The next time you find yourself in conversation with the kind of fussbudget reader who laments the state of contemporary literature, bemoaning the fact that “they don’t write them like they used to,” here’s a suggestion: Pull a copy of Mark Helprin’s “In Sunlight and In Shadow” from your bag, gently slide it over (don’t wing it, unless you want to face the potential repercussions of a personal-injury lawsuit from this hulking tome), and suggest riffling its pages.
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