Poet and essayist Adrienne Rich has died at at her home in Santa Cruz of complications from long-term rheumatoid arthritis. Here is a 2002 profile of Rich, and a full bibliography at the Poetry Foundation.
David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King is about to be released as a paperback—with four previously unpublished scenes. PWxyz reveals what the new material is about, and what it adds to the posthumous book.
An argument over the relative merits of J. R. Tolkien versus C. S. Lewis recently erupted into a full-fledged brawl when two Ann Arbor, Michigan, men were unable to agree on which Oxford don was the better writer.
Zadie Smith’s novel On Beauty has been optioned for a movie, which will be directed by “actress turned writer slash director Kasi Lemmons.” Smith’s next novel, NW, about five residents of a Northwest London housing estate, will hit American bookstores in September.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is releasing a batch of letters between Ernest Hemingway and confidant Gianfranco Ivancich. The letters were written between 1953 and 1960 during Hemingway’s travels across Cuba, Idaho, Kilimanjaro, Nairobi, Paris, and Madrid; twelve of them have never before been published. In one letter, written in Cuba in 1953, Hemingway describes having to shoot his beloved cat after he had been hit by a car, when all of a sudden, a group of tourists drove up: “I still had the rifle and I explained to them they had come at a bad time and to please understand and go away. But the rich Cadillac psycho said, ‘We have come at a most interesting time. Just in time to see the great Hemingway cry because he has to kill a cat.’” Hemingway then writes, “I humiliated him as he should be humiliated, omit details.”
With its greatest hits laid out year-by-year, The New Yorker’s new Facebook timeline is an entertaining way to browse the magazine’s history. Some favorites from the archives: George Trow’s 1978 series on record-industry mogul Ahmet Ertegun; Mark Danner’s 1993 investigation into a massacre in a Salvadoran town; and, going back to 1948, Berton Roueché’s first "Annals of Medicine" column and J.D. Salinger’s story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.”