“What stereotypes will they critique, destroy, or create? What, in other words, will the post-earthquake novel reveal about Haiti’s most recent losses, obstacles, and hopes for the future?” Patti Marxsen on the post-earthquake Haitian novel, over at The Critical Flame.
You may have not known there’s a national arm wrestling championship. Joshua Davis found out when he saw an eye-catching flyer. When he found himself drafted onto Team USA, he turned the experience into his first big magazine piece. At The Rumpus, an interview with the author of Spare Parts.
William Stuntz's book The Collapse of American Criminal Justice investigates "how, over the past 50 years, our criminal justice system had been transformed into an unfair, amoral bureaucracy--one that had given up on the very idea of justice." Its genesis is worth reading about. So, too, is this related article in the most recent edition of n+1, "Raise the Crime Rate."
New this week are Mario Vargas Llosa's The Dream of the Celt, Soul of a Whore and Purvis: Two Plays in Verse by Denis Johnson, Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays by Siri Hustvedt, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and Team Cul de Sac, a book done in tribute to the great comic done by Richard Thompson and to raise money for research into Parkinson's, which Thompson was diagnosed with in 2009.
This is really happening: In February, an IBM-programmed computer will take on former champions (including Ken Jennings) in three games of Jeopardy. (via)