A lawsuit has been filed against the creators of S-Town. The estate of John B. McLemore alleges that McLemore, the focus of the podcast, “didn’t give permission to broadcast the intimate details of his sexual orientation, mental state and other aspects of his life.”
Marlon James, Victore LaValle, Danzy Senna and more tell the New York Times about the scariest books they’ve read. James writes that at thirteen, Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist shook his sense of “suburban security.” “I agonized over questions I never agonized over before. What if everyone died, leaving me alone?” he remembered. “Adults were selfish and brutal, and in the case of Bill Sikes, evil incarnate. Sikes scared me right down to the bone and still haunts my dreams. I got goose bumps just typing this.”
Ahead of a trip to Kenya and South Africa, Barack Obama has released a summer reading list featuring works by Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, among others. Quartz Africa offers some suggestions for further reading.
BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel explains why Sacha Baron Cohen’s new series Who Is America? might be the best answer to right-wing fake news. “Baron Cohen is a worthy adversary for the most disingenuous in our politics and culture. He pits bad faith against bad faith and the result is something that seems like the truth — but it isn’t easy to watch,” he writes. “And somehow, that feels fitting for our current moment.”
At the Washington Post, Christine Emba responds to former Business Insider columnist Daniella Greenbaum’s assertion that social media users are threatening free speech. “The removal of her piece does not mean that writers everywhere are being fallen upon by a “predatory mob.” . . . It means that Business Insider did not want Daniella Greenbaum’s column,” Emba writes. “I have written pieces for The Post, where I am a columnist, and have had them summarily rejected (this is embarrassing, but I will admit it, because I am speaking freely here). This does not mean that my column is being turned into a “safe space” or that I am being suppressed. It means that I have editors.”