Members of the imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot
Longtime Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown died in Manhattan on Monday. “She was 90,” the New York Times reported, “though parts of her were considerably younger.” After getting her start as an ad copywriter, Gurley Brown, the author of the 1962 bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, edited Cosmo for more than three decades until her retirement in 1997. She is credited with giving the magazine its voice, and introducing candid (if airbrushed) conversations about sex to the American public, as well as coining the term “mouseburger.” To learn more about Gurley Brown, we direct you to Bookforum’s 2009 review of her unauthorized biography, Bad Girls Go Everywhere.
Earlier this year, three masked women stormed a Moscow church and staged an impromptu punk rock performance, in which they sang “Our lady / Chase Putin Out” while playing a cacophony of exhilarating noise. The band, Pussy Riot, were arrested and have been detained for nearly six months; they face three years in prison for the sixty-second song. Though their plight has generated much commentary and an outpouring of support, the women themselves have rarely been heard from. Now, n+1 has translated and posted the band’s closing statements, delivered to a kangaroo court intent on convicting them and making an example of the young women. Pussy Riot are using the platform to excoriate the system that holds them in contempt, and their testimony damns the Russian church and state more than any punk rock song ever could.
Taking a cue from Warren Buffet, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time author Mark Haddon is lobbying English politicians to raise taxes on the wealthy (including himself) to shield members of the lower classes from the UK’s austerity cuts.
Edith Wharton makes the September issue of Vogue—with a little help from Colm Toibin and Annie Leibowitz.
The winners of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest have been announced. It is a dubious honor: The contest “challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.”
Liza Klaussmann, a novelist and a great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville, read Moby Dick and thought, "Where was your editor?"