• Joy Harjo. Photo: Shawn Miller
    June 19, 2019

    Joy Harjo chosen as poet laureate; Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Tom Perrotta on divorce and dating apps

    Joy Harjo has been chosen as poet laureate by the Library of Congress. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native American to take on the role.

    The New York Review of Books has posted a previously unpublished Elizabeth Hardwick essay about abortion rights.

    Chef and food writer Molly O’Neill has died at age 66.

    At the New Yorker, Daniel Gross remembers his experience as part of a secret literary fellowship funded by the owner of Barnes and Noble.

    At Vulture, Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Tom Perrotta discuss dating apps, Philip Roth, and why their respective novels center

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  • Mona Awad. Photo: George Baier IV
    June 18, 2019

    Mona Awad on cliques; Jennifer Weiner on beach reads

    BuzzFeed editorial employees in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and DC walked out on Monday afternoon “in the hopes of getting the online-media company to voluntarily recognize their union,” Bloomberg reports.

    The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins is working on a prequel to her bestselling series.

    Mona Awad talks to the So Many Damn Books podcast about university towns, cliques, and her new novel, Bunny. “I feel like the clique is very dangerous because you never know where you stand. You are not yourself, you are in a group,” she said. “So you’re kind of operating as a group, thinking

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  • June 17, 2019

    Kevin Killian, 1952–2019

    Novelist, poet, biographer, and playwright Kevin Killian died this weekend, his spouse, the writer Dodie Bellamy, has announced. A key member of the New Narrative movement, Killian was the author of Bedrooms Have Windows (recently reissued by Semiotext(e)), the poetry collections Argento Series (which dwelled on the horror director Dario Argento and the AIDS crisis) and Action Kylie (an ode of sorts to Kylie Minogue), the story collection Impossible Princess, and (with Lewis Ellingham) the biography Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance. Killian was incredibly generous

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  • Anna Merlan
    June 14, 2019

    Anna Merlan on conspiracy theories; Elliot Ackerman on emotions and art

    The New York Times offers a reading list to accompany When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s new Netflix series about the Central Park Five.

    Bustle Digital Group is working on relaunching Mic, the politics website they bought after the majority of its staff was laid off.

    At The Conversation, Nicholas Diakopoulos looks at the ways that AI technology might change the journalism industry.

    Anna Merlan talks to Maris Kreizman about conspiracy theories, fake news, and her new book, Republic of Lies. “I would say we are all conspiracy theorists in some way or another,” she said. “We’re all in the pool

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  • Emily Ruskovich
    June 13, 2019

    Emily Ruskovich on her debut novel; Incorporating facts into fiction

    Moderators for the first Democratic presidential primary debate have been announced. Besides Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, and José Díaz-Balart, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will also moderate, a choice the New York Times calls “a wild card of sorts.” “Opinion journalists are rarely chosen to interrogate candidates in the formal setting of a debate stage,” the Times notes. “And network partisanship has proved a thorny issue early in the campaign, after Democratic leaders barred Fox News from hosting any of the party’s debates.”

    The Guardian talks to Idaho author Emily Ruskovich, who

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  • Colson Whitehead. Photo: Chris Close
    June 12, 2019

    Columbia Journalism Review creates team of public editors; Literary Hub's summer books preview

    Literary Hub offers “the ultimate summer books preview.” Picks include Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, and Kristen Arnett’s Mostly Dead Things.

    Author Natasha Tynes is suing Rare Bird Books for defamation and emotional distress. After Tynes received backlash on social media for a tweet about a black DC metro employee eating on the train, the publisher canceled her book distribution deal.

    Columbia Journalism Review is creating a team of unofficial public editors for major newspapers and television networks in the US. “Public editors and

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  • Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines
    June 11, 2019

    Amber Scorah on writing and religion; Ocean Vuong on anger

    Literary Hub rounds up last week’s book deals. Brontez Purnell has sold “a collection of vignettes exploring gay male desire, loneliness, sex, and self-sabotage” to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, which will be published in 2021.

    At Longreads, Jacqueline Alnes talks to Amber Scorah about religion, fear, and her new memoir, Leaving the Witness. “There’s a lot of fear around being open about the experience of being a Jehovah’s Witness, and also the difficulty of trying to do something with your life after spending a life in something that is essentially a different world,” she said. “You exist in

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  • Darcey Steinke
    June 09, 2019

    The Final Issue of 'Tin House'; Barnes and Noble Sold

    The New York Times pays homage to Tin House, the innovative literary journal run by Elissa Schappell and Rob Spillman that, after twenty years, will publish its final, 400-page issue this month.

    In an eloquent and rangy interview, the novelist Lynne Tillman, author most recently of Men and Apparitions, talks about how she finds the voice of her characters, Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, photography, feminism, backlash, and much more.

    Barnes and Noble has been purchased by the hedge fund Elliott Advisors, which purchased the British bookseller Waterstones last year, for $638 million. Waterstones

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  • June 07, 2019

    Négar Djavadi wins Albertine Prize; Wayétu Moore on magical realism

    Négar Djavadi’s novel Disoriental has won the 2019 Albertine Prize. “By exploring the nuances between the intersection of eastern and western cultures in Disoriental, Négar Djavadi sheds light on one of the many facets of French culture” said cultural counselor of the French Embassy Benedicte de Montlaur. “Now in its third year, the prize received more votes than any other year, a testament to the growing appreciation and need for international literature in the United States.”

    “The anonymous Californian woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford University student Brock Turner and whose

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  • Tayari Jones. Photo: Nina Subin
    June 06, 2019

    Tayari Jones wins Women's Prize; Kristen Arnett on writing about family

    Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage has won this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. “The shortlist was so strong and I was honoured to be among them but I had no idea whether I would win,” Jones said in her acceptance. “I didn’t write a speech!”

    Mitchell S. Jackson talks to Edie Meidav about becoming a writer, secrets, and his new book, Survival Math.

    At Longreads, Tobias Carroll talks to Kristen Arnett about family, taxidermy, and her new book, Mostly Dead Things. “I like thinking about the ways that we hurt each other, and sometimes I think families do that the most,” she said. “The people

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  • Elif Batuman. Photo: Beowulf Sheehan
    June 05, 2019

    Lambda Literary Award winners announced; Sandi Tan working on "The Idiot" movie

    The winners of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards have been announced. Honorees include Trustee Award winner Alexander Chee and Visionary Award winner Masha Gessen.

    Filmmaker Sandi Tan is working on a screen adaptation of Elif Batuman’s The Idiot. “The book’s basically the intelligent, creative young woman’s Twilight,” she told The Cut’s Anna Silman. “It’s about this woman who is head smart and heart stupid — that’s why she’s the idiot. . . . And she’s being sucked into this vortex of obsession by this guy, and by the end of it she gets destroyed. But instead of turning into a vampire, she

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  • Namwali Serpell. Photo: Peg Korpinski
    June 04, 2019

    Lemn Sissay wins PEN Pinter prize; Namwali Serpell on her new novel

    This year’s PEN Pinter prize has been awarded to playwright and poet Lemn Sissay. “I met Harold Pinter when I was 36. We were on stage at the Royal Court,” Sissay said in the announcement. “I was too intimidated or self-conscious to speak to him. And so I will now. ‘Thank you.’” Sissay will receive the prize at a ceremony in October.

    In a Twitter thread, the BuzzFeed News Union says that the company is dragging its feet on recognizing the union. “BuzzFeed’s management is proposing a bargaining unit that unfairly disenfranchises many of our colleagues and weakens our union,” they write. “We

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