A Lynda Barry doodle
Chris Kyle, the author of the bestseller American Sniper, was shot and killed at a shooting range in Texas on Saturday. Kyle’s book recounts his experiences as a Navy SEAL sharp-shooter in Iraq, where he was credited with more than 150 kills. The book also considers his brushes with depression after his return to the US. According to the Times, Kyle had brought his killer, a "troubled veteran," to the shooting range, hoping that a day there might bring the struggling ex-soldier "some relief." For more, read Jeff Stein's review of Kyle's "casually brutal memoir" from our last summer issue.
The head of the UK campaign group Survival International has taken Jared Diamond to task for his claim that pre-modern societies are chronically violent. During a reading last week of Diamond’s latest book, The World Until Yesterday, Jonathan Mazower accused the author of being "completely wrong—both factually and morally—and extremely dangerous." Diamond rebuffed the charges over the weekend, noting that violent behaviors have been extensively documented along the 39 tribal groups he wrote about, and adding that it’s especially harmful when "well-meaning defenders of traditional peoples...feel it necessary to deny the existence of those practices." For more on Jared Diamond and his critics, check out Jackson Lears’s review of The World Until Yesterday from our Jan/Feb issue.
A very girly—and very misguided—new cover for a reissue of Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar has inspired a host of parodies.
A new issue of the Slate Book Review is out, with illustrations by Revival cartoonist Mike Norton.
And speaking of cartoonists, Lynda Barry—author of books such as What It Is—is offering a course on “doodling and neuroscience” this semester at the University of Wisconsin. Those outside of the Badger State can follow along at home through Barry’s tumblr.
Freedom Press, one of London’s oldest anarchist publishers, was firebombed over the weekend. Nobody was injured in the blaze, but police say the storefront was "seriously damaged.”