Believer Book Award winner James Hynes

From the New Yorker, Dexter Filkins (author of The Forever War) asks a key question about Osama bin Laden’s death: Did Pakistani officials know where bin Laden was hiding? Lawrence Wright (author of The Looming Tower) ponders al Qaeda’s future, and from the Bookforum archives, Hannah Bloch reviews Steve Coll’s biography of the bin Laden clan. Meanwhile, the New York Times published an unfortunate headline/photo combo this morning on their iPhone app.

Next by James Hynes has won this year’s Believer Book Award; the magazine has also published its list of top twenty reader favorites, a well-rounded and savvy collection of poetry and fiction.

Is it just us, or are we in the midst of a Georg Trakl revival? The German Expressionist poet (1887-1914) was an inspiration for Christian Hawkey’s fascinating recent book Ventrakl. In October, Copper Canyon Press will publish a new translation of Trakl’s work. And why not: He was, as C author Tom McCarthy points out in this video, “a drug-addict doctor during World War I who wrote amazing melancholic poetry full of images of the sun sinking into black linen and skies bleeding and rotting.”

Tonight, McSweeney’s new issue will be celebrated at a launch party at McNally Jackson Books.

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