July 11, 2016

Last year the Washington Post began Fatal Force, a database that provides information about American civilians who have been killed by police, providing, when the information is available, the victims’ gender, race, and age. As of July 11, 512 deaths have been recorded. In about 40 percent of the cases, Fatal Force also identifies the officers who killed. The Guardian is maintaining a similar database devoted to Americans killed by police; its list puts the number of deaths at 571.

Claudia Rankine—whose award-winning book Citizen: An American Lyric pointedly meditated on racism in America and violence against people of color such as Michael Brown in Ferguson—spoke to NPR in the wake of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Asked if she will write about this, she responds: “I might. You know, I don’t know. But the thing that struck me deeply was that child in the back seat who said, It’s OK, I’m right here with you, to her mother when the shooting occurred in the car. And why a policeman would send a bullet in a car with a 4-year-old child, I’m not sure, when no one was firing at him. But that child—that black child – now has to behave and perform like an adult and negotiate a trauma for the rest of her life.”

Brooklyn Magazine has published an article about Emily Books, the excellent literary project run by Emily Gould and Ruth Curry, which since its founding in 2011 has showcased a number of innovative titles by women including Eileen Myles, Renata Adler, Heather Lewis, and Paula Bomer. Emily Books has become a publisher, too, having recently teamed up with Coffee House Press to release Problems, the debut novel by Jade Sharma. The imprint’s second title, Chloe Caldwell’s essay collection I’ll Tell You in Person, is due out in the Fall. Says Gould: “It’s starting to feel like we’re at this really exciting moment, where there’s this new cultural openness to radical honesty [and] mostly female subjectivity.”

Sidney Schanberg

Sidney Schanberg

Journalist Sydney H. Schanberg, whose coverage of Cambodia’s fall to the Khmer Rouge and the genocide that followed earned him a Pulitzer Prize, died on Saturday. He was eighty-two. In 1975, when Pol Pot’s guerrillas were close to taking over Phnom Penh, Schanberg’s editors at the New York Times urged him to leave the country, but the reporter, along with the photojournalist Dith Pran, stayed put, were captured, and almost killed. He was “a risk-taking adventurer who distrusted officials, relied on himself in a war zone and wrote vividly of political and military tyrants and of the suffering and death of their victims with the passion of an eyewitness to history,” says the Times obituary. Schanberg’s war correspondence became the inspiration for the film The Killing Fields, and was later collected in the book Beyond the Killing Fields.

Gabriel Sherman—the author of The Loudest Voice in the Room, a biography of Fox News founder Roger Ailes—writes that Ailes, who has shown a “remarkable talent for self preservation,” may finally be mired in a career-ending scandal that even he cannot evade. Following Gretchen Carlson’s sexual-discrimination suit against Ailes, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, released a statement that it was taking Carlson’s accusations “seriously.” Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch and his sons have decided to bring in an outside lawyer to investigate.

At the Paris Review, Charles Curkin explains his impatience with people who can’t handle spoilers. “Knowing the twist should give us comfort,” he writes. “It promotes greater appreciation in the midst of discovery—and the best things in life will excite whether you know what’s going to happen or not. It’s the form that draws and leaves the indelible impression.”