• July 25, 2016

    Dennis Cooper

    Dennis Cooper

    The petition to restore novelist Dennis Cooper’s blog, which was deleted by Google without explanation, now has more than 3,000 signatures. Mark Edmund Doten, an editor at Soho Press and the author of the novel The Infernal, makes an impassioned plea at the petition’s webpage: “Google, give it back. We want all of it, the thousands of posts about art and literature, about roller coasters and defunct amusement parks, about haunted houses, optical illusions, and indie rock. We want the galleries of Halloween Masks and the tour of the Winchester Mystery House and Thomas Bernhard Day and the annual Bûche de Noël Beauty Pageant. Google, we want it all back, and we want it now.” At the New Yorker’s Culture Desk, Jennifer Krasinski tries to find out why the blog was erased, quoting a former Google employee saying that it was probably “just a stupid mistake.” Cooper told Krasinski that if he doesn’t get an answer from Google soon, he’ll have to sue the company, saying “I can’t let it go.”

    Roger Ailes has not spoken publicly since he resigned as head of Fox News on Thursday, but according to sources close to Ailes, he is planning to discuss his time at the network in a memoir. Ailes has a long-standing deal with HarperCollins; “the book is a priority for him now,” one longtime friend told CNN.

    At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake tallies the most damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee leak, which include messages that mock Sanders, call one of his campaign aides a “damn liar,” and question his loyalty to the Democratic Party. 

    To best understand Hillary Clinton, Carlos Lozada writes at the Washington Post, “don’t watch the convention.” Rather, you should read her “two contrasting memoirs,” Living History and Hard Choices.

    Marvel Comics has announced that Roxane Gay, the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist and the forthcoming memoir Hunger, will be co-writing a new comic series with Ta-Nehisi Coates. The first issue of Coates’s Black Panther was the best-selling comic of the year. Meanwhile, congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis’s graphic novel and memoir, March Book Two, won an Eisner award for nonfiction this weekend.

    The Guardian has a set of interviews with fiction translators, reflecting on how they got their start and how the difficulties of translating go far beyond grammar and syntax. Besides Ann Goldstein, the translator and face of Elena Ferrante’s novels in the US, there are insights from Edith Grossman—translator of Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Antonio Munoz Molina’s Manuscript of Ashes—and Don Bartlett, who has translated all six volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle.

  • July 22, 2016

    Last night at the Republican National Convention, Jon Stewart took over the desk at The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to deliver a Daily Show–style monologue ridiculing Donald Trump, the Republican party, and Fox News. The New York Times has a full transcript of Stewart’s remarks, which he kicked off with: “I thought Donald Trump was going to speak. Ivanka said that he was going to come out. She said he was really compassionate and generous, but then this angry groundhog came out and he just vomited on everybody for an hour.”

    The New Yorker has a sensitive account of the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Daniel Wenger reports from Orlando, registering the subdued scene at the city’s oldest gay club, visiting an undocumented immigrant convalescing in a hospital, and attending the funeral of a twenty-six-year-old Dominican man named Oscar Aracena-Montero. “In Hispanic countries and Latin-American communities, where conservative family values still prevail, gay lives are often lived at least partially under the radar,” he writes. “For many of the survivors, the massacre seemed to deliver multiple blows: first the violence of the attacks, and then the intrusions, however well-meaning, of neighbors, police officers, federal investigators, journalists.”

    Mohamedou Ould Slahi

    Mohamedou Ould Slahi

    Prison authorities have recommended that Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose handwritten prison journal Guantánamo Diary was published in 2015, be released. Once free, Slahi hopes to “start a business and write books.”

    Biteback Publishing has acquired imprisoned Turkish journalist Can Dündar’s new book, We Are Arrested: A Journalist’s Notes from a Turkish Prison. Dündar was arrested in November after the newspaper he edited, Cumhuriyet, ran an exposé on illegal arms shipments from the Turkish government to Syrian rebels.

    Catapult has just published Watchlist, a new anthology of writing about surveillance. Contributors include Etgar Keret, T. C. Boyle, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, and others.

