Magazine article Book

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Magazine article Book

Flash Backs

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[1909] BOY WONDER

When a Buenos Aires newspaper published a Spanish-language translation of Oscar Wilde's story "The Happy Prince" that bore the byline Jorge Borges, the suburban neighbors of a lawyer by that name assumed he was the translator. In fact, the translation was the first published work by the lawyer's son, Jorge Jr. Just nine at the time, Jorge Luis Borges went on to become Argentina's most famous author.

[1954] COLD WAR

The British writer J.G. Ballard, whose semiautobiographical novel Empire of the Sun was turned into a film by Steven Spielberg in 1987, knew from an early age that he wanted to write for a living. His writing career likely wouldn't have happened, however, if he hadn't enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1954. Ballard, then twenty-four years old, was packed off to Moose Jaw, a remote Canadian outpost "out in the back of beyond," as he later put it. The only decent reading material at the base was a stack of science fiction magazines. After his discharge, he started writing stories for some of those same magazines, and his career soon took flight. …

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