Arundhati Roy, William Dalrymple, and Neil Gaiman are among the writers who have condemned Penguin’s decision to collect and destroy Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus in India. Penguin decided to pull the book from shelves in response to legal threats, based on the assertion that Doniger’s study, published in 2009, “hurts the feelings of millions of Hindus.”
The shortlist for the Folio Prize, the first major literary award to consider English-language fiction and poetry from all over the world, has been announced. Five of the eight nominees are American: Bookforum contributor Rachel Kushner, Amity Gaige, Kent Haruf, George Saunders, and Sergio De La Plava (whose novel was originally self-published). Eimear McBride, Jane Gardam, and Anne Carson are also on the shortlist.
The New York Times Magazine is wrapping up its search for an editor, and Capital New York has posted a story naming the four final candidates.
An app called “Hemingway” aims to help you revise your work in the image of the great writer by highlighting cuttable adverbs, words or sentences that could be shortened, and instances of the passive voice. At the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, Ian Crouch experimented with feeding some of Papa’s work into the app, and found that certain classic passages, like the opening of “A Clean, Well-lighted Place,” were judged to be merely “OK;” too complex, really, for the app’s liking.
Citizenship for sale: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian on buying a passport in Malta.
Joe Gould, the colorful New York character made famous by Joseph Mitchell’s legendary New Yorker pieces received money from an anonymous donor during the ‘40s. At Vanity Fair, Joshua Prager reveals the identity of the woman Gould called “Madame X,” but finds that her reasons for supporting Gould—and then suddenly withdrawing her stipend—remain a mystery.
Tim Parks wonders why literary biographers turn their subjects into saints.