    Natalie Portman isn’t the only A-list actress to be experimenting with a role behind the camera: Actress Kirsten Dunst is set to direct an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Dunst cowrote the screenplay; Dakota Fanning will star as Plath’s alter ego Esther Greenwood. In other adaptation news, Donna Tartt’s bestselling book, The Goldfinch, is being made into a movie by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy screenwriter Peter Straughan and Brooklyn director John Crowley. Natasha Vargas-Cooper offers some help with casting.

    Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell is one of the headliners at the OZY Fusion Fest, an all-day food-music-comedy-ideas event that will take place in New York on Saturday. According to the website, Gladwell will open the festivities with a keynote speech, about “America and the world . . . at a cultural crossroads.”

  • July 21, 2016

    On Tuesday night, Charles Kinsey became the latest victim of a police shooting—a particularly baffling case since Kinsey, an unarmed African American caretaker trying to help an autistic patient playing in the street, was lying on the ground with his hands in the air when cops shot him in the leg. Kinsey survived and told the Miami Herald that the police “realize this was something inappropriate regarding the shooting. If [they] admit fault, that would probably go a long way.” As the Times reports, Silicon Valley wants to take on the problem of police violence, but have so far settled for trivial interventions: Uber made its car icons into small peace signs and advised users to take “one minute to reflect on gun violence” while waiting for their ride, while Twitter attempted to commission a “#StayWoke” mural for their New York offices. As Jenna Wortham writes, “what the tech industry really cares about is ushering in the future, but it conflates technological progress with societal progress.”

    When Donald Trump Jr. gave his RNC speech, his resemblance to a certain serial killer made “Patrick Bateman” start trending on Twitter, reminding us of the Donald’s starring role in Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel American Psycho.

    At a Buzzfeed party in Cleveland celebrating blacklisted journalists—which featured “scenes of McCarthy-era hearings played via giant projector” —BuzzFeed’s DC bureau chief, John Stanton, was wrestled to the ground by Rudy Giuliani’s security team. Stanton’s offense? Attempting to ask the former New York City mayor, who was also attending the party, a question.

    As former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage offers breakfast interviews at the RNC in Cleveland, and reports criticize the Cameron government for not creating a contingency plan in case of a “Leave” vote on the Brexit referendum, Zadie Smith reminds us that while walls, literal and figurative, can protect, they can also leave us “separated, private, paranoid, preoccupied with security.” In “Brexit Blues,” journalist and novelist John Lanchester tries to figure out how a proposal that was ridiculed in 1997 was realized in 2016: “One of the characteristics of the story is a distinctly British unseriousness: tragedy and farce, as so often in this country’s political life, were hard to tell apart.”

    Jean Stein. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

    Jean Stein. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

    A committee that includes Hulk Hogan and others who are owed money by Gawker are asking whoever buys the site to take down “defamatory, tortious content that’s currently on the web pages.” Gawker founder Nick Denton, who is on the hook for $10 million of the $140 million court penalty, has hinted that he too might file for bankruptcy. Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley titan who bankrolled the lawsuit and will be speaking tonight at the RNC, likely agrees with the nominee’s feelings on libel laws: “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when the New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace . . . we can sue them and win money.”

    PEN America has announced two new awards, one of which includes a $75,000 prize, in honor of author Jean Stein, whose oral histories include Edie: American Girl and West of Eden: An American Place. Selections will be chosen and judged by an anonymous panel.

  • July 20, 2016

    Embattled Fox News boss Roger Ailes, accused of sexual harassment by the television host Gretchen Carlson, is negotiating his exit from the network he started twenty years ago, according to one of Ailes’s lawyers. His career there ends as Fox-style rhetoric has all but taken over the GOP. As the New York Times writes: “Mr. Trump’s convention has been a triumph for Mr. Ailes’s brand of smash-mouth and ‘politically incorrect’ politics. . . . It is, in a way, the most Fox News-y convention in the network’s history.” Ailes’s imminent departure was announced as two more women, Megyn Kelly and Ann Coulter, spoke out against Ailes’s conduct.

    As Donald Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination for president, he continues to be literary fodder. Martin Amis reviews two books by the candidate, looking for signs of madness, or failing that, any ideas at all. Meanwhile, Richard Ford weighs in with his assessment of the Donald’s mental soundness: Trump, he says, is not displaying symptoms of insanity, but is instead a symptom of “our national malaise with life . . . our American disease.”

