paper trail

New troves of Snowden documents released

Han Kang

The Intercept announced yesterday that it would begin publishing large chunks of the material provided to it by Edward Snowden, and that it would collaborate with outside journalists to explore and report on the rest of the archive. The documents they’re releasing include a trove of internal NSA newsletters from 2003 onward, which have already yielded insight into the agency’s involvement in interrogations at Guantánamo and in Iraq, and which are also fascinating simply for their tone.

The Man Booker International prize was awarded to Han Kang (and translator Deborah Smith) for her novel The Vegetarian. Despite its title, the book is no gentle tale of a protagonist and her plant-based diet, as Porochista Khakpour noted in a review earlier this year: “All the trigger warnings on earth cannot prepare a reader for the traumas of this Korean author’s translated debut in the Anglophone world.”

This Friday on the BBC, Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Love, Nina, a nonfiction nanny’s-eye-view of 1980s literary London, will begin airing. You can get a couple of early glimpses online of Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as (a renamed but still recognizable) London Review of Books editor Mary-Kay Wilmers. Bonham Carter visited the LRB offices in Bloomsbury as part of her research for the role.

When former Village Voice news reporter Wayne Barrett’s Trump: The Deals and the Downfalls, his unauthorized biography of Donald Trump, was released in 1991, it was, in the author’s words, a “total flop.” “Nobody took him seriously when the book came out, so nobody was interested in reading it,” Barrett says in an article at CNN (which also recalls a story in which Trump had Barrett handcuffed after the reporter crashed the billionaire’s birthday party). In recent months, Barrett’s book has been hard to find and in high demand (selling for hundreds of dollars), but last week, the book was rereleased as an e-book with a longer subtitle (The Greatest Show on Earth) and a new nine-thousand-word introduction by Barrett.

Bookslut creator Jessa Crispin, who recently announced the site's closure, continues to bemoan what she sees as the deterioration of online book culture and the lack of attention paid to more experimental work in America.