The Far Side trails ‘new online era’ for Gary Larson’s beloved cartoons


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Immediate excitement has greeted one of the first sign of life from the hugely popular franchise since the publicity-shy artist retired it in 1995

Fans of the surreal, the bizarre and sardonic anthropomorphic cows are in a fervour after The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson’s website was updated this weekend with promises of “a new online era”, 24 years after the reclusive creator retired at the age of 44.

Larson’s iconic Far Side cartoons were syndicated in more than 1,900 daily newspapers from 1980 to 1995, treating readers to daily offerings from his offbeat visions of the world. In one of his most famous cartoons, a female chimpanzee finds a blonde hair in her mate’s fur, and asks him: “Been doing more ‘research’ with that Jane Goodall tramp?” (Goodall approved.) In another – voted one of his best by scientists – a boffin with a large rectal ...

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden review – the whistleblower’s memoir


This post is by Nick Hopkins from Books | The Guardian


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The call of duty and a patriotic pedigree are given priority in Snowden’s account of his motivations – and he warns of dangers ahead

Towards the end of Edward Snowden’s memoir, he hands the narrative to his partner, Lindsay Mills, in the form of the diary she was keeping at the time he was “outing” himself as a whistleblower intent on revealing the most cherished secrets, and rampant ambitions, of the American and British spy agencies. “Ed, what have you done?” she wrote. “How can you come back from this?”

Permanent Record is Snowden’s attempt to answer these questions by doing something he finds discomforting and antithetical: breaching his own privacy, opening up what he calls the “empty zone that lies beyond the reach of the state”.

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Attica Locke: ‘When I feel racial pain, I play blues songs’


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The acclaimed Texas-born writer on her latest ‘Trump-era’ novel – about race, power, prejudice and white supremacy

Attica Locke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1974, now lives in Los Angeles and is the author of five novels including Bluebird, Bluebird, a thriller that won both the Edgar and the Anthony award in 2018. Her new novel, Heaven, My Home, is the sequel to Bluebird, Bluebird and part of her Highway 59 series exploring race, power and freedom and featuring the black Texas ranger Darren Mathews; in the new novel, he is searching for missing nine-year-old Levi, who comes from a family of white supremacists. Locke is also a screenwriter and producer, including for Empire, When They See Us and Little Fires Everywhere.

What inspired you to write about a Texas ranger?
I’d been working in television and got to know how much fun it could be ...

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale sequel escapes from tight secrecy


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Strict measures meant to keep all details of The Testaments confidential until publication have fallen through for some US readers

Hundreds of readers in the US have received early copies of Margaret Atwood’s heavily embargoed follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, after copies were shipped out early by Amazon.

Security around the novel had been as tight as anything mounted for JK Rowling or Dan Brown’s blockbuster releases – the judges for the Booker prize, who shortlisted The Testaments for the award on Wednesday, were warned they would be held liable if their watermarked copies leaked. But since Tuesday, readers have been posting images on Twitter of their freshly delivered copies, a week before the novel’s official release on 10 September.

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Harry Potter books removed from Catholic school ‘on exorcists’ advice’


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Pastor at St Edward junior school in Nashville says JK Rowling’s use of ‘actual spells’ risks conjuring evil spirits.

A Catholic junior school in Nashville has removed the Harry Potter books from its library, saying they include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits”.

Local paper the Tennessean reported that the pastor at St Edward Catholic school had emailed parents about JK Rowling’s series to tell them that he had been in contact with “several” exorcists who had recommended removing the books from the library.

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‘They just wanted us to read about a white boy and his dog’: why teenager Marley Dias fought back


This post is by Coco Khan from Books | The Guardian


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She was 10 when she first decided to distribute children’s books with black girl leads – a campaign that has taken her to the White House. Now she’s written a book of her own

When I arrive at the photography studio to meet the education activist Marley Dias, I am surprised to find the shoot is long over. The 14-year-old is sitting patiently, her luggage packed, coat neatly slung over her lap, waiting. The photographer explains the early finish is because they got all the pictures they needed with Dias near-immediately; that she is the perfect subject to work with.

This was perhaps the first inkling of what would become abundantly clear during our interview: Marley Dias is a pro. Despite her tender years, the campaigner for diverse children’s books – which took her from her New Jersey home town to the White House – carries herself with a mature ...

