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As In Chess, As In Life

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image courtesy of the author
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Jennifer DuBois's new novel asks the central question, How do you keep going when you know things are going to end badly? The book is A Partial History of Lost Causes (Random House, 2012).  

  Its protagonist, Irina, expects to die young from Huntington's Disease, the same malady that claimed her father's life at a young age.  After finding a letter her father once wrote looking for answers from a Russian chess prodigy, Irina goes in search of the chess player, who has become a maverick presidential candidate waging his own lost cause.  They meet in Russia, and it turns out the two are seeking answers to some similar quandaries.

DuBois is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and currently teaches writing at Stanford University.  She spoke with Mitch Teich.

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Jennifer DuBois reads an excerpt of her novel.

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