TBQ Week in Review

By Stefan Kielbasiewicz
Flickr/Thomas Leth-Olson

Flickr/Thomas Leth-Olson

What have you been reading and writing this week? Let us know in the comments.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book, Between The World And Me, has just been published to wide acclaim. A video of him speaking and answering questions in his native Baltimore has been making the rounds, which you can watch here. Coates has also asked readers of the Atlantic to submit their personal stories of racism, which the Atlantic is publishing in installments. Brit Bennett at the New Yorker has written an article on Coates and the beginning of a new “generation waking up” (one that also includes Jesmyn Ward’s book Men We Reaped on its bookshelf) and the book is at the top of the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.

E.L. Doctorow, who died this week, was famous for his novels and for their film adaptations, but he was also well-known for his essays in The Nation, where his political claims were even more frank than in his fiction. Read Richard Lingeman’s review of Doctorow’s numerous essays and ideas for The Nation—in The Nation. The headlights have gone out now and you’ve made the whole trip—rest in peace, Doctorow.

Summer: the season of travel has arrived; if you’re not doing it, at least you can read about the lucky people who are. And yet, perhaps you’ve also felt the curious feeling (as a woman) that travel writing is inclined more towards a masculine discourse? Read Jessa Crispin’s essay on How Not To Be Elizabeth Gilbert and how to interrupt the gender-defined roles of travel writing.

Law enforcement consistently outdoes itself in its professionalism: watch and read about the controversial arrest and suicide of Sandra Bland this week in Texas. In the meantime, “I will light you up!” is sure to accrue the status of a cynical catchphrase on the Internet as inquiries continue. However, if you happen to be rich, you don’t need to wait for the law to work in your favor: it seems George Lucas has become wearied by his millionaire neighbors and is bankrolling the construction of affordable housing on his land. Admirable, but even that will not alleviate the pain of Episode 1.

For those of us with cosmopolitan ideals, nothing could be more exciting than the revival of the Pan-Asian and International Nalanda University in India, founded in the early fifth century and destroyed in the late 1190s. Now watch those cosmopolitan ideals shattered when you read Amaryta Sen’s account in the New York Review of Books of the partisan national politics jeopardizing its resurrection.

Ever wondered where and to whom the UN, the World Bank, and eleven major countries send their foreign aid? Now you can find out, using a simple but detailed map of financial transfers that distinctly resembles the London tube. Whatever you do, do not get on the Russia—Nicaragua line. Just don’t.

The long-read: how did a handful of middle-aged American immigrants try to topple one of the most absurd dictators on the African continent, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, in December? Read Andrew Rice’s article in The Guardian, where he tells the story of those involved and outlines how specific events developed.

It’s all in the wrist: whether you’re a baseball fan or not, read Anna Clark’s Q and A over at the Columbia Journalism Review with one of the most well-known baseball writers, Tom Gage, and his reflection of how baseball coverage has changed over the years. And if you still haven’t forgiven LeBron James for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers, then Emily Yahr in the Washington Post blog will help you to let it go light of James’s star-turn in Apatow’s new, hit rom-com Trainwreck.


Stefan Kielbasiewicz is an editorial intern for The Brooklyn Quarterly. He is the co-chair of YorkPEN, the student-run affiliate of English PEN/PEN International at York University.

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