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A scientific journal covering a Hungarian doctor’s discovery is up for sale, alongside a letter from Edward Jenner, apologising for a delay in vaccine supply
After the last year, handwashing is anything but a novelty. But a 19th-century Hungarian doctor’s “epoch-making” – and controversial – announcement on the importance of clean hands is going up for auction.
Ignaz Semmelweis was a young house officer at the first obstetrical clinic of the Vienna General Hospital’s teaching unit. In 1847, he spotted that there was an extremely high rate of maternal and neonatal mortality in one of the hospital’s maternity wards – around 13% – while in the others the death rate was only 2%. The first clinic was used as a teaching facility for medical students, while the second was used to teach midwives. Semmelweis concluded that the medical students were carrying infections from the autopsy dissection rooms into the delivery rooms, and instigated a policy of strict handwashing using chlorinated limewater. The mortality rate subsequently dropped dramatically, to around 1%.Continue reading...
Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new comic sees Red Skull mobilising young men against ‘the feminist trap’ and other Petersonian targets
In the new issue of Captain America, the superhero’s longtime nemesis Red Skull espouses his views about “10 rules for life”, “the feminist trap” and “chaos and order” – and Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson is none too pleased.
Written by the award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Marvel comic features a version of the villain who looks to radicalise young men by telling them “what they’ve always longed to hear … That they’re secretly great. That the whole world is against them. That if they’re men, they’ll fight back. And bingo – that’s their purpose. That’s what they’ll live for. And that’s what they’ll die for.”
Do I really live in a universe where Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a Captain America comic featuring a parody of my ideas as part of the philosophy of the arch villain Red Skull? https://t.co/waFsAvWlfdContinue reading...
Mike Pence has signed a two-book deal for his memoir that is reported to be worth millions of dollars, making him one of the first of former president Donald Trump’s inner circle to announce such a lucrative arrangement.
Pence’s autobiography, currently untitled, is scheduled to come out in 2023. CNN reported that the former vice-president’s deal is worth seven figures, somewhere between $3m and $4m.Continue reading...
List celebrating authors under-35 includes Cubans for first time and more authors of colour
A mystical murder story set to the rhythms of Inca ritual dancing, a tale of quotidian corruption in Equatorial Guinea, and a psychedelic musing on exile in outer space are among the stories in an eclectic new collection intended to showcase the best young writers of Spanish-language fiction.
Eleven years after publishing its first collection of the finest up-and-coming authors in Spanish, Granta magazine is releasing a second volume that brings together 25 writers aged under 35 and now at work on four continents.Continue reading...
Open letter had claimed that the longlisting of the Detransition, Baby author signalled that female writers were unworthy of their own prize
The Women’s prize for fiction has issued a strongly worded statement saying that it “deplores any attempts to malign or bully” authors nominated for the prize, after trans novelist Torrey Peters was targeted in an open letter.
The US writer, who is nominated for the £30,000 award for her debut novel Detransition, Baby, was the subject of a letter published online on Tuesday by the Wild Women Writing Club. The letter, which is signed by several dead women writers including Emily Dickinson and Daphne du Maurier, claims that some signatories were using pseudonyms “because of the threat of harassment by trans extremists and/or cancellation by the book industry”.Continue reading...
Clues in The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale could lead readers in the UK and France to a historic treasure presented by Britain to the French president in 1903
For all the armchair puzzlers for whom sudokus and crosswords have palled over the long months of lockdown, a fiendish new literary conundrum is about to slide on to bookshelves – with a rather lucrative and unusual reward.
Artist Michel Becker tracked down and bought the golden casket given to France by the UK ahead of the signing of the entente cordiale on 8 April 1904, which attempted to end centuries of antagonism between the two countries. Presented to French president Émile Loubet in July 1903, the casket was wrought by Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company in London and contained a scroll celebrating friendship between the two countries. Valued at €750,000 (£646,000), the intricately decorated box is now the prize for whoever solves the clues in Becker’s forthcoming treasure hunt book, The Golden Treasure of the Entente Cordiale.Continue reading...
Donald Trump’s obsession with the Deep State conspiracy theory, which holds that a permanent secret government of bureaucrats and intelligence officials existed to thwart his agenda in office, was destructive and delusional, John Boehner says in a new book.Continue reading...
First autobiography from Foo Fighters and Nirvana musician will chart ‘all the experiences I’ve had in my life – incredible, difficult, funny and emotional’
Dave Grohl has announced the publication of his first memoir, entitled The Storyteller.
The Foo Fighters frontman and Nirvana drummer wrote the book during the pandemic when his band were unable to tour, and after he began posting short stories from his career on Instagram. “I soon found that the reward I felt every time I posted a story was the same as the feeling I get when playing a song to an audience, so I kept on writing,” he says. “The response from readers was as soul-filling as any applause in an arena. So, I took stock of all the experiences I’ve had in my life – incredible, difficult, funny and emotional – and decided it was time to finally put them into words.”Continue reading...
The American Library Association’s annual Top 10 ‘most challenged’ books is usually dominated by LGBTQ+ reading, but 2020 registered other anxieties
Demands by parents to remove books from library shelves addressing racism soared in the US in 2020, the American Library Association has revealed.
An annual list that is regularly dominated by titles covering LGBTQ+ issues, the ALA’s Top 10 most challenged books contains a number of anti-racism titles for the first time in 2020. Although the list was topped for the third year running by Alex Gino’s George, the story of a fourth-grade transgender girl, Ibram X Kendi and Jason Reynolds’ Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, a history of racism for children and teens, was the year’s second most challenged title. In their complaints, parents claimed that Stamped contained “selective storytelling incidents” and “does not encompass racism against all people”, said the ALA.Continue reading...