    JT Leroy

    JT Leroy

    The Asian American Writers’ Workshop has awarded its 2016 Editorial Achievement Award to Chris Jackson, an editor who has worked with authors including Victor LaValle, Eddie Huang, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    HarperPerennial will reissue two books by JT LeRoy, the novel Sarah and the story collection The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, in late August—just before the September 9 theatrical release of Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story. The film will chart the rise and fall of LeRoy, an HIV-positive gay male author with a traumatic backstory (including a stint as a teen truck-stop prostitute) who turned out to be the persona of thirty-something author Laura Albert. “JT LeRoy” had a significant following (Lou Reed, Mary Gaitskill, Dennis Cooper, Billy Corgan, Dave Eggers, and many others once celebrated his work). But the unmasking of LeRoy (the result of an article by novelist Stephen Beachy) left him few admirers. The new edition’s blurb, by Adam Langer, tries to reclaim Albert as an author worth reading despite the elaborate hoax, calling her “a tremendously gifted and empathetic writer who found herself overshadowed by her own creation.”

    #MyIdeaOfFlirtingIs … tweeting at corporate Twitter accounts? The tactic worked for Victoria Carlin, whose reply four years ago to a tweet about Pokémon by London bookstore Waterstone’s resulted in a wedding to Jonathan O’Brien, the man behind the “nerdy tweets.” The rest of their story is a wedding announcement made in clickbait heaven, complete with doughnuts, secret cocktail bars, and Pokémon Go. At the reception, the bride, groom, and best man all cited the tweet that started it all. O’Brien told Mashable, “None of us knew the others would mention it.”

  • July 19, 2016

    In New York magazine, Gabriel Sherman—the author of The Loudest Voice in the Roomreported yesterday that Rupert Murdoch and his two sons are planning to get rid of Roger Ailes, the Fox News boss who has been sued by Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment. 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, has recently hired a private law firm to conduct an independent review of the Ailes case. The company’s executives quickly responded to the New York article, saying that the Ailes case “is not yet resolved, and the review is not concluded,” but, as the New York Times points out, the denial’s tone is chilly, a far cry from an earlier statement saying that 21st Century Fox had “full confidence” in Ailes.

    As the Republican National Convention got off to a “fiery” start yesterday in Cleveland, with anti-Trump delegates calling for a floor fight and allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, a Cleveland.com reporter wanted to know what RNC delegates thought about her city. The verdict, she writes, was that “we impressed them with our friendliness, our food and our police force.”

    Tony Schwartz

    Tony Schwartz

    Tony Schwartz, Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, is making the media rounds, warning the public about how “terrifying” he thinks a Trump presidency would be. Schwartz expressed extreme regret about ghostwriting the book in a New Yorker profile by Jane Mayer (which reached one million views five hours after it was posted). Schwartz also made his way to Good Morning America, where he said that a Trump presidency “would end civilization as we know it.” The National Review notes that “Schwartz is a liberal tortured now by thoughts that he helped launch Trump from New York tabloid fodder to national icon, so draw your own conclusions about his credibility,” but concedes that Schwartz’s description of Trump as unfocused and uninterested in books is  “wholly consistent with his public behavior—the rambling speeches and interviews . . . the inability to describe in depth any of his own proposals, the unfamiliarity a year into the campaign with the basics of American civics.”

    Gavin Eugene Long, the gunman who shot six police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, had self-published three books comprised of, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, “New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory.” Amazon removed the books from its website on Monday afternoon.

    After reporting on Politico’s leadership struggle and how it tore the newsroom apart, author Luke Mullins conducted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) where he explains the high burnout rate at Politico and reflects on the possibilities for the publication’s future under recently-announced editor Carrie Budoff Brown. Writing about the up-to-the-minute breaking news coverage that made Politico famous, Mullins says he “can’t imagine things getting any more saturated than they are right now—but I probably would have said that a couple years ago.” According to the AMA, there’s still no word on Politico founder and former CEO Jim VandeHei’s next project.

