• July 28, 2016

    James Alan McPherson

    James Alan McPherson

    James Alan McPherson—the author, longtime teacher at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a MacArthur Fellow—has died at age seventy-two. In 1978, McPherson became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his story collection Elbow Room, and in 2000, John Updike selected one of his stories for the anthology The Best American Short Stories of the Century

    Since Google shut down Dennis Cooper’s blog on June 27, the question has been: Why? We may soon find out: On Facebook, the novelist says that Google has finally made contact, and that the company’s lawyers are now ready to talk with his lawyers about his deleted blog account.

    Poet and critic Michael Robbins has written one of the better analyses of Gay Talese’s much-talked-about new book, The Voyeur’s Motel. He finds a rich analogy in John D’Agata’s book The Lifespan of a Fact, which “contends that niggling details like facts can get in the way of important stuff like truth and art.” Robbins agrees. But he still doesn’t think much of Talese’s book, which he finds “plodding,” and overly reliant on a journal written by a voyeur who “evinces little self-consciousness.

    Le Monde’s editor in chief Jérôme Fenoglio has written an op-ed titled “Resisting the Strategy of Hate,” in which he states that the latest ISIS attacks in France—one of which led to the death of an elderly priest in a suburb of Rouen—are designed to inspire “blind vengeance” and to turn the country into an “empire of hate.” He also reiterates the paper’s decision not to publish photographs of attackers.

    How many free journalists are left in Turkey? After warrants were issued for forty-seven Turkish journalists on Monday, Reuters reports that the government has called for forty-two more to be arrested, most of them staff of the shut down Zaman newspaper.

    Peter Thiel—the billionaire PayPal cofounder, Trump supporter, and nemesis of Gawker Media—was recently scheduled to speak at a gathering organized by the Property and Freedom Society, which has been called “white-nationalist-friendly.” Thiel’s spokespeople say that he is no longer attending the event.

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