Alice Walker

Alice Walker has refused to let an Israeli publisher release a translation of The Color Purple in protest of that country’s treatment of Palestinians. In a statement, Walker writes that she has “determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories.”

Reflecting on Bret Easton Ellis’s claim that he wants to make a movie out of Fifty Shades of Gray, Laura Miller considers bad books that have led to good movies.

Can authorial style be broken down by mathematical modelling? Yes, according to mathematician Josť Binongo, who was discussed last week on Slate’s Lexicon Valley podcast. Binongo believes that by analyzing writers’ “function words”—i.e. those words that serve a special purpose—it’s possible to identify a “mathematical signature” that correlates to their style.

A recent Forbes study has ranked getting a master’s in library and information science as “the worst master’s degree for jobs right now.”

Picador’s Gabrielle Gantz talks Lapham’s Quarterly editor Aidan Flax-Clark about how the magazine finds its archival content, what topics—like death—have gone uncovered, and why Lewis Lapham is like Morpheus from the Matrix.

On Tuesday, the media went wild after Jim Romenesko caught pop science writer Jonah Lehrer self-plagiarizing. At Slate, Josh Levin tackles the question of why would the newly minted New Yorker staffer stoop to stealing from himself.

In other plagiarism news, Jay-Z is being sued by a writer who claims that a year after his computer was “compromised” in 2009, parts of his memoir mysteriously turned up in Hova’s book, Decoded.