There is a controversy brewing right now in Britain about readability and excellence in literature. Apparently, being “readable” is no longer a compliment.
Recommended recommendations: 21 of the best debut and sophomore works being published this year, compiled by Refinery29. For even more, be sure to check out our Great 2015 Book Preview.
While working with Australia’s Lajamanu Aboriginal population in remote sections of the Tanami Desert, linguist Carmel O’Shannessy identified “a [new] language system, independent of … other languages” spoken by about 300 people. Since her initial discovery in the late 1990s, O’Shannessy has studied the language and its grammatical structure, and now her findings have been published this month in the journal Language (PDF).
“Are things getting worse for women in publishing?” The Guardian asks, and while the article focuses on the UK, it also touches on the state of affairs in the U.S. What both situations share is a lack of female representation at the executive level, based partly on “a generation of women retiring and the amalgamation of publishing houses, which has left fewer c-circle jobs to compete for.” Oh, and sexism.
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.
Emily Dickinson didn’t get out much, so why should we have to in order to read her work? Her open access manuscripts, letters, and envelope scribbles are now available online in the Emily Dickinson Archive. But now there’s controversy over who is the rightful owner of her manuscripts and who should shape the archives — Harvard or Amherst?