November 30, 2015

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee

A Buzzfeed profile of Turkish journalist Can Dundar points out that more than one thousand reporters have been pushed out of their jobs since the reelection of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has cracked down on the press. Dundar himself was imprisoned last week. The charge is espionage, and it is based on a report Dundar published in May that “included photos and videos alleging Turkish intelligence officials were smuggling weapons to Syrian rebel fighters described as jihadis in January 2014.”

PEN America has announced the winners of its annual Prison Writing Awards.

Business Insider weighs in on Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice, a book that Aziz Ansari cites as an major influence on his show Master of None. “I had just been obsessed with this notion of The Paradox Of Choice, this Barry Schwartz book where it talks about how when you have so many options, it’s harder to make a choice. The instinct is that when you have more options in your life, it’s better. But in actuality, it’s harder to make a decision and when you do make the decision, you’re often left unsatisfied because you’re worried you picked the wrong thing.”

Composer Stefan Wiesman and Librettist David Cote are planning to adapt Alexander Chee’s first novel, Edinburgh, into an opera. Chee’s second novel, The Queen of the Night, will be released in February 2016.

The New York Times has posted its list of this year’s 100 Notable Books.

A video of James Schuyler’s first public reading, which took place at the DIA Art Foundation in 1988, has just been uploaded to YouTube. John Ashbery introduces.

Leo, the protagonist of Jeanette Winterson’s novel The Gap of Time, is “the head of the Sicilia hedge fund. He dresses in Hugo Boss, drives a Porsche, and uses a Webcam to spy on his wife, MiMi. After he leverages too many assets, he plops onto the sofa of his analyst, Dr. Wartz, to talk about his mother.” Sound familiar? It’s a modernization of (and a psychoanalytical take on) Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, part of a new series of novels that update Shakespeare’s dramatic works.

Mark your calendars: On Tuesday this week, Bookforum editor Albert Mobilio will host the latest installment of the Apexart series, which will feature film scholars Noah Isenberg and Molly Haskell, who will “return to Casablanca,” and music writers Gene Seymour, who will recall how he fell for The Beatles, and David Yaffe, who will trace the history of his love of Joni Mitchell. On Wednesday, Joy Williams and Don DeLillo will join forces at Symphony Space.

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