paper trail

Who gets to be called 'educated,' and why?

Zia Haider Rahman

It’s now possible to avoid people on Twitter without actually un-following them: Witness the “mute” function, ye conflict-averse, and rejoice.

Of sixty-six obituaries recently published in the Times, only seven of them were for women, according to an unofficial count done by the poet Lynne Melnick.

James Wood celebrates Zia Haider Rahman’s debut novel, a book “unashamed by many varieties of knowledge” that “takes for granted a capacity for both abstract and worldly thinking.” As Wood observes, “it wears its knowledge heavily, as a burden, a crisis, an injury,” asking “who gets to be called ‘educated,’ and why?”

Jessica Loudis, a former Bookforum editor, made an appearance on the Brian Lehrer Show to talk about a new book she edited, Should I Go to Grad School? Joining her were two contributors to the collection, the artist David Levine and the writer Michelle Orange. Siva Vaidhyanathan wrote about Should I Go to Grad School? for our April/May issue.

Marilynne Robinson explains why she doesn’t write about “contemporary culture”: I’d have to educate myself about what contemporary culture is, because all of these words are essentially meaningless to me. Then if I used them they would be passé by the time I had learned everything about them. So I might as well just write about 1956.”

At the New York Review of Books, Jerome Groopman on a phalanx of books about memory.