    Former London Mayor Boris Johnson’s new position as UK foreign secretary doesn’t leave him much time for writing. Johnson was expected to publish Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius in October, but has now put the project, which reportedly came with a £500,000 advance, on hold. Johnson, who wrote the 2014 book The Churchill Factor, has also given up his weekly column for The Telegraph.

  • July 18, 2016

    Late last week, Benjamin Wallace-Wells asked, “What Have the Freddie Gray Trials Achieved?” Today’s decision, to acquit Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, affirms Wallace-Wells’s assertion that “whatever justice for Freddie Gray’s death looks like, it will probably not involve long prison sentences for cops.” Three more cops involved in the case are scheduled for trial in the coming months, but the lack of new evidence for upcoming trials and failure to convict in all preceding cases have legal experts and The Sun’s editorial board calling on Baltimore’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby to reevaluate whether bringing the next three officers to trial is advisable. Maybe Williams could offer an online course in criminal evidence and the requirements for guilty verdicts. Maybe Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should sign up for it.”

    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 6.30.34 PM

    Tijen Karas reading a military statement on Turkish TV while being held at gunpoint.

    In “A tug-of-war for power in Turkey, with journalists in the middle,” Poynter reports on how, during the attempted coup on Friday night, CNN Türk was shut down by soldiers. At 8:43 pm, the TV network tweeted “Coup plotters are ending @cnnturks broadcast now,” with a picture of an eerily empty studio. On Saturday morning, journalist Ismail Saymaz shared a video that apparently shows police and citizens forcing the military out of the building. A group of soldiers arrested journalists at the Hürriyet Daily News, according to Emre Kızılkaya, who was on the scene. At TRT, the Turkish state-run TV network, news anchor Tijen Karaş was forced to report that the coup had succeeded. “They ordered us to read the statement after taking us out of the locked room” she said, “You must have realised the fear in my eyes and my lips were trembling. These were hours that loomed over like a nightmare.” Zeynep Tufekci, the Turkish writer and technology scholar, noted how heavily the government relied on social media to stop the attempted coup, tweeting: “Never thought I’d write: Erdogan takes to Twitter & FaceTime as a coup attempt in Turkey is thwarted by gov’t supporters using social media.” She also observed the heavy use of Facebook Live for disseminating anti-coup messages.

    Jelani Cobb, the New Yorker writer whose books include The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, has written about the distinction between “blue lives matter” and “black lives matter.” The first statement—the “blue” here refers to police—enjoys the status, says Cobb, of a “fact.” “Black lives matter,” on the other hand, remains a “reminder, or an aspiration.”

    The weekend edition front pages of Le Monde and Libération both ask: Why? The number of young people killed in the attack prompted Le Parisen’s headline “They Were Children.” The New York Times has a wrenching story focused on these children, quoting one parent, Raja El Kamel, explaining the importance of seeing the Bastille Day fireworks: “You have to bring your children because if you don’t, you will pay for it all year—all their friends are there.”

    In the New Yorker, Margaret Talbot writes about the Cleveland police force’s preparation for the potentially volatile crowds expected to descend on the city for the Republican National Convention. On Cleveland.com, Andrew J. Tobias reports on a news conference in the city, where officials said they were going to use “community policing and community engagement” rather than riot gear, though deputy chief Ed Tomba stressed that “we’re not going to stand for any lawlessness.” These words were considerably more measured than those of the head of Cleveland’s police union, Steve Loomis. On Sunday, Loomis told Fox News that President Obama had “blood on his hands” after three officers were killed in Baton Rouge, and asked: “”How the hell did we ever become the bad guys in this country?”

    PEN has released a statement in support of Dennis Cooper as he tries to discover why Google deleted his blog and Gmail account without warning or explanation.

  • July 15, 2016

    The front page of Le Monde

    The front page of Le Monde

    Le Monde’s front page on the morning after the terrorist attack in Nice shows a man praying next to a body covered with a sheet, and the publication also ran a grim gallery of images from the scene. The Nice-Martin’s headline “Ils s’appelaient Timothé, Fatima, Brodie… qui sont les premières victimes de l’attentat de Nice?” reveals the names of the first victims of the attack, while Charlie Hebdo posted a chilling cartoon on their Facebook page showing what happens “when religious fanatics are invited to secular holidays.” The network France 2 apologized for broadcasting a video interview showing a survivor of the attack sitting next to the body of his wife.

