• Hanif Abdurraqib. Photo: Andy Cenci
    January 25, 2021

    Hanif Abdurraqib talks about musicians who use masks; Bhanu Kapil awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize

    Authors Ken Chen and Craig Morgan Tiecher highlight their favorite books of poetry coming out in 2021.

    Marcela Valdes, a journalist who has held positions at Publishers Weekly and Washington Post Book World, has been hired as a staff writer at the New York Times Magazine. In a letter announcing the hire, editor Jake Silverstein writes: “Marcela has been an important contributor to the Magazine for many years, covering politics, culture, immigration and more. Her recent cover story on conservative efforts to win Latino votes in the 2020 election showed, yet again, what a rigorous, intelligent

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  • Leonora Carrington
    January 22, 2021

    Elisa Gabbert on Leonora Carrington and madness; Joan Didion gives a matter-of-fact interview

    At the Paris Review Daily blog, Elisa Gabbert writes about the internal logic and contradictions of Leonora Carrington’s novel The Hearing Trumpet, and how “the structure of the institution creates the conditions for insanity.” In the novel, a ninety-two-year-old Englishwoman is committed to a bizarre home run by “the Well of Light Brotherhood” where her room features fake furniture: “All fictive furniture is fake, but this novel has real fake furniture and fake fake furniture. Here the novelist seems to be poking holes and peeking through the text.”

    This past weekend, friends and colleagues

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  • Mateo Askaripour
    January 21, 2021

    The New Yorker Union’s work stoppage; Mateo Askaripour on his best-selling debut novel

    The New Yorker Union is enacting a work stoppage for twenty-four hours starting at 6 AM today. The union is protesting the response to their wage proposal, which included a salary floor of $65,000, among other provisions. According to the union, management’s response was a floor of $45,000 and a proposal that would allow them to decrease union members’ salaries at any time. As the union writes in a statement posted today, “The company’s proposal showed disrespect for us and for the work we do. Today’s work stoppage is meant to remind The New Yorker and Condé Nast of the value of our labor, and

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  • Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. Photo: Talya Zemach-Bersin
    January 20, 2021

    Writers consider “Life After Trump”; Karla Cornejo Villavicencio on the term “illegal alien”

    At the New York Times, Parul Sehgal reviews Tove Ditlevsen’s Copenhagen trilogy, which she praises for its composure, noting: “For all the expected reasons, no quality is praised more strenuously in women’s writing than ‘control.’ See also ‘restraint’ and ‘lack of sentimentality.’ But control is just one effect, and in some ways the canniest — nothing else so efficiently earns the reader’s trust and can lull her into sleepy credulity.”

    Writers make predictions on “Life After Trump” for a special supplement in the new issue of Harper’s Magazine. They cover an array of topics; read Charles Yu

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  • Patricia Highsmith
    January 19, 2021

    Patricia Highsmith at Yaddo; Twenty-two LGBTQ+ books to read this year

    ProPublica have combed through more than five hundred videos from Parler to reveal a fuller picture of the Capitol invasion. On one video, a man says, “I think they’re going to breach the doors. It’s getting serious. Someone’s going to die today. It’s not good at all.”

    The Advocate recommends twenty-two LGBTQ+ books to read in 2021, with new titles by Melissa Febos, Sarah Schulman, Brandon Taylor, Torrey Peters, and more.

    LitHub has an excerpt from Richard Bradford’s Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires detailing what happened that one time Patricia Highsmith went to the Yaddo writers’ retreat

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  • Amanda Gorman. Photo: Kelia Anne
    January 18, 2021

    Poet Amanda Gorman to read at Biden’s inauguration

    The poet Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first Youth Poet Laureate, has been chosen to read at President Biden’s inauguration. The title of her inauguration poem is “The Hill We Climb.”

