- Larry McMurtry writes about George Armstrong Custer for The New York Review of Books:
No one should think that because 130 years have passed since the battle the passions between tribes and within tribes have abated. Much of Michael Elliott’s book [Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer] is devoted to explaining that people who might have been expected to calm down in that length of time in fact haven’t calmed down at all. For example, as Elliott points out, all the native guides to the battlefield itself are now Crow.
Lame Deer, a Cheyenne community not very far from the battlefield, is filled with people who aren’t guiding any Wasichus (whites) anywhere. The Cheyenne fought Custer, and were punished for it. Lame Deer and Hardin are towns that might as well be on opposite sides of the moon. Explaining how all this works out today is part of what Elliott’s book is about. In 2003 the federal government dedicated the Little Bighorn Indian Memorial, an earthwork that leads to a stone wall with maps and a text. A slogan on the wall says: “The Indian Wars Are Not Over.”
- Yasmina Reza is one of the world’s most successful playwrights. The 48-year-old French author got her first international break with her drama, Art, which has made, Business Week estimated, more than $300 million worldwide since its Paris debut in 1994. She talks to the Financial Times about her new play, God of Carnage, and how Art made it big by not becoming a film:
It was Sean Connery’s French wife Micheline who first raised the possibility of bringing Art to an audience outside France. She had seen the play in Paris and thought there might be a film role in it for her husband. Sean Connery offered to buy the movie rights from Reza, who turned him down. He then asked her what she wanted to do with the play.
“I said to myself that if it got turned into a film, then it would be dead as a play,” remembers Reza. “When Sean asked me what I dreamed of doing with it, I said I wanted it to go on the London stage. That’s how he ended up producing it.”
- I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen, Cheese Problems Solved and other of the Oddest Book Titles of the Year.
- In her Guardian review of Hadley Freeman’s The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable, Saffron Burrows writes that “Many young girls who are immersed in fashion from an early age emerge scathed by and scathing about the characters who inhabit that world.” Sounds a little like Jessa Crispin (aka Bookslut) who has a somewhat more heated take on the book and the book’s subject for The Smart Set.