    Meanwhile, back in the States, Newt Gingrich took the attack as an opportunity to zing Obama on Fox News with glib comments about “truck regulations,” and called for “testing every person here who is of a Muslim back and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported.” One of the many disturbing details reported in the Times was a witness’s recollection of seeing the truck and thinking it was simply out of control before realizing that the vehicle’s lights were off and its horn wasn’t honking. At Poynter, James Warren looks at how the terrorist attack in Nice has been covered and considers the effects of the frenetic pace of recent tragic news: “Thursday offered the latest window onto a hyperkinetic media age and the impossibility of maintaining public focus on any topic for much longer than 10 minutes. Consider how the press seamlessly segued from race and police conduct to Mike Pence and terrorism. The Dallas cop shootings seemed a million miles away.”

  •  

    Bernie Sanders is getting a book deal. The former presidential candidate announced his upcoming book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, days after endorsing presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. With an announced publication date of November 15, some worry that possible critiques of Clinton in the book could be leaked just in time to impact the election.

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg is sorry she opened her mouth about Donald Trump. After calling the presumed Republican nominee “a faker” who “had been treated too gently by the press,” the Supreme Court justice backpedaled, saying her comments had been “ill-advised.” According to Ginsburg, “Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.” Trump tweeted, “Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot – resign!” Some law scholars and critics also felt the comments were a poor choice.

    A group of “technology sector leaders”—Tim Wu, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and the entire Artificial Intelligence Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology among them—have taken to Medium to voice their fears that a Trump presidency would curtail startup innovation. Peter Thiel, meanwhile, is having the most productive 2016 ever. Having bankrupted a major media company, Thiel will be speaking in support of Trump at the RNC in Cleveland next week.

    Emmy nominations for 2016 are in. The People v. O. J. Simpson looks poised to sweep numerous categories. Game of Thrones makes do with Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series.

    In an interview with Electric Literature, essayist John D’Agata advocates—not for the first time—conflating fact and fiction. “Suffice it to say,” D’Agata remembers of a short story by Susan Sontag that appeared as an essay in The Next American Essay, the first of his anthologies, “she wasn’t happy with my decision to include [it] in the book.” His latest installment, The Making of the American Essay, came out in March.

    In T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Jonathan Safran Foer, novelist and “world’s last Hotmail user,” conducts an interview over email with his long-time friend, the actress and debut director Natalie Portman. According to Foer, “People often refer to aloneness and writer’s block as the two great challenges of being a novelist. In fact, the hardest part is having to care for guinea pigs.”

    Tonight: Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara hosts a discussion on austerity in Europe at Verso Books, while Christian Lorentzen moderates a panel on and of debut writers at McNally Jackson.

  • July 14, 2016

    Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes

    Gretchen Carlson granted her first interview since filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News head Roger Ailes. Carlson was unceremoniously let go in June, and while poor ratings have been cited by Fox as the reason for parting ways, the former host says ratings were never mentioned in the brief meeting before her dismissal. “It took 30 seconds, there was no ‘Thank you for your service of 11 years.’” New York’s Gabriel Sherman asks, “Can the Murdochs Contain the Damage From the Ailes Investigation?” Judging from Sherman’s own investigation, the answer seems to be no. Other women have come forward with their own stories of harassment: A “former rising star” alleges that “Ailes approached her during a barbecue at Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy’s house in New Jersey while she was bouncing on a trampoline with children and said, ‘Are you wearing any panties? I wish you weren’t.’”

    Theresa May has been the Prime Minister of the UK for less than a day, and already Biteback Publishing has snapped up the rights to Theresa May: The Path to Power. The first female Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher is apparently a “Vogue-reading, cookbook-devouring, kitten heel-wearing” everywoman who may have a paper-eating problem worthy of My Strange Addiction.

