Cultural Life: Peter Carey, novelist

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The Independent Culture

Television

The rule of the majority can only be democratic with an informed electorate. As newspapers die, as Fox News rises, one treasures the 'Rachel Maddow Show' on MSNBC. I am told there is no current- affairs show that is quite as frank and courageous in the UK. Could this possibly be true?

Books

'The Life of Benvenuto Cellini', by Benvenuto Cellini. 'True to Life: 25 Years of Conversations with David Hockney', by Lawrence Weschler.

Visual arts

As it becomes harder and harder to get near a canvas at MoMA, one begins to seek out the smaller museums – Washington's Phillips Collection, for instance, where, away from flash bulbs, one can take one's time with a collection born of plutocratic wallets and impeccable taste.

Films

After the LA riots in 1992, the South Central Farmers, mostly Latino immigrants, created a garden paradise on blighted land granted by the city. 'The Garden' follows the battle as the land is stolen back by LA Council and sold below market price to the developer who has already sold it once.

Peter Carey's new novel, 'Parrot and Olivier in America', is published by Faber and Faber (£18.99, hardback)

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