The Swedish ambassador to China is under investigation after “she was accused of arranging unauthorized, secret talks” between imprisoned publisher Gui Minhai’s daughter and “two Chinese men who had offered to help free him, but instead pressured her to keep silent,” the New York Times reports.
At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter explains why plagiarism accusations can be difficult to prove, particularly when they involve plot similarities. “Books with similar plots abound in fiction,” she writes. “But the debate underscores how lines blur when considering literary theft and acceptable homage, and when the deployment of clichéd plot conventions becomes an egregious use of another writer’s work and ideas.”
Janet Malcolm talks to the Times’s “By the Book” column about the British royal family, dogs, and her personal library. Malcolm says that she has recently been rereading books in her personal collection. “Why have a large library and not use it? Why keep books, if you are not going to read them more than once?” she asks. “For the décor? The answer isn’t entirely no. A book-lined room looks nice. I like walking into my living room and seeing the walls of books with faded spines that have accreted over many decades.”
New York’s Morgan Library and Museum is undergoing a $12.5 million renovation.
The New Republic’s Alex Shephard examines the “growing tension between [Jeff] Bezos’s role as the savior of one of America’s most important news organizations and his role overseeing an anti-democratic corporate behemoth.”
“At the very least, town halls could be saved for candidates who are actually running,” writes Columbia Journalism Review’s Jon Allsop on CNN’s recent town-hall interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “Whenever he was asked a tough, personal question last night, Schultz looked at Harlow with a furrowed brow and protested that he couldn’t say as he wasn’t running yet. ‘I think we’re getting way premature!’ he exclaimed at one point. For once, he had a point.”