    The National Endowment of the Arts announced the newest additions to its Big Read program, which include Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric, Alejandro Zambra’s Ways of Going Home, Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, Kevin Young’s Book of Hours, and Kao Kalia Yang’s The Latehomecomer. In the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Yang recommends Ed Bok Lee’s Whorled as a book that has helped her to understand racial injustice. “It is a beautiful memory of our hurt, collective and individual, at the barrels of guns and in the words we spew, of America and the world’s long journey to each other, the falling apart so we can be together.”

    In unnecessary movie remake news, the promotional image for the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s It has arrived. The millennial It is a clear descendent of Tim Curry’s sewer-dwelling terror-clown, but there’s no word yet on what It will look like as a spider. In other Stephen King news, the author will be opening the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival this fall in Washington, DC.

    In an interview with Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James, The Fader reveals that James used to design album covers for dancehall artist Sean Paul, the source of numerous early-2000s summer jams such as “Temperature” and “Baby Boy.” James and Paul attended the same high school. On meeting Paul and his Dutty Cup Crew, James said, “I remember knowing, right then, that he was the only one who was going to make it.”

    Tonight: Rob Sheffield will read from his new book, On Bowie, at the Brooklyn bookstore Word.

     

  • July 13, 2016

    Louizandre Dauphin, a Canadian schoolteacher who is black, was pulled over by police after he “decided to take a drive to the Stonehaven Wharf and sit by the water . . . to pacify my mind by reading the works of Timothy Keller and C.S. Lewis.” Dauphin shared his experience on Instagram, posting a selfie of his skeptical face and writing, “Before any more Canadians get too comfortable on their high horses. . . . This week has not been easy for me. Amidst a number of personal and professional struggles, my mind has been occupied with the latest string of black males killed by the police over the last few days.” Before asking for Dauphin’s license, the officer explained that “a few citizens in Janeville called the police because of a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, ‘Really? I was just reading a book.’ … At this rate, I may never leave my home again.”

    “The collision of the digital zeitgeist . . . and a neatly-framed sunset that happens four times a year is just the kind of viral synergy we all need this morning,” reports Gothamist, of last night’s Manhattanhenge—the fourth and final time the arc of the setting sun dipped squarely down the middle of Manhattan’s east-west cross streets this year—coinciding with the metastatic popularity of the smartphone sport Pokémon Go. The augmented reality game has players—whose ranks now exceed the number of Twitter users—traipsing around New York City hunting holograms of creatures such as Pikachu. Last night, crowds of people used their phones in a frenzy, though it was difficult to tell whether they were capturing Pokémon or a postcard-perfect sphere of hot plasma. Running into the middle of the street to take photographs of the sunset is quite dangerous. Pokémon Go can be dangerous too—the game has been used by armed robbers to target distracted people lured to remote locations. It has also bothered officials at Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum as their sites, designated PokéStops, are overrun with visitors for whom virtual monsters eclipse historical ones. “We do not consider playing “Pokemon Go” to be appropriate decorum on the grounds of ANC,” @ArlingtonNatl tweeted. “Technology can be an important learning tool, but this game falls far outside of our educational and memorial mission,” said the museum.

    Sharon Dodua Otoo

    Sharon Dodua Otoo

    “All the characters cavorting on horses in Greenwich, Connecticut or New Canaan. . . . it was the same old corny version of rich people, which didn’t seem real at all to me,” Whit Stillman says of the television show Mad Men. Love and Friendship, Whitman’s new film, is an adaptation of the early Jane Austen novel Lady Susan starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. Love and Friendship will also be released as a two-part novel: Whitman’s reimagining followed by Austen’s full text.

    “I don’t read novels. I prefer good literary criticism. That way you get both the novelists’ ideas as well as the critics’ thinking,” says the character Tom Townsend in Stillman’s 1990 movie Metropolitan. Think twice before you try watching it via your ex-boyfriend’s Netflix account: A California court has ruled that using someone else’s password to access an online service such as Netflix or HBO Go without the subscriber’s prior authorization violates federal computer law.

    British writer Sharon Dodua Otoo won Germany’s most prestigious literary award, the €25,000 Ingeborg Bachmann prize, for her story “Herr Gröttrup Sits Down.” It’s Otoo’s first attempt at writing fiction in German, and tells the story of a rocket scientist who worked for the Nazis from the perspective of an unboiled egg. Read it in the Deutsch here.

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