Many feared the permanent loss of thousands of precious manuscripts and relics after insurgents razed Timbuktu’s Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research. The Institute was home to over 30,000 manuscripts dating back to the 13th century. Or was it? In a fascinating report, Rukmini Callimachi details the extraordinary efforts of the some passionate locals that wound up saving much of the collection.
A V.I.G. (very important garment) will be making its way to the U.S. this August. Pride and Prejudice fans can now see the shirt Colin Firth wore as Mr. Darcy in the exhibition “Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity.” We rewrote the title of Pride and Prejudice and other books as clickbait. You should definitely read it.
New this week stateside is buzzed-about Booker shortlister Room by Emma Donoghue. Also out: Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, a new collection by “20 Under 40” lister Yiyun Li; Sigrid Nunez’s post-apocalyptic Salvation City; and a McSweeney’s-published memoir Half a Life by Chang and Eng author Darin Strauss.