzanines across the city Friday afternoon, according to video.
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Coronavirus, Hagia Sofia, Frozen Drinks: Your Friday Evening Briefing
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
nytimes.com
Pro sports starting vast, science-based experiment in Covid re-entry
America's major pro sports leagues' plan to return for play potentially has a great deal to teach the rest of us, writes Kent Sepkowitz. Science matters. Testing really matters. And having a Plan B. In football, we call this 'making halftime adjustments. In actual life, we call this 'being a reality-based adult," he says.
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‘Uncut Gems’ Co-stars Kevin Garnett and Adam Sandler to Develop Series About Brooklyn’s Lo Lifes
Garnett and Sandler are heading back to New York for their next project, but they're staying far away from the Diamond District.
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Brooklyn’s US attorney tapped for Justice Department role
The top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn is leaving his post for a job at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington. Richard Donoghue, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, told his staff Thursday that he will become the top deputy to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. The change takes effect July...
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Citing COVID threat, judge blocks first federal execution in 17 years; sides with victims' family
A judge delayed the first federal execution in 17 years, a resurgence of the deadly coronavirus and the risk it poses to witnesses.       
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Connecticut judge dismisses charges against 2 men convicted of murder 35 years ago
A Connecticut judge on Friday dismissed all criminal charges against two men who spent decades in prison after their murder convictions were vacated last year.
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Trump's New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather concerns
Trump's New Hampshire rally has been postponed due to weather concerns as Tropical Storm Fay heads northward.
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Kudlow lays out 'four things every citizen should do' to ensure schools, businesses stay open
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow told "Bill Hemmer Reports" Friday that schools have to reopen for in-person classes this fall because many parents can't work if their children have to learn at home.
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Letters: To play or not to play, this is the MLB question
Letters to L.A. Times sports for July 11
latimes.com
Div. III NESCAC the latest conference to cancel fall sports
The New England Small College Athletic Conference has canceled all fall sports for the upcoming school year, the conference announced Friday. The presidents of all 11 schools released a joint statement, saying the new safety protocols on campus led them to their decision. “In keeping with public health guidance, each of our institutions has put...
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'He's going to kill us:' Woman says Lyft driver shot her niece in the leg
"This individual was shooting at women, and terrorizing them," a family attorney said.       
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‘Greenleaf’ star Jennifer Sears breaks down hit show’s family dynamics
Jennifer Sears has put a charge into “Greenleaf,” the OWN drama series about a family-owned Southern megachurch.
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Army's 'Captain America' dies by suicide after nearly a dozen combat tours
The enemy could never break him, but what this decorated Green Beret eventually found was that his enemy was within.
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Opinion: What a wonderful world it would be ... if Facebook stopped running political ads
The social media giant is reportedly considering banning campaign ads before the November election. It's almost too much to hope for.
latimes.com
Malcolm Jenkins: DeSean Jackson Hitler-post fallout is ‘a distraction’
Ex-Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins addressed former teammate DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic posts in an Instagram video Friday, calling the aftermath a “distraction.” “We gotta stay focused,” Jenkins said in the video. “All of this back and forth that’s going on right now is a distraction. Comments were made, and they were wrong. Allow those who were...
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TikTok users panic as Trump admin considers banning app
Parker Pannell woke up on Thursday to a frantic call from a friend saying that views and likes on TikTok had suddenly reset to zero. The 16-year-old, who has 2.1 million followers on TikTok, panicked, and immediately checked the app and started livestreaming to his fans.
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‘Glee’ was an upbeat teen musical. Tragedy is taking over its legacy.
At its best, "Glee" made life — even the messiest parts — something to celebrate, which makes the black cloud hanging over the series all the more haunting.
washingtonpost.com
Celebrities swear by these stylish face masks to stay safe
As stars like Kourtney Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez have proved, you don't have to sacrifice style to stay safe.
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Trump asks Treasury Department to review universities' tax exemption over 'Radical Left Indoctrination'
Trump's call to review the status of universities comes the same week he suggested revoking funding from schools that don't reopen amid the pandemic.        
