Richard Lloyd Parry has won the Rathbones Folio Prize for his book Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone. For our winter issue, William T. Vollmann wrote about the book: “A lesser writer might have exploited [the] ugly, gruesome stories. This man has a heart. He transmits to us not only the facts but also, through that special emotional conduction that requires both skill and sincerity, a portion of his subjects’ sufferings. In other words, you will not find this to be an uplifting book.”
In the wake of the sexual and verbal abuse allegations against Junot Díaz, Lyta Gold considers the myths that surround talented male writers: “Once Díaz was labeled a genius, his work was presumptively taken to be flawless and free of sin, which turned legitimate critiques into heresies and, ultimately, may have prevented Díaz from developing as a writer.”
Google News has been redesigned and will now feature personalized news chosen by Artificial Intelligence. A feature called Full Coverage will provide many sources for one story, including timelines and videos.
At the Washington Post, Ted Genoways writes about how copyright law prevents works like the Zora Neal Hurston’s Barracoon, which has just been republished, from coming to light: “‘Barracoon,’ . . . was rejected for publication in 1931, because it was deemed too vernacular by Hurston’s editor. Current copyright law unintentionally conspired to unnaturally extend the duration of that wrongheaded judgment for decades. That is why I bridle at the description of works like ‘Barracoon’ as ‘lost.’ They are not lost — they have always been here — but they have repeatedly encountered power structures that block their publication. It’s time for that to change.”