paper trail

Ben Carson blames his co-author

Jenny Diski

This weekend, Ben Carson continued to defend himself from media scrutiny: In response to claims that his 1990 autobiography, Gifted Hands, contains inaccuracies, Carson said he is not entirely responsible and shifted the blame to his co-author, Cecil Murphey.

The official story of Pablo Neruda’s death is that the Nobel laureate died in a hospital due to complications caused by cancer. But recently, questions about the Chilean poet’s true cause of death have been raised—some wondered if he, like many other Chileans during Pinochet’s dictatorship, was murdered. In 2013, the government agreed to exhume his corpse to determine if he was killed. Now, Chile’s interior ministry has released a document admitting that “it’s clearly possible and highly probable that a third party” caused Neruda’s death.

Lincoln Michel—whose debut story collection, Upright Beasts, is out now—has written “the ultimate guide to getting published in a literary magazine.”

Vanity Fair has posted an excerpt from Robert Hughes’s posthumous memoir, The Spectacle of Skill, in which he recalls being Time’s art critic in the 1970s, and waxes nostalgic for the era of apparently endless magazine expense accounts.

The critic and author Jenny Diski offers some remarks on the state of fiction: “Are the characters believable? Or is the plot good? The mediocrity of fiction is really to do with feeling cosy, and that you’ve got a nice friend sitting in your lap telling you a nice story. I’ve never been a nice friend sitting in anyone’s lap. I just wanted to write stuff down in shapes, really.”