This just in: Jhumpa Lahiri has a new novel coming in September called The Lowland.
Could James Baldwin be America’s greatest essayist? Ta-Nehisi Coates believes so — at The Atlantic, he argues that The Fire Next Time shows Baldwin committing “amazing acts of intellectual and emotional courage.” (Related: Buzz Poole paid tribute to Baldwin back in 2008.)
Did David Foster Wallace predict our anxiety over selfies? At The Wire, Danielle Wiener-Bronner argues that Wallace was prescient in Infinite Jest. Although videophony, his concept of video-chatting, isn’t the same thing as a selfie, the paranoia over looking good is strikingly current. “This sort of appearance check was no more resistible than a mirror. But the experience proved almost universally horrifying. People were horrified at how their own faces appeared on a TP screen.”
J. K. Rowling has confirmed that her new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be a trilogy. She’s also writing about Native American wizards on Pottermore, which, as our own Elizabeth Minkel has pointed out, has been controversial. It’s a good time to revisit our piece on J.K. Rowling’s second thoughts.
The Guardian has begun rolling out their series of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time. The first? Elizabeth Kolbert’s horrifying, no-holds-barred ecological treatise The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Our friends over at the Football Book Club took a look at The Sixth Extinction earlier this year, as well.
Adrian Chen spoke with a former Facebook employee, and learned “how Facebook censors the dark content it doesn’t want you to see, and the people whose job it is to make sure you don’t.” In short: exploitation of “human content monitors” in the third world.