‘I thought we were the unlucky ones’: the experimental treatment that inspired a murder mystery


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


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Angie Kim’s debut Miracle Creek is a dissection of US healthcare and immigration, wrapped in a courtroom thriller. She talks about her son’s medical crisis, ‘goose fathers’ and Trump’s slurs

Twice a day, every day for almost a month, Angie Kim and her then-two-year-old son would enter a hyperbaric oxygen tank, and be sealed inside. Kim’s son had ulcerative colitis, a condition that caused him great pain, and the constant vomiting had left him underweight. The theory behind hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) goes that if damaged cells need oxygen to heal, immersing a patient in pure oxygen will accelerate healing. Although the experimental treatment was not FDA-approved and has no proven benefits, it was a last resort Kim was willing to try.

Her son called the tank “the submarine”, and he wasn’t far off: when the hatch was closed, the dim, warm space, lit only by flickering episodes of Barney ...

Protest seeks to stop US libraries supporting Drag Queen Story Hour


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Nearly 100,000 Christians have signed a petition to end backing for the events that present kids with ‘unabashedly queer role models’

Nearly 100,000 Christians have signed a petition to the American Library Association protesting against its support of “Drag Queen Story Hour”, but the ALA has said it “strongly opposes any effort to limit access to information, ideas and programmes that patrons wish to explore”.

First established in San Francisco in 2015 by the writer Michelle Tea, Drag Queen Story Hour, in which drag queens read stories to children in libraries and bookshops, is intended to “give kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models”. It has spread across the US and internationally, but has drawn fire from conservative groups. In June, a Denver bookshop was targeted by far-right groups for hosting a story time, while Republican Larry Householder has attacked Ohio’s libraries for using taxpayers’ “hard-earned dollars” ...

Toni Morrison: farewell to America’s greatest writer – we all owe her so much | Chigozie Obioma


This post is by Chigozie Obioma from Books | The Guardian


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Booker nominated author Chigozie Obioma reflects on losing a ‘literary mother’ and her encouragement for generations of black and African writers to come

It was with a heavy heart that I woke up, like many, to the news of the passing of the great African American writer Toni Morrison. As I have mourned and digested the news, my reaction has slowly gone from shock to dismay, then to a sense of inchoate peace.

Related: Toni Morrison: a life in pictures

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John Steinbeck: US court hears appeal in case for control of author’s estate


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The writer’s family has battled for control of the Nobel prizewinner’s classic works for decades

Another chapter is set to play out this week in a decades-old family dispute over control of the classic works by the author John Steinbeck.

A three-judge panel of the ninth US circuit court of appeals heard arguments in Alaska’s largest city on Tuesday in an appeal by the estate of Steinbeck’s late son, Thomas Steinbeck, over a 2017 jury verdict in California.

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Toni Morrison, author and Pulitzer winner, dies aged 88


This post is by Richard Lea from Books | The Guardian


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With novels including Beloved and The Bluest Eye, the Nobel laureate dramatised African American experience with fierce passion

Toni Morrison, who chronicled the African American experience in fiction over five decades, has died aged 88.

In a statement on Tuesday, her publisher Knopf confirmed the news that the author died in Montefiore Medical Center in New York on Monday night.

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Hillary and Chelsea Clinton co-write The Book of Gutsy Women


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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Their book profiles more than 100 path-breaking women down the centuries, from a 17th-century radical nun to Greta Thunberg

Hillary Clinton is set to publish a new book about the women who have inspired her, from Mary Beard to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – “leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done”.

After publishing her memoir about the 2016 presidential election campaign, What Happened, Clinton teamed up with her daughter Chelsea to write The Book of Gutsy Women, due out in October from Simon & Schuster. “If history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women,” the Clintons say. “So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do.”

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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: ‘Black people being murdered has become palatable. I want it to be less so’


This post is by Nosheen Iqbal from Books | The Guardian


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As a child, his family was evicted from their home; now he’s winning prizes for his stunning debut Friday Black, a wild, blood-splattered ride through the America of tomorrow

Meeting famous writers never makes Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah feel “weird or nerdy”, he says. After all, George Saunders was his university tutor and later became a friend. The writer’s writer Lynne Tillman was his mentor. Roxane Gay has stamped a cover quote on Friday Black, his debut short story collection, urging the world simply to “read this book”.

Since its publication last autumn, Adjei-Brenyah has had more than enough opportunities to test his reaction to meeting his literary heroes – moments such as the night in February when he unexpectedly won the book of the year prize at the PEN awards. Zadie Smith was sitting directly behind him as they read his name out. “She looked so regal and epic ...

Edward Snowden memoir to reveal whistleblower’s secrets


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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In Permanent Record, the former spy will recount how his mass surveillance work eventually led him to make the biggest leak in history

After multiple books and films about his decision to leak the biggest cache of top-secret documents in history, whistleblower Edward Snowden is set to tell his side of the story in a memoir, Permanent Record.

