• People walks near a billboard of Madeleine McCann at Praia da Luz tourist resort, April 5, 2009, where Madeleine went missing. (Hugo Correia/Reuters)

    BREAK-IN BREAKTHROUGH

    Was Madeleine McCann One of Many?

    A new development in the formerly closed case finds detectives scrambling to uncover new leads after a revelation that a suspect in 18 other nearby break-ins fit the same description.

    Would you take your young family on a vacation to a place where there had been 18 incidents of attempted kidnapping, sexual assault and “near misses” against children made by perpetrators who broke into resort hotel rooms?  Probably not. That is, if you knew about it. 

    But that is exactly what was happening in the Western Algarve around the time Briton Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s rented apartment at the Ocean Club holiday resort in 2007, according to the latest update from Scotland Yard.

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  • Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post, via Getty Images, HELEN H. RICHARDSON

    Twice-Told Tales

    The Art of Literary Rescue

    What makes a forgotten book worth saving and reissuing? Lauren Elkin on Muriel Rukeyser’s novel about the Spanish Civil War.

    The 2004 publication of Irène Nemirovky’s Suite Française, a projected cycle of five novellas about France during the German Occupation, left unfinished when their author was deported to Auschwitz, seems to have inspired a new round of rediscovering “lost” novels, the glory unjustly denied them by the forces of history and the ignorance of editors restored. The success of Suite Française inspired the reissue of a number of novels by Nemirovsky, some of which were popular in her lifetime, but long since out of print, some of which hadn’t been published. But was this because of their lesser quality, as some critics suggested when they were finally brought out? Do we lose our ability to critically assess when dealing with work from the archive?

    Nemirovsky’s case is an unusual one. Almost as soon as Suite Française became an international sensation, a controversy broke out concerning Nemirovsky’s alleged anti-Semitism. In her introduction to the French edition, Primo Levi’s biographer Miriam Anissimov accused Nemirovsky of having been a self-hating Jew who subscribed to the idea that “Jews belong to a different, less worthy ‘race,’ and that their exterior signs are easily recognizable: frizzy hair, hooked noses, moist palms, swarthy complexions, thick black ringlets, crooked teeth (…) not to mention their love of making money, their pugnacity, their hysteria.” Those lines were cut from the English edition of the book, and critics in the US and the UK quickly leapt in to develop this point; in The New Republic Ruth Franklin claimed that in the 1930s Nemirovsky used her literary success “to pander to the forces of reaction, to the fascist right,” by appearing in far-right newspapers that published screeds demonizing Jews, and garnering praise for her novels from Robert Brasillach, a notorious Nazi collaborator and strident anti-Semite who was executed after the Liberation. Tadzio Koelb, in The Jewish Quarterly, accused the literary establishment of sensationalizing Nemirovsky’s biography at the expense of doing their jobs; they had “abdicat[ed]” their critical responsibility and rewarded not the work, but the injustice.

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  • Cristina Garcia Rodero/Spanish Royal Palace, via AP

    WORST WEEK

    Spanish Royals Embarrassed Again

    A forthcoming tell-all reveals Princess Letizia may have had an abortion.

    Letizia, princess of Asturias and wife of Spain’s heir apparent, has caused a stir this week as her cousin David Rocasolano prepares to publish a book revealing her most intimate secrets. Chief among these is an alleged abortion obtained before she married Prince Felipe in 2004, at a time when the procedure was illegal in Spain except in extreme cases. One Catholic newspaper has demanded an investigation, and the royal family has refused to comment. Even if unfounded, the accusation may have a strong impact on the princess’s popularity, as “it has taken some time for [her] to win over the hearts of Spaniards. Many Royal observers frowned on the match as she was a divorcee and a commoner.” This news comes on the heels of the king’s daughter Princess Cristina being named as a suspect in a fraud case. The 300-page book, Adiós, Princesa, will be published later this week.

    Read it at The Telegraph
  • Spain's Princess Cristina in Sept. 2011. (Charles Dharapak/AP), Charles Dharapak

    Allegations her husband misused public money.

    Spain’s Princess Cristina was summoned to court on Wednesday over allegations that her husband misused millions of euros of public money. Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, has not been charged and denies he has broken the law. It’s believed this is the first time a descendant of the Spanish king has been charged. Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, has been asked to appear in court on April 27.

    Read it at BBC News