The Gellhorn Spirit

Martha Gellhorn was born on this day in 1908. The annual Gellhorn Prize is awarded to an investigative journalist whose work is in the Gellhorn spirit -- tells "an unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda," as the GP website puts it. In a 1939 letter to her friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gellhorn gives this "longwinded and confused statement of faith":

I hate what happens in these times, but ignoring it won't change it. And someday if I go on trying to know and understand, I may at last get it all in some sort of shape or order…and then maybe I could write something that would make just a few other people think too. If democracy is good, it must depend on the constant concern of the citizens. God knows I don't recommend concern as it would surely be more comfortable to be a cabbage…. Myself, alone, I have a wonderful and privileged life and am deeply aware every minute of my benefits and good luck. But the only way I can pay back for what fate and society have handed me is to try, in minor totally useless ways, to make an angry sound against injustice….

Daybook is contributed by Steve King, who teaches in the English Department of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. His literary daybook began as a radio series syndicated nationally in Canada. He can be found online at


Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).