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Gilbert Burns predicts Kamaru Usman will control Jorge Masvidal in 'boring fight' at UFC 251
Gilbert Burns doesn't think people should get their hopes up about the UFC 251 headliner being exciting.        Related StoriesUFC 251 breakdown: Short notice for Jorge Masvidal, but can he deliver again?Video: Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal keep civil in lone UFC 251 faceoffKamaru Usman cites statistic in sharing why he hopes to fight George St-Pierre after UFC 251 
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USC to remove John Wayne exhibit after student protests over racist comments the actor made decades ago
The exhibit housed at the School of Cinematic Arts led to student protests in September 2019.
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latimes.com
Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Down to Earth with Zac Efron’ on Netflix, Where the ‘High School Musical’ Hunk Goes Global
Zac Efron flexes his hosting muscles—and also his abs—in this travel docuseries.
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Unpacking the twisty genre of political fanfiction through Curtis Sittenfeld’s Rodham
Hillary Rodham Clinton during her senior year at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1969. | Wellesley College/Sygma via Getty Images Why we’re fascinated by fiction about politicians, explained through Rodham. Welcome, book clubbers! This July, the Vox Book Club is delving into Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld’s alternate history that explores a world in which Hillary Rodham never married Bill Clinton. Instead, Sittenfeld’s Hillary becomes a senator on her own — and she ends up running for president against Bill. There are a lot of possible approaches to take with a book like Rodham, so this month, we’re changing up our usual discussion format to investigate the book theme by theme as opposed to chapter by chapter. This week, we’re talking about Rodham as a form of political RPF. RPF, or Real Person Fiction, refers to any fiction written about real people, as opposed to fiction written about fictional characters. There’s a long tradition of RPF in the historical novels that frequently appear on the New York Times bestseller list, but there’s also a plethora of communities on the internet where amateur writers share stories they’ve written about contemporary celebrities, influencers, and even politicians. To fully understand Rodham’s place in this strange and murky genre, I decided to call in an expert. So for this week’s discussion, Vox’s fandom expert Aja Romano has graciously agreed to lend their considerable knowledge of political RPF to the book club. Constance Grady Aja Romano! Thank you very much for joining the Vox Book Club this week to share your expertise. Let’s start off with a basic question: What is the appeal, as you understand it, of political RPF? Aja Romano I think we have to first broaden that question to ask: What’s the appeal of all RPF? There’s a primal human desire to turn the lives of public figures and celebrities into a spectator sport. You see this everywhere in culture, from the mythologizing of real Greek historical figures to tabloid journalism and reality TV — this desire to elevate the lives of celebrities into larger-than-life fictional archetypes. Because celebrities have cultural capital in a way that the rest of us don’t, and because they benefit directly from our interest in them, we often see their lives and their public personas as extensions of what’s happening in the culture itself. We write new myths around their lives — so, for example, the myth of the Knowles-Carters is a myth of modern Black excellence. The myth of the Kennedys is about the underlying tragedy of the American dream. But we also want to insert ourselves into the minutiae of the daily lives of famous people (or obscure historical figures, we’re not picky) — to get into their heads, walk around in their imagined shoes for a while. Because RPF is a mode of fiction, it allows you to distance yourself from any icky discomfort you might feel if you tried to peer this deeply into the life of someone you know personally. And we assume as a culture that the celebrity persona is a fabricated construct to begin with. When you fictionalize it further, you have a way to project your own ideas, beliefs, and desires onto the “narrative” of these “characters” — a narrative that’s usually about celebrity, fame, and, in this case, politics. There are three main kinds of political RPF: fictionalized biographies, like Alison Weir’s historical novels; regular fanfiction, like the kind I and my friends have written where the “characters” are just hanging out and doing tropey fanfiction stuff — having wacky White House shenanigans or working at a bakery or starting a rock band, the usual; and RPF in the form of political satire. Most mainstream media thinks of political RPF as primarily satire, because that’s what they see the most — skits on Saturday Night Live, for example, or parodies in the Onion. But there’s increasingly an interesting blurring of all these categories: for instance, two recent plays about Hillary Clinton, Soft Power and Hillary and Clinton, both have elements of biography and satire but seem to fall more firmly in the realm of fanfiction in terms of where they take Hillary Clinton as a character. Constance Grady That’s so fascinating! And Hillary certainly seems to be the political