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The crime-infested intersection of West Fayette and Monroe Streets is well-known--and cautiously avoided--by most of Baltimore. But this notorious corner's 24-hour open-air drug market provides the economic fuel for a dying neighborhood. David Simon, an award-winning author and crime reporter, and Edward Burns, a 20-year veteran of the urban drug war, tell the chilling story of this desolate crossroad.Through the eyes of one broken family--two drug-addicted adults and their smart, vulnerable 15-year-old son, DeAndre McCollough, Simon and Burns examine the sinister realities of inner cities across the country and unflinchingly assess why law enforcement policies, moral crusades, and the welfare system have accomplished so little. This extraordinary book is a crucial look at the price of the drug culture and the poignant scenes of hope, caring, and love that astonishingly rise in the midst of a place America has abandoned.
An entertaining and inspirational memoir by one of the most prominent practitioners and evangelists of independent filmmaking, and the acclaimed writer, director, and actor (Saving Private Ryan, Friends with Kids, Entourage) whose first film--The Brothers McMullen--has become an indie classic. <P><P> At the age of twenty-five, Ed Burns directed and produced his first film on a tiny $25,000 budget. The Brothers McMullen went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995, and established the working-class Irish American filmmaker as a talent to watch. In the twenty years since, Burns has made ten more films (She's the One, Sidewalks of New York, and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas), while also acting in big budget Hollywood movies (Saving Private Ryan), hit television shows (Entourage and Mob City), and pioneering a new distribution network for indie filmmakers online and with TV's On Demand service ("why open a film in twenty art houses when you can open in twenty million homes?").<P> Inspired by Burns's uncompromising success both behind and in front of the camera, students and aspiring filmmakers are always asking Burns for advice. In Independent Ed, Burns shares the story of his two remarkable decades in a fickle business where heat and box office receipts are often all that matter. He recounts stories of the lengths he has gone to to secure financing for his films, starting with The Brothers McMullen (he told his father: "Shooting was the twelve best days of my life"). How he found stars on their way up--including Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz--to work in his films, and how he's adhered religiously to the dictum of writing what you know, working as if he was just starting out, and always "looking for the next twelve best days of my life."
Both in her lifetime and since, Gertrude Stein's persona received far more attention than her writings. The result was a distorted view of both her person and her work. This monumental two-volume set of her correspondence with Carl Van Vechten, the critic novelist, and photographer, offers new insight into Stein's life, her art, and the intellectual and artistic milieu of Paris. These letters also follow Van Vechten's various careers: particularly his championship of the Harlem Renaissance. The existing biographies of Stein, and even her own autobiographical writings, omit a great deal. While fleshed out with famous names and anecdotes, they lack the ordinary detail of what Stein called 'daily everyday living': the immediate concerns, objects, people, and places that were grist for her writing.These letters provide the detail of daily life and recover aspects of Stein's and Van Vechten's private selves as writers that are often lost in the rush to glamorize them. What is especially satisfying about this edition is its completeness. By providing both sides of this extraordinary correspondence - the longest continuous correspondence of Stein's life - our knowledge of STein's and Van Vechten's lives, their art, and their times is significantly enhanced. The letters have been transcribed to retain the characteristics of each writer's style. Readers of this volume will benefit greatly from Edward Burns' lively and exhaustive annotations, which include scrupulous cross-referencing to source materials.
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