• December 4, 2015

    There has been much discussion of the New York Daily News cover about the California mass shooting this week, though it doesn’t seem all that controversial under the circumstances.

    The French Booksellers’ Association has provided a reading list for the public in the wake of the November attacks in Paris.

    Melissa Anderson

    Melissa Anderson

    Bookforum contributor Melissa Anderson has been named senior film critic at the Village Voice, where, as well as reviewing new movies, she’ll have a weekly column on New York’s arthouse and repertory scene.

    A seventeenth-century biography of Walatta Petros, an Ethiopian noblewoman and religious leader, has now been translated into English: It’s thought to be the earliest book about the life of an African woman, not to mention the first known account of same-sex desire between African women.

    Marina Warner has written an obituary of the historian and philosopher John Forrester, who did important work on the history of psychoanalysis. He called it his “life’s ambition. . . to reconcile Freud, the doctor of the soul, with Michel Foucault, the critic of medical regimes of all kinds.” (The piece also includes this detail for those who enjoy a good intellectual love story: “His home was in north London with Lisa, whom he met in 1984 when, as deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, she invited him, presciently, to take part in a series about Desire. They married in 2013.”)

    Ginger Strand revisits Kurt Vonnegut’s writing career as a rather touching case of cherchez la femme.

    Oprah being Oprah, her forthcoming memoir (due out January 2017 from Macmillan’s Flatiron Books) is not just a memoir, but the opening salvo of a whole new nonfiction imprint that’ll publish titles of her choosing.

    Lincoln Michel commits the unpardonable sin of deploying some actual facts in a think-piece about popularity in literary and genre fiction. He also has some views on what the powerful are reading: “Even the idea that literary fiction is favored by the actual elites of society is highly suspect. You are far more likely to find John Grisham and Dan Brown novels in the houses of politicians, lawyers, and hedge fund managers than the works of Lydia Davis and William Gaddis.” Disappointing if true—nothing like a ruler who reads Lydia Davis to make you feel you’re in safe hands.

    Playboy’s last nude issue will feature Pamela Anderson (now their cover star fourteen times over). And who better to interview her than multimedia sensation James Franco?

    Zadie Smith provides self-help for people who want to get off the internet and write the next NW.