figure who gets this particular not-quite-satirical treatment most often, even more so than the oft-parodied Donald Trump. Perhaps that’s because she’s been in the public eye, and heavily criticized within the public eye, for so long that she’s come to feel like not quite a real person to us anyway. She’s just a pantsuited silhouette you can put a slogan on top of. One of the elements of fanfiction-y political RPF that tends to draw rubbernecked gawking from outside of the fanficcommunity is the centrality of sex to some of these stories, Rodham perhaps especially included. And I have to admit, when I got to the sex scenes in Rodham, I found myself clutching my pearls a bit. That was Bill Clinton talking about Hillary Rodham-not-yet-Clinton’s “honey pot” that I was reading! I had this reflexive feeling of getting icked out by how explicit the scenes were. But I also ultimately found them helpful for thinking about the connection between fictional Hillary and fictional Bill. Part of Sittenfeld’s interpretation of their relationship is that Hillary is used to being treated as a sexless brain by most of the men she is attracted to, and so when she finds herself forging a connection with Bill that is both intellectual and sexual, she is grateful to him for the affirmation he has given her. And it’s this sense of affirmation, ultimately, that makes it so difficult for Hillary to leave Bill, even after a woman accuses him of rape: With Bill, she is both desirable and intelligent. Without him, she is a dowdy smart girl no one wants to have sex with. The storyline was ultimately humanizing, even though I also found it shocking. How do you think about the function of sex in political RPF? Is it inherently intrusive? Is it humanizing? Both? Aja Romano So this is a super-controversial question! Many people find the whole idea of RPF to be a giant disgusting social taboo, especially when it involves sex. Those people are wrong! I’m very biased here because I see RPF as so completely divorced from the real people it’s being written about. Sittenfeld’s Hillary is a fictional construct that’s based on another fictional construct, Clinton’s carefully cultivated public persona. I’m assuming she’s never seen Billary be intimate together, never seen what Hillary is like at the end of the day when she stops performing a role and reverts to herself. Everything Sittenfeld writes about that other Clinton, including her sexual proclivities, is made up. The only relationship her fictional sexual practices have to the actual Hillary Clinton is that we’re meant to project our own perception of “Hillary Clinton” and “Bill Clinton” into those scenes, and reconsider our assumptions about those personas accordingly. That’s just what you did while you were reading, and it sounds like, to that end, the story was effective. Constance Grady I’m interested in your statement that the belief that RPF is a disgusting social taboo is wrong. Could you say more about that? I think a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the genre see the words “explicit sex scene between a former president and first lady” and immediately respond, “Gross and intrusive; these people still have a right to privacy.” As someone who has spent much more time thinking about RPF than I have, how do you respond to that knee-jerk criticism? Aja Romano I’d remind them that they see such depictions of real people all the time, all across media, from The Tudors to The Kennedys to recent seasons of The Crown that showed real members of the royal family — people still currently alive — having sex. We have zero problems with that, culturally, because the act of casting actors to play those roles removes our association with the real people being depicted. But it’s all RPF. The only difference is that when we see the actors having sex, we picture the actors in our heads rather than the real people they represent. If the RPF is textual, then without that extra fictional layer of cinema, we usually just picture the real celebrities, which probably makes such sex scenes feel more like direct sexual fantasies. And that’s something else to consider, frankly: Fantasizing about celebrities is typically healthy and normal, whether you’re fantasizing a sexual encounter or whether you’re fantasizing, as countless fans do, about befriending the celebrity or being related to them or just getting to meet them and have a personal encounter with them one day. Like other social taboos, we don’t typically have a problem with people fantasizing about public figures as long as it stays under wraps and in your head. But age-appropriate fantasies are a part of reality, and to some extent we recognize this as a culture. That’s why we collectively created ”the Exception,” or “the Hall Pass.” You know — the one celebrity you’re allowed to cheat on your partner with. Culturally, we sexualize politicians as well — just look at the Kennedys or sexy Joe Biden. Many, many celebrities commodify their sexual appeal as a part of commodifying their persona in general. And most celebrities are open about the difference between their public and private face, and they operate with the knowledge that their public face doesn’t entirely belong to them — that the public claims a stake in the construction of their public personas. After that persona is constructed, we might want to take it all back if things get sexy, but I’d argue by that point the persona we’ve all built together is its own nearly independent entity, and the