Shteyngart & Cohen at Vox Tablet. Shteyngart, btw, also just got a mind-erasingly ecstatic review from Michiko Kakutani. Cohen, not to be outdone, is running for mayor of Annapolis, Maryland.
Did somebody say politics? Not bloody likely. But anyway, let’s meet Emily Henochowicz. I got turned onto her personal blog after reading about her in the New York Times. Seems the 21 year old artist / exchange student / demonstrator lost an eye after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister by Israeli police. But that news is almost two months old. The article I read, which went up on 7/27, is about how the Israeli Ministry of Defense is refusing to pay (and denying responsibility for) her hospital bills. Anyway, if you go over to her blog you can check out Emily’s art, including this pair of one-eye-favoring glasses that she designed herself.
The Economist had a great cover story this week (last week?) on the absolute fuckedness (my paraphrase) of the American prison system. The web version seems to be behind a paywall, but maybe you can find the issue at the story. Did you know that over 1 in 100 Americans is currently incarcerated, and that if you factor in people on parole and probation, the figure rises to 1 in 31* Americans under some form of corrective supervision. Related, this Nation piece about BP’s use of prison labor in Louisiana.
Also, the Economist apparently has an arts/books blog now. It is called Prospero, and here’s an interesting piece about arch-agent Andrew Wylie partnering directly with Amazon (and bypassing publishers entirely) to release e-book editions of Portnoy’s Complaint, Updike’s Rabbit books, and a suite of others.
Finally, Unsaid editor David McLendon announces on Facebook that Allison Titus is the 2010 recipient of the Transport of the Aim Poetry Prize. You might remember that Titus’s Sum of Every Lost Ship was one of five small press poetry titles to read this summer. I liked her book a whole bunch. So congrats, Allison! And a hearty cheers to Unsaid.
*For a few days this read “1 in 3.” Thanks to Steven Augustine for catching the typo.