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Book News: Sushmita Banerjee, Indian Author Who Fled Taliban, Shot Dead

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

  • Sushmita Banerjee, an Indian woman who wrote a bestselling memoir about life under the Taliban, was reportedly dragged from her home in Afghanistan's Paktika province this week and shot dead. Her memoir A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife, which was turned into a major Bollywood film, recounts her marriage to an Afghan man and subsequent flight from Afghanistan after threats from the Taliban. The BBC reports: "Police said Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital, Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Ms Banerjee out and shot her. They dumped her body near a religious school, police added. The Taliban have told the BBC they did not carry out the attack on Ms Banerjee." It adds that Banerjee, 49, fled Afghanistan in 1995 but had recently returned to be with her husband.
  • Novelist T.C. Boyle tells The Kenyon Review why he loves writing: "To dream while awake is a truly great thing. And to get paid for doing it, well, that just takes existence to a whole new level."
  • Rush Limbaugh announced Thursday that he is coming out with a childrens' book this October, to be titled Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans. The radio host said on his show that the book is "just the truthful history of the Pilgrims, who they were, where they came from, why they came here, what happened when they got here. The true story of Thanksgiving. There's no politics in this."
  • Batwoman co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman said Wednesday that they would leave the series in December because, as they wrote in a blog post, "DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series." They added that, "most crushingly," the authors were "prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married." The announcement earlier this year that Batwoman would marry her girlfriend generated a lot of excitement, and came as DC Comics was under fire for hiring Orson Scott Card, whose views on gay marriage are controversial, to write a Superman story.
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