Related: Edward Snowden: 'The people are still powerless, but now they're aware'

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Sherrilyn Kenyon drops ‘Shakespearean plot’ case against husband


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Fantasy author of the Dark-Hunter novels had brought the $20m claim against her husband and two members of staff in January

Bestselling fantasy author Sherrilyn Kenyon has dropped the case against her husband in which she had accused him of poisoning her and pursuing a “Shakespearean plot against her” and her career.

Kenyon, author of the Dark-Hunter urban fantasy series, sued her husband, Lawrence R Kenyon II, and two members of staff for up to $20m (£16.4m) in January. The suit, which was filed in Tennessee, alleged that Kenyon II and one of their assistants “would force her to eat and became enraged any time she failed to consume”, producing symptoms including stomach cramps, tachycardia and hair loss. The author alleged that she had been experiencing symptoms since 2015.

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Crêpes of wrath: unknown John Steinbeck tale of a chef discovered


This post is by Alison Flood from Books | The Guardian


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The Amiable Fleas, which charts a cuisinier’s comical love for his cat Apollo has been translated into English for the first time

A whimsical short story by John Steinbeck, in which the usually less cheery author tells the story of a temperamental French chef’s love for his cat, is being published in English for the first time this week.

The author of Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden lived in Paris in the mid-1950s, where he wrote a weekly column for the French daily Le Figaro called One American in Paris. One of his pieces took the form of a short story, Les Puces sympathiques. Published in French on 31 July 1954, it was found by Andrew Gulli in Steinbeck’s papers at the Ransom Centre at the University of Texas at Austin. Gulli is the editor of the Strand magazine, which is publishing it ...

US writers recall their migrant journeys in protest at asylum seekers’ treatment


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Khaled Hosseini, Ocean Vuong and Neil Gaiman among leading authors to sign a letter to the US Congress, urging action to remedy ‘atrocious conditions’

Neil Gaiman, Khaled Hosseini, Ariel Dorfman and Viet Thanh Nguyen are among more than three dozen migrant and refugee writers calling on the US Congress to take “immediate steps to rectify the atrocious conditions for asylum seekers being detained today”.

Forty authors, all of whom have migrated to the US or are the children of migrants, signed an open letter pleading with Washington politicians to take action over inhumane conditions in detention centres on the US-Mexico border.

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Author of Christian relationship guide says he has lost his faith


This post is by Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent from Books | The Guardian


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Joshua Harris says his marriage is over and apologises to LGBT+ people for promoting bigotry

The American author of a bestselling Christian guide to relationships for young people has announced that his marriage is over and he has lost his faith.

Joshua Harris, whose biblical guide to relationships I Kissed Dating Goodbye sold nearly 1m copies around the world after it was published in 1997, has also apologised to LGBT+ people for contributing to a “culture of exclusion and bigotry”.

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Trigger warning: how did ‘triggered’ come to mean ‘upset’?


This post is by Steven Poole from Books | The Guardian


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Donald Trump Jr is using the word as the title for his forthcoming liberal-bashing book. But is he being a snowflake?

Donald Trump Jnr announced this week that his new book-shaped object, due out in the autumn, was Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. That might seem a bit snowflakey coming from someone whose racist dad is literally the president, but how did “triggered” acquire the sense of “emotionally distraught”?

The word “trigger” for the lever of a gun or trap was originally spelled “tricker”, and came from the Dutch trekken, to pull. From 1930 “to trigger” an event, idea, or action was to act as a catalyst for it. In 1977, the American jazz cornet player Jimmy McPartland explained: “Before I improvise, I just listen, and that triggers me.” He did not mean that what he heard upset him ...

Trigger warning: how did ‘triggered’ come to mean ‘upset’?


This post is by Steven Poole from Books | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Donald Trump Jr is using the word as the title for his forthcoming liberal-bashing book. But is he being a snowflake?

Donald Trump Jnr announced this week that his new book-shaped object, due out in the autumn, was Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. That might seem a bit snowflakey coming from someone whose racist dad is literally the president, but how did “triggered” acquire the sense of “emotionally distraught”?

The word “trigger” for the lever of a gun or trap was originally spelled “tricker”, and came from the Dutch trekken, to pull. From 1930 “to trigger” an event, idea, or action was to act as a catalyst for it. In 1977, the American jazz cornet player Jimmy McPartland explained: “Before I improvise, I just listen, and that triggers me.” He did not mean that what he heard upset him ...