Amid new suspicion that Chilean poet Pablo Neruda may have been poisoned following the coup that overthrew his friend, socialist leader Salvador Allende, a Chilean court has ordered that Neruda’s body be exhumed for a full autopsy. Neruda died twelve days after the 1973 coup, and the cause of death was stated as “extreme malnutrition”—even though Neruda weighed 220 pounds at the time.
Tom Wolfe reportedly nabbed a $7 million advance for his last novel, Back to Blood, but so far, the book has only sold 62,000 copies (not including sales at Walmart and Sam’s Club). Choire Sicha crunches the numbers and finds that “that's at least a hundred bucks in advance per copy sold.” (You can read Eric Benson’s Bookforum review of the novel here.)
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s death, the Guardian hosts Sandra Lahire’s Lady Lazarus, a short film made up of video clips of Plath reading, an interview she gave in the early '60s, and excerpts of her poems. Also, Lena Dunham, Jeanette Winterson, Jacqueline Rose, Jennifer Egan, and others reflect on what Plath meant to them.
A private librarian in Mali explains to Harper’s how he helped saved Timbuktu’s collection of rare Islamic manuscripts.
Documents recently released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations reveal that events depicted in two chapters of Truman Capote's 1966 In Cold Blood "differ significantly from what actually happened.”
“I have killed my wife and cut her rather crudely into small pieces, which I have wrapped hastily in paper bundles. The whole of her fits in a cardboard box, which is still relatively easy to handle.” The New York Review of Books excerpts one of Georges Perec’s more disturbing nighttime fantasies from a new translation of La Boutique Obscure: 124 Dreams.