Another Newsweek- (and Obama-) related item: The magazine sent Somerville-based novelist Claire Messud ("The Emperor's Children") out on the campaign trail with the Democratic nominee. Newsweeklies are desperately trying to prove they still have a purpose: Giving unconventional voices some space to play with may be one way to do it. Frankly, she doesn't find much that's new -- let alone do anything gonzo, as when the British novelist Will Self got himself kicked off John Major's plane for doing drugs -- but her writing is elegant as always.
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