The Week in Books – The New York Occasions
We take the weekend to focus on current books protection in The Occasions:
Ronan Farrow’s damning exposé
The highly-anticipated “Catch and Kill” comes out subsequent week, constructing off Farrow’s investigative reporting into the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his predatory conduct towards girls. (The Occasions and The New Yorker shared the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in public service for exposing rich and highly effective sexual predators, together with Weinstein, in articles by Farrow, the Occasions journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and others.)
Lots of the e-book’s most explosive claims have already been shared. Amongst different massive revelations, the e-book contends that Matt Lauer, the previous NBC anchor, raped a colleague, which Lauer has forcefully denied. Farrow additionally goes after executives on the community, claiming they repeatedly blocked his investigation of Weinstein. (NBC has pushed again in opposition to these allegations.)
“The behavior documented in ‘Catch and Kill’ is obviously and profoundly distressing,” our critic, Jennifer Szalai, writes in her overview of the e-book. “But there are some hopeful threads, too.”
Nobel Prize for Literature causes a stir
Final yr’s award was postponed over a scandal involving a husband of an academy member, so two authors have been honored this yr: Olga Tokarczuk of Poland and Peter Handke of Austria.
The selection of Handke quickly prompted a backlash: He’s a right-leaning author who delivered a eulogy on the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic, the previous Yugoslavian chief who was tried for battle crimes. The literary group PEN America took the extraordinary step of rebuking the Nobel committee, saying, “We are dumbfounded by the selection of a writer who has used his public voice to undercut historical truth and offer public succor to perpetrators of genocide.”
Tokarczuk is beloved by readers and critics, and plenty of within the literary world celebrated her win. Our critic Parul Sehgal had high praise for her earlier book, “Flights”; and Tokarczuk’s novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead,” which was released in the United States in August, was also a critical success.
In other literary prize news, the finalists for the National Book Award were announced last week, and the winner of the Man Booker Prize will be named tomorrow.
A tour of the Book Review
Our cover review this week is of Maaza Mengiste’s sweeping historical novel “The Shadow King.” The story unfolds during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War as seen through the eyes of a young Ethiopian woman named Hirut.
Steven Greenhouse was until recently the longtime labor reporter for The Times. His new (and timely) book, “Beaten Down, Worked Up,” is reviewed this week by Zephyr Teachout, a former candidate for attorney general and for governor of New York. Greenhouse joins us on this week’s podcast.
It was a busy week for our nonfiction critic, Jennifer Szalai. In addition to her review of “Catch and Kill,” she wrote about Andrew Marantz’s new book, “Antisocial,” about his experience reporting on the alt-right. She also reviewed two new memoirs by former Cambridge Analytica employees, which detail how the company harvested data from millions of Facebook users and attempted to influence voting behaviors.
And Janet Maslin wrote about “Me,” a new memoir by Elton John, which traces his path from suburban homebody to superstardom and beyond.
Tinker, tailor, writer, spy
John le Carré takes aim at Boris Johnson, Brexit and today’s political “sleepwalk,” as he puts it, in his new book, “Agent Running in the Field,” due out next week. The novel is his 25th, and even though he’s closing in on age 88, le Carré shows few signs of slowing down: “I have no real leisure activity,” he said. “I am dismayed when I’m not writing, completely content when I am.”
Ali Wong’s new act
The comedian’s new essay collection, “Dear Girls,” is even more personal and raunchy than some of her stand-up. “I don’t know how people are going to react and it’s scary,” she said. “I hope my siblings don’t get pissed at me.”
Looking for your next read?
Here are 10 new books we recommend this week, and 18 books we’re watching for in October.
Follow New York Times Books on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, join our publication or our literary calendar. And take heed to us on the E book Evaluate podcast.