sexualization of that persona is divorced from the real person we can never truly know. This doesn’t mean there aren’t definite lines that shouldn’t be crossed, like sexualizing real underage people, or the entirety of the celebfakes and deepfakes porn craze — that, to me, is essentially AI revenge porn being enacted aggressively upon celebrities (near-universally women). But there’s a huge broad spectrum of ways we sexualize real people long before we reach those extremes, and people tend to focus on the parts that shock them while totally normalizing all the other parts. Constance Grady That’s such a nuanced point. It’s also interesting that Hillary is not one of the politicians we consistently sexualize, in spite of the fact that the broader public sexualized Bill quite a bit even before his plethora of scandals. Our understanding of Hillary as a sexless public figure only adds to the impression of scandal and transgression in these scenes. Moving away from the sex question, it strikes me that political RPF is also a way of writing about power: who gets to wield it, what kinds of personalities are attracted to the pursuit of it, and what we can expect from them. Rodham is particularly concerned with the question of charisma and its relationship to political acumen. In real life, Hillary “you’re likable enough” Clinton is consistently dinged for her perceived charmlessness. And in Rodham, Sittenfeld’s Hillary is continuously evaluating her own lack of sparkle when compared to natural politicians like Bill. She argues — without all that many specifics — that she is better at the hard work of legislating and executing policy than Bill is. But she also knows that he’s a better campaigner than she is. And one of the major questions of the book is whether Bill’s charm entitles him to more power than Hillary can amass. Are these the kinds of questions that political RPF is particularly good at helping us think through? Do you think they would have the same urgency were Sittenfeld to “file off the serial numbers” and write Rodham about a generic fictional political romance turned sour? Aja Romano You’ve just hit on the key to RPF. I’ve spent all this time arguing that RPF is divorced from its subject, but the subject’s relationship to society, mediated by the public, is crucialto making RPF work. For example: There are a little over 450 Bill/Hillary fics in the online fanfic archive AO3, and the most popular ones tend to involve them negotiating their post-Lewinsky scandal relationship both publicly and privately. That dynamic could still exist if they were a fake first couple, but as a reader, you wouldn’t have the direct added cultural context from knowing how society perceives the real Hillary Clinton. The fictional wife might be a hardworking woman who stays loyal to her husband, but we wouldn’t have the indelible image of Clinton saying, “I’m not standing by my man like Tammy Wynette” to contextualize what that loyalty looks like in real life. Through fiction, we as members of the public can really explore and drill down into the way Clinton’s version of “soft power” has so often been wielded to protect and shield her husband from backlash even though he’s ostensibly the more powerful of the two. And if you actually ship Bill and Hillary and want them to live romantically ever after, you may have the interesting conundrum of choosing which era of Bill and Hillary you want to try to repair. That’s an additional commentary on their respective political and social evolutions, and on the way we’ve read them over the years. It all ties into the idea that the “character” has a real history that’s unfolded before you, and that history is real — it has some relationship to your own history, your own reality. So you take the heightened emotional intensity of fiction and combine it with the layers of meaning and context around the real character fiction is working with, and you as a writer or reader now have a personal stake in that character and that real context that you didn’t have before. Constance Grady I love this. And Sittenfeld is absolutely critiquing the way Hillary’s soft power protects Bill. In real life, Hillary’s Tammy Wynette line was instrumental to Bill winning the Democratic nomination and then the presidency. But in Rodham, Bill has to face down that 60 Minutes interview without Hillary at his side. And Sittenfeld posits that in this scenario, he crashes and burns so hard that he leaves politics altogether — until he decides to throw his hat back into the ring just as Hillary is gearing up for her presidential run. But how do you feel about Rodham, book clubbers? Does RPF strike you as a worthy genre? And do you think the execution pays off here? Let us know in the comments, and then meet us back here on July 24 to discuss Rodham’s alternate history. And on July 30, we’ll be talking with Curtis Sittenfeld live on Zoom! RSVP now, and be sure to sign up for the Vox Book Club newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything.
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Ole Henriksen takes 50 percent off clearance for summer sale
You don’t want to miss out on Ole Henriksen’s latest flash sale, which is packed with deals on some of your favorite skincare items. The brand is taking 50% off sale items —  including a variety of moisturizers, cleansers and facial peels. Standouts include the B.R.B (Bring Radiance Back) Skincare Set and the L.O.L. (Lots...
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