It turns out that Amazon can have fun, too. Their web services agreement contains provisions for the zombie apocalypse. Our own Michael Bourne breaks the news that Amazon has purchased the English language.
If we are, as Adam Kirsch writes, in the midst of a golden age of essays, we might want to ask exactly which essays are proof of this golden age. His first three picks — My Heart is an Idiot, I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Pulphead — are unsurprising choices, but then it gets a bit more interesting when he looks at Sheila Heti’s latest novel. (You could also check out a few of our pieces on these books.)
Out this week: The Nix by Nathan Hill; Ashes of Fiery Weather by Kathleen Donohoe; The Legend of Jesse Smoke by Robert Bausch; and Sex and Death, a new story anthology including pieces by Kevin Barry, Wells Tower and Yiyun Li. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2016 Book Preview.
At W, a first look at American actress Rooney Mara in character as Lisbeth Salander. The relatively unknown Mara, recently of David Fincher‘s The Social Network, has been cast as Salander to Daniel Craig‘s Mikael Blomkvist in Fincher’s American film version of Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The obvious question: does Mara have the chops to outshine Noomi Rapace‘s Salander?
“Chekhov’s contemporaries wondered: What sort of Russian writer was he? He had no solution to the ultimate questions. With no ‘general idea’ to teach, wasn’t he more like a talented Frenchman or Englishman born in the wrong place?” (And our own Sonya Chung argues that personal character was in fact his “general idea.”)