paper trail

Remembering Barry Lopez; Great books you may have missed

Barry Lopez. Photo: David Liittschwager

Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist working in China, has been sentenced to four years in prison for COVID reporting that challenged the government and contradicted the official account of the outbreak in Wuhan.

At the New Republic, Alexander Chee reviews two novels that imagine a post-internet future: Don Delillo’s The Silence and Jonathan Lethem’s The Arrest. Chee writes, “Both feel like revenge fantasies on social media and electronic connectedness. They arrive not so much as oracles as scolds. They may not offer a guide to the future, but to the present.”

The Intercept reports on how the Trump administration has suppressed photographs of the pandemic. Peter Maass writes, “The relative paucity of videos and photographs of the pandemic’s victims might help explain why Covid-19 skepticism has thrived as the death toll in America reaches the level of a 9/11 every day.”

From 2019: An interview with the late writer Barry Lopez, who died on Christmas Day at the age of seventy-five. For more of Lopez’s archival material, see his website.

LitHub recommends five great books you may have missed in 2020.