RIP J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger, the author of Catcher in the Rye, Franny and Zooey, and a collection of short fiction concerning his Glass family, has died. He was 91. The place-holder for the New York Times obituary describes him as "elusive" and "enigmatic," and he certainly was. That he didn't publish any work after 1965 likely contributed to a sense of mystique, though more than that it left fans of his work, like me, simply wishing he would have.I'm at a loss for how to properly pay tribute to the writer, but I will say that "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is among the best short stories I've ever encountered. The tension escalates so thoroughly and with such nuance that the sting of the ending is all the more painful. It's not the sort of read that makes one feel better about anything-quite the opposite really-but it's a case-study in how to write a perfect short story. And I'm thankful that we have it for the ages.He will be missed.Here's a link to the full Times obituary.
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

Keep Reading
via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

Keep Reading

North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

Keep Reading