    Sally Rooney has sold her third novel to Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Beautiful World, Where Are You will be published in September 2021. According to FSG, the novel is about four people in Ireland who “are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. . . . Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing

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  • Laura Poitras. Photo: Katy Scoggin/Praxis Films/Wikimedia Commons
    January 15, 2021

    Laura Poitras fired by First Look Media; Jennifer Szalai tracks usage of the term “Orwellian”

    At the New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner talks with Rick Perlstein about the second Trump impeachment, the wide-ranging effects of Gerald Ford’s presidential pardon of Richard Nixon, and historical continuity and discontinuity: “One of the reasons I’m very hesitant to speculate about what happens next in history is, no one really saw Reagan coming,” Perstein said. “The idea that someone who never criticized Richard Nixon over Watergate would soon be seen as the redeemer of the country, or that a figure like Jimmy Carter, who seemed to have met the moment, turned out to be such a disappointment—that’s

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  • Maggie Nelson. Photo: Tom Atwood
    January 14, 2021

    Noah Baumbach to direct a White Noise adaptation; Maggie Nelson’s new book

    Noah Baumbach is adapting Don DeLillo’s White Noise for the screen. The film is said to star Greta Gerwig and Adam Driver.

    At Entertainment Weekly, Seija Rankin has a short Q&A with Maggie Nelson about her new book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint. When asked what the first thing she remembers writing was, Nelson replied: “A fourth-grade report called ‘Cats Galore!’ I still have fond feelings toward the word galore.”

    Editors at the New York Post have instructed staff not to use the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, or the Washington Post as sources for reporting.

    Powell’s bookstore

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  • Wesley Lowery. Photo: Reggie Cunningham
    January 13, 2021

    Wesley Lowery joins the Marshall Project; Vincent Bevins on confused analogies and the “self-coup”

    Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist on criminal justice and author of They Can’t Kill Us All, is joining the Marshall Project. As a contributing editor, he will help the organization expand into local reporting.

    At n+1, Vincent Bevins writes about the confused comparisons used by politicians, brands, and entertainers “randomly grasping for imagery from the bad, brown world beyond our borders” to describe the attempted coup at the capitol last week. George W. Bush, for example, likened the events of January 6 to how election results “are disputed in a banana republic,” eliding the

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  • Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Tayarisha Poe
    January 12, 2021

    Story prize finalists announced; Brenden O’Connor on fighting fascism

    The London Review of Books has put together a collection of pieces from the paper on “How (not) to stage a coup,” featuring work by Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hitchens, Patricia Beer, and more.

    The Story Prize, sponsored by the Chisholm Foundation, has announced its finalists for the year: Danielle Evans, Deesha Philyaw, and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum.

    A group of NPR stations has sent a letter criticizing the New York Times, producer Andy Mills, and host Michael Barbaro for their handling of the Caliphate podcast controversy. (One of the central figures of that show was later found to have probably

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  • Pauline Harmange Photo: Magali Delporte
    January 11, 2021

    A Promised Land is the best-seller of 2020; Pauline Harmange’s I Hate Men

    Ved Mehta, a writer for the New Yorker for thirty years, has died. Mehta’s books include Walking the Indian Streets, Mahatma Gandhi and His Apostles, and twelve volumes of memoir collectively titled Continents of Exile. “Ved Mehta has established himself as one of the magazine’s most imposing figures,” New Yorker editor William Shawn told the New York Times in 1982.

    In August, Pauline Harmange’s debut book I Hate Men was published in a run of four hundred copies by the nonprofit French press Monstrograph. An employee of France’s ministry for gender equality, Ralph Zurmély, emailed the publisher

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  • Patrick M. Shanahan with Senator Josh Hawley. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States/Wikicommons
    January 08, 2021

    Neil Sheehan, journalist who obtained the Pentagon Papers, has died; Simon & Schuster drops book by Senator Josh Hawley

    At Politico and the New York Times, journalists recount their experiences inside the Capitol building when a pro-Trump mob forced entry on Wednesday.

    At Indian Country Today, Dalton Walker contrasts the meager use of force by Capitol police on the mob with the aggressive tactics used by the National Guard on pipeline opponents at Standing Rock in 2016.

    At Poynter, Katy Byron previews the year in misinformation for 2021. Needless to say, it’s not looking good, with Byron’s big three predictions being “it’s going to get uglier,” “pandemic and political disinformation will dominate,” and, on a

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