• August 26, 2014

    Michael Brown

    Michael Brown

    Michael Brown has been buried in St. Louis. In Monday’s funeral service, attended by Al Sharpton and Spike Lee, Brown’s family members memorialized the teenager. The eighteen-year-old unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, on August 9, sparking outrage and protests across the nation. Yesterday, the New York Times public editor apologized for reporter John Eligon’s having called Brown “no angel” in a recent story: “That choice of words was a regrettable mistake. In saying that the 18-year-old Michael Brown was ‘no angel’…The Times seems to suggest that this was, altogether, a bad kid.”

    The Columbia Journalism Review describes the media controversy over whether to publish graphic images from the video of journalist James Foley’s execution. “There is no journalistic value to my mind of showing what a beheading looks like,” said Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times. On Twitter, Vox’s Max Fisher criticizes Reuters for overstepping.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder (the author of the Little House series) has a memoir coming out this November with the South Dakota Historical Society Press. The autobiography, originally written in 1930, reportedly contains stories of pioneer life that “would not be appropriate” for children. “Wilder’s fiction, her autobiography, and her real childhood as she lived it are three distinct things, but they are all closely intertwined, and readers will enjoy seeing how they reflect one another,” said Nancy Koupal, the press’s director.

    A forthcoming book by English professor Sue Vice argues that fake memoirs shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed; they may have “value in literary or psychological terms that exceeds their truth value.”

    The third volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, appears next week. At T Magazine, three writers speculate on the real identity of Ferrante, who has never been photographed or made a public appearance. She did, however, recently give an interview to Megan O’Grady at Vogue, to whom she explained her work as “a battle to avoid lying”: “If it seems to me not that I’ve won but that I’ve fought with all my strength, I decide to publish.” The Guardian calls Ferrante “a master of the unsayable.” And last year, James Wood noted that her public restraint seems “wisely self-protective”: ”Her novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.”

    The 6.0 earthquake that rattled northern California wine country this weekend also sent hundreds of books to the floor of the Napa Public Library. All Napa County libraries were closed on Monday for cleaning. In Lakeland, Florida, a bookless library avoids similar messes. Florida Polytechnic University budgeted $60,000 to give students access to over 135,000 ebook titles.

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