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For years Heidi W. Durrow heard the refrain: editors wouldn’t publish her novel because readers couldn’t relate to a protagonist who was part black and part Danish. But when that novel, “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky,” was finally published last year (after about four dozen rejections, said Ms. Durrow, who is, of course, black and Danish), the coming-of-age story...

Guangzhou Opera House Designed by Zaha Hadid GUANGZHOU, China — It says something about the state of architecture today that the most alluring opera house built anywhere in the world in decades is in a generic new business district at the outer edge of this city, has no resident company and a second-rate program. And because this is China, a country that is still undergoing...