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Book News: Author And Wife Of Amazon CEO Defends Online Retailer

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Mackenzie Bezos, the author of the novel Traps and the wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, defended the company publicly for the first time to The Times [paywall protected], calling it "great for authors and books." She herself is not published by Amazon.
  • Iain Banks, the popular Scottish author, announced in a blog post on Wednesday morning that he has late stage gall bladder cancer, and that "it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year." Banks is known for being a prolific author of science fiction novels. The Telegraph wrote of him in 2012, "No other writer likes explosions quite as much as Iain Banks does. His science-fiction novels rock with them, and one of the most celebrated opening sentences in modern literature is (from his 1992 novel The Crow Road): 'It was the day my grandmother exploded.'"
  • In the LA Review of Books, Alexandra Socarides explicates the "formally stunning, politically subversive, yet oddly forgettable poem" at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
  • A real estate blog calculates the value of Hogwarts Castle and comes up with $204.1 million.
  • "Mary Gaitskill's great-great-grandfather invented the beer helmet." and other literary rumors from Vice magazine.
  • The New York Review of Books highlights W.H. Auden's submissions to the literary magazine in honor of National Poetry Month, including his poem "Filler" : "The Marquis de Sade and Genet / Are most highly thought of to-day; / But torture and treachery / Are not my sort of lechery, / So I've given my copies away."
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Making Art Off The Grid: A Month-Long Residency At A Remote National Park

Filmmakers Carter McCormick and Paula Sprenger recently wrapped up a month as artists-in-residence at Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. No phone, TV, Internet or other people.

After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.
WAMU 88.5

Why Millions Of American Men Have Left The Workforce, And How To Bring Them Back

Today’s unemployment rate is down sharply from the height of the Great Recession. But more than a fifth of American men had no paid employment last year, and seven million of them have stopped looking altogether. Why men are leaving the workforce – and how to bring them back.

WAMU 88.5

Jet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints

Nobody wants to own up to making thousands of complaints about noise from planes flying out of Reagan National Airport. But nearby residents say the noise definitely has gotten worse recently. And there appears to be a specific reason — a new air traffic control system.

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