Also in today’s N.Y. Times is a story about the newspaper reporter Xu Lai, who was stabbed at a recent reading:
Mr. Xu was accosted in a restroom by two men who stabbed him in the stomach and then threatened to cut off his hand before fleeing, according to the friends and fellow bloggers who posted the news on the Internet.
Xiao Sanlang, who edits Mr. Xu’s articles at The Beijing News, said the men had announced that they were “here to take revenge.” He said Mr. Xu remained in the hospital on Sunday, but his wounds were not life-threatening. “We still don’t know why it happened,” he said.
Xu Lai has written critically of the Chinese government for his online columns, and this attack has some people worried about a “growing intolerance of dissent.”
A side-observation about this attack is just how twenty-first century the coverage is:
After Mr. Xu’s stabbing, several audience members chased his attackers into the street, snapping pictures with their cellphones as they ran, but the two men escaped. [. . .]
Word of the attack quickly spread by text message and the Twitter messaging service, and several newspapers and Web sites carried the news on Sunday.
For those of you in New York, the lineup for the 2007-8 92nd Street Y reading series has been announced:
Among the writers scheduled to appear are Derek Walcott, the Nobel Prize-winning West Indian poet, on Sept. 17, and the Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat and the South African novelist Zakes Mda on Sept. 20. (Ms. Danticat will read from her new memoir, “Brother, I’m Dying.”) Mario Vargas Llosa is to appear on Oct. 15, reading from his new novel, and the Polish poet and essayist Adam Zagajewski on Dec. 6. On Jan. 7 the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will read, along with Dave Eggers. (After the reading, they will talk with the Sudanese civil war refugee Valentino Achak Deng, on whom Mr. Eggers based his latest fictionalized biography, “What Is the What.”) Roddy Doyle, from Ireland, and A. L. Kennedy, from Scotland, will read on Jan. 23; the Turkish novelist Elif Shafak reads from her latest novel, “The Bastard of Istanbul,” on Feb. 11. Andrew Motion, the poet laureate of Britain, will appear on April 7, and the Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz, from Hungary, will share the stage with the pianist Andras Schiff on April 17. The full schedule of readings is available at 92y.org.
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .