Venezuelan author Romulo Gallegos (1884-1969), circa 1950.
Credit Pedro Valdes
Marcela Valdes was a founder of Críticas, the English-language magazine devoted to Spanish-language books. She is now serving her second term on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle.
Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a specialist in Latin American literature and culture.
For more than 40 years, the most important book prize in South America has been bankrolled by the region's most famous petro-nation: Venezuela. Yet Venezuelan novelists themselves rank among the least read and translated writers in the entire continent. Over and over again as I worked on this article, I stumped editors and translators with a simple question: Who are Venezuela's best novelists?
Good morning. I'm David Greene. There's a Hamburglar on the loose in the Garden State. Apparently, he's driving a big rig. Police say someone made off with $100,000 worth of burger patties. They were being stored in a New Jersey shipping yard. Surveillance footage shows a 40-foot refrigerated container holding 3,000 burgers being towed away by a tractor trailer Monday night. No word if the driver was wearing a mask, cape, or striped shirt.
Say what you will about the slow pace of Congress. Lawmakers were really cooking yesterday. Yes, the Minnesota delegation held its Third Annual Hotdish Competition. Nine lawmakers entered but only one could take the official golden casserole dish trophy home. Representative Tim Walz won handily with an artery-clogging recipe, a casserole made of Kraft cheese, tater tots and bratwurst, all seasoned with a bottle of beer.
Tonight, in Flint, Michigan, a limousine is going to pull up to a nursing home and take a 79-year-old patient for a long-awaited night out on the town. Seven years ago, Evie Branan suffered a stroke that left her in a semi-coma. In May of 2011, she tumbled out of her bed, bumped her head and woke up, and her very first words were a request.
EVIE BRANAN: I said I wanted to go to a Bob Seger concert.
Now to Paris, France - where a walkout briefly shut down one of the world's most visited museums. Our last word in business: Pickpocket Protest.
The Louvre is famous for its priceless works of art - think the Mona Lisa - which it protects with high-tech security. But apparently, the Paris museum is less effective at protecting the valuables of patrons and staff.
Well, the first round of golf's first major tournament of the year tees off today. And if people are not excited enough about the Masters, there is added drama this year. The most recognizable golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods, is a bonafide favorite to win his fifth green jacket. NPR's Tom Goldman has been wandering, strolling the grounds of golf's most storied course. He joins us now from Augusta, Georgia. And, Tom, how did you get this assignment?
Venezuela's acting president, Nicolas Maduro, fist-bumps a worker of the state-run oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., last month. Maduro faces opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in Sunday's presidential election. Whoever wins will have to tackle the legacy of Chavez's oil programs.
As Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez thought in grandiose terms, and his country's vast oil riches enabled him to act on his vision. But Chavez died before he had to deal with the flaws in his model, and some hard choices await his successor.
Key to Chavez's notion of "21st Century Socialism" was the redistribution of Venezuela's oil earnings. The country's oil reserves — estimated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to be the largest in the world — are worth tens of billions of dollars a year in potential revenue.
In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic Renoir, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Credit RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
While art critics sometimes call Renoir's late period overly emotional, works like Blonde a la rose, shown here, were an inspiration to film director Gilles Bourdos. Andree Heuschling, a main character in the film, is credited as the model for this painting.
Credit Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
Renoir's The Bathers (Bathing Women) also used Andree Heuschling as inspiration. Critics say the young model gave the aging artist a needed boost of inspiration during his final years.