The architect Zaha Hadid is suing the New York Review of Books for libel in response to an article by the critic Martin Filler. The article quotes her incorrectly, in such a way that implies that Hadid ignored the deaths of construction workers on a building in Qatar she designed. The building in question was not yet under construction; NYRB “regrets the error.”
Robert Hass has won the Wallace Stevens award, which comes with a $100,000 cash prize.
The National Book Foundation will collaborate with NPR’s Morning Edition to reveal the 2014 National Book Awards finalists on October 15th.
At the New Yorker, Steve Coll discusses the kidnapping of journalists, the Anglo-American government policy against paying ransom, and the tendency to blame kidnapping victims for their fate. In a recent NPR show, for example, the host asked a colleague of the journalist James Foley whether Foley was “reckless.” That’s not the right question: “There is training that can help prepare a correspondent to work in a hazardous place for the first time, and there are tools—phones, cars, security consultants—that can help to keep them safe around the margins. But most of the great correspondents who have worked in hard places and walked away again and again have idiosyncratic methods for making judgments about which road to travel and which to avoid. And only the arrogant among them will say that they are not very lucky.”
In light of Hachette’s feud with Amazon, The Guardian discusses potential “irreversible changes” in the publishing business model, in which publishers—bolstered by social media relationships with its audience— may attempt to move towards direct sales.
New York Times writer David Itzkoff will write Robin Williams’s biography.