paper trail

Novelist Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in western New York

Salman Rushdie. Photo: Syrie Moskowitz

Author Salman Rushdie was attacked this morning in western New York, where he was about to give a lecture, the Associated Press reports. Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses is banned in Iran, and the country’s late leader issued a fatwa calling for his death in 1989. AP’s Joshua Goodman writes that “​​Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.”

Online at n+1, Jenny Brown, the author of Birth Strike, writes about the past and future of the fight for reproductive justice. Noting that while some of today’s commentators on both the right and the left have framed the right to safe abortions as a wedge issue, Brown argues that “this misses the root of the abortion fight. At its base, it has always been a struggle over the work, risk, and expense of bearing and raising children.”

This week at 4Columns, the editors round up four archival reviews that consider questions of suffering and trauma, including Blair McClendon on Barry Jenkins’s TV adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad, Megan Milks on Melissa Febos’s Body Work, and more. 

In an essay for Literary Hub, Lucy Sante describes her approach to writing. She reflects on her time as a film critic, when she first realized that her best subjects were not the films she had straightforward opinions about, but those that caused “strong unresolved emotions that I would have to work out on the page. Which is to say that the writing would not be descriptive of a thought process but would manifest the thought process in itself.”

At Vulture, Victoria Bekiempis takes stock of the highlights so far from the antitrust trial that will determine whether Penguin Random House will be allowed to acquire Simon & Schuster. Among the tidbits is PRH chief executive officer’s Markus Dohle’s explanation for the publisher’s name: “Everything is random in publishing. Success is random. Best sellers are random. So that is why we are the Random House!”