IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.
The first thing you notice is the skin color. The Shuar believed that killing a man created an avenging soul that would leave the corpse via the mouth and come after the perpetrator. Lips were sewn shut to prevent this, and true ceremonial tsantsas have blackened skin, the result of the killer having rubbed it with charcoal
“We started out wearing the radiation-protective suits in Chernobyl, but it made us move very slowly, because they’re so heavy. So people ended up getting more radiation because they were wearing these heavy clothes. It was better to work very fast, without protection, than very slowly with protection.”
“Language is driven from the ground up,” says Don Thornton, a software developer in Las Vegas who specializes in making video games and mobile apps in Native American languages. “It doesn’t matter if you have a million speakers — if your kids aren’t learning, you’re in big trouble.”
The sky was blue. Except for sky you couldn’t see anything. Later, when I was moved to Camp Delta, I could look by the windows. The camp was ringed with a green plastic sheet, but there were holes and I could see trees. And even the sea.
“They simply destroyed the door of the closet. The senior guy said, ‘Put all his things into a bag.’ I was lying on the floor and still able to see all my stuff thrown into a plastic bag. They tied it up. I tried to protest, telling them my rights. They were hitting me. Then I realized it was no mistake.”
When the boys were 5, Kelly and Wayne threw a “get-to-know-me’’ party for classmates and parents. Wyatt appeared beaming at the top of the stairs in a princess gown, a gift from his grandmother. Kelly whisked him off and made him put on pants.
… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…
On Friday, we learned that the famed author and polemicist Christopher Hitchens had died. He was 62. Perhaps the most noteworthy moment of his career was his remarkable switch from a champion of the left to an outspoken supporter of the Iraq war. In October 2006, Ian Parker profiled Hitchens and his u-turn:
On the time line of the Hitchens apostasy, which runs from revolutionary socialism to a kind of neoconservatism, many dates are marked in boldface—his reassessment cannot be fixed to any one of them—and those familiar with Hitchens’s work know that he has always thrived on sectarian battles, and always looked for “encouraging signs of polarization”.