May 30, 2017

Al Franken

At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore looks at a new (and newly relevant) batch of dystopian novels.

In his new book, Giant of the Senate, Al Franken recalls likening Ted Cruz to “a Carnival cruise” (and noting that both are “full of shit”). Cruz has responded: “Al is trying to sell books and apparently he’s decided that being obnoxious and insulting me is good for causing liberals to buy his books… I wish him all the best.”

Philip Pullman has offered a glimpse of his forthcoming novel The Book of Dust, which is meant to serve as a companion to his bestselling trilogy of “His Dark Materials” novels. You can read an excerpt from the book (which will be released on October 19) here.

Benjamin Anastas explains why American journalist Martha Gellhorn’s A Stricken Field, an account of the 1938 refugee crisis in Prague, continues to be “essential reading for today.”

At the Los Angeles Times, David L. Ulin has written an eloquent appreciation of the novelist Denis Johnson, who died last week. And at the New Yorker, Tobias Wolff recalls Johnson’s generosity, and Philip Gourevitch honors the novelist’s “ecstatic American voice.” 

The new issue of Bookforum is out now.