• Amitava Kumar. Photo © Imrul Islam
    September 20, 2021

    Amitava Kumar dwells on voice in fiction

    Amitava Kumar, whose novel A Time Outside This Time will be published in October, ponders Spike Lee, tennis, Nabokov, and much more, including the “arresting” quality he sought when he started writing fiction: “Plots are for dead people, but voice—oh, voice is how you know you’re alive.”

    Zando, the independent press that “connects inspiring authors to the audiences they deserve,” is continuing to build its team, hiring Chloe Texier-Rose (formerly of Farrar, Straus and Giroux) to head its publicity department. In a statement released by Zando, Texier-Rose says: “As a book publicist, my goal is

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  • Daphne A. Brooks. Photo: Mara Lavitt/Harvard University Press
    September 17, 2021

    Daphne A. Brooks wins the Museum of African American History’s Stone Book Award; Occupy Wall Street ten years later

    Daphne A. Brooks has won the Museum of African American History’s Stone Book Award for Liner Notes for the Revolution, her study of Black feminist sound and the archive. For more on Brooks’s work, read Rawiya Kameir’s review in the summer issue of Bookforum.

    The longlist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction was announced yesterday. Among the nominees are Hanif Abdurraqib for A Little Devil in America, Grace M. Cho for Tastes Like War, and Clint Smith for How the Word Is Passed. Today, the nominees in the fiction category were announced, including Katie Kitamura for Intimacies, Lauren

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  • Jackie Wang. Photo: Tony Rinaldo.
    September 16, 2021

    The National Book Awards longlist for poetry has been announced; new fiction from Brandon Taylor

    The National Book Awards longlist for poetry was announced today, following the list for young people’s literature and books in translation, which were announced yesterday. The nominated poets include Martín Espada, Desiree C. Bailey, Forrest Gander, and Jackie Wang, among others. The nonfiction longlist is expected later this afternoon.

    At the Yale Review, new fiction from Brandon Taylor.

    For Lit Hub, Jen DeGregorio looks into the story behind a lock of Emily Dickinson’s hair, which is selling for $450,000. Is the sample real? Was it stolen? The answers involve the poet James Merril, who is

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  • Ruth Ozeki. Photo: Danielle Tait
    September 15, 2021

    The Booker Prize shortlist; Ruth Ozeki discusses her new novel “The Book of Form and Emptiness”

    The Booker Prize shortlist has been announced. It includes novels by Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers, Maggie Shipstead, Anuk Arudpragasam, Damon Galgut, and Nadifa Mohamed.

    The Nation has hired Mohammed el-Kurd as a Palestine correspondent to cover the Israeli occupation and the Palestinain resistance. In a statement, the magazine wrote, “For too long Palestinian voices have been silenced, kept out of the US conversation simply for trying to share the Palestinian experience. We will not be intimidated into maintaining that silence.”

    Erin Overbey, the New Yorker’s archive editor, has compiled

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  • Molly Young
    September 14, 2021

    Molly Young, Alexandra Jacobs, and Jennifer Wilson join the “Times”; “New Yorker” Festival and the National Festival of Books are coming soon

    The New York Times has announced three new hires for the Books section: Molly Young and Alexandra Jacobs are joining as staff critics and Jennifer Wilson is becoming a contributing essayist to the Book Review.

    For Columbia Journalism Review, Clio Chang writes about the political evolution of Teen Vogue, which is regrouping after the resignation of editor in chief Alexi McCammond. The magazine hired a new editor this May, and Chang observes that “the mood today . . . teeters between positivity and nihilism; Teen Vogue staffers are fully aware of the strange tension in producing justice-oriented

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  • Yiyun Li. Photo: Christopher Ho
    September 13, 2021

    Yiyun Li's Tolstoy story; Brandon Taylor to interview Karl Ove Knausgaard

    Tomorrow, A Public Space will publish Tolstoy Together: 85 Days of War and Peace, in which Yiyun Li, the author of Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life, recounts her rereading of Tolstoy with an online book club during the pandemic. “I’ve found that the more uncertain life is,” Li writes, “the more solidity and structure War and Peace provides.” The book includes contributions from Garth Greenwell, Elliott Holt, Carl Phillips, Tom Drury, Sara Majka, Alexandra Schwartz, and hundreds of fellow readers from around the world.

    The Dorothy Publishing Project, which publishes two

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  • Marlowe Granados
    September 10, 2021

    Ashley M. Jones becomes Alabama’s first Black poet laureate; Marlowe Granados and Rachel Tashjian in conversation tonight

    Ashley M. Jones has been named Alabama’s poet laureate. Jones is the state’s first Black poet laureate and the youngest writer to hold the title. She recently talked with NPR about her new book of poems, Reparations Now!: “What I mean when I say reparations is that I want what we are owed, which means for me as a Black person, I want to be able to walk into a room with my hair however it is fixed, with my skin as dark or as light as it is, and not feel immediately targeted.”

    Tonight, Powerhouse arena in Brooklyn hosts Marlowe Granados and Rachel Tashjian to talk about Granados’s new novel

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  • Colson Whitehead. Photo: Wayne Lawrence
    September 09, 2021

    Colson Whitehead discusses his heist novel, “Harlem Shuffle”; Susanna Clarke wins the Women’s Prize for Fiction

    At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter talks with Colson Whitehead about his latest novel, Harlem Shuffle, and his flexibility as a writer. “His heterogeneous style comes not so much from an effort to show his range but from a short attention span,” Alter writes. As Whitehead puts it, this “prevents me from getting bored—that’s the main thing . . . . Like, why can’t I just do a zombie novel? No reason, just do it. So, with this, can I do a heist novel? Yeah, sure. Why not?” For more on Harlem Shuffle, read Omari Weekes’s review in our new issue.

    Contemporaries at Post45 will publish a cluster

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  • Judith Butler. Photo: Verso
    September 08, 2021

    “The Guardian” removes TERF-critical paragraphs of Judith Butler interview; Atticus Lish on masculinity

    Hours after publishing an interview with Judith Butler yesterday, The Guardian removed whole paragraphs of the interview, apparently “folding” under pressure from transphobic readers. In the removed section, Butler answered a question about the alliance between far-right groups and certain factions of feminism in part by denouncing trans-exclusionary radical feminists as fascists. As Emanuel Maiberg reports for Motherboard, “it is exceedingly rare for long passages to be cut from articles with such a cryptic update note, and is even rarer for a question-and-answer to be deleted from a high

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  • September 07, 2021

    Online now: Bookforum Sep/Oct/Nov 2021

    The new issue of Bookforum is out today! Our fall-fiction package includes reviews of novels by Colson Whitehead, Joy Williams, Miriam Toews, Jonathan Franzen, Tao Lin, and Percival Everett, plus an interview with Asali Solomon. Also in the magazine: James Hannaham’s diary on Fernando Pessoa and flying; Charlotte Shane’s consideration of Maggie Nelson, freedom, and care; Daphne Merkin’s reassessment of the hated and celebrated D. H. Lawrence; and more.

    In The Baffler, Dana Kopel writes about working to unionize staff of the New Museum, and the museum unionization movement taking hold across

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  • Salman Rushdie. Photo: Syrie Moskowitz
    September 03, 2021

    Charlotte Shane debunks misconceptions about abortion; Alex Shephard on Substack and Salman Rushdie

    For the New Republic, Alex Shephard considers the possibility that Substack will repopularize serialized fiction, and finds it “highly unlikely.” Novelist Salman Rushdie is the latest high-profile writer to join the platform, but as Shephard notes, the author of Midnight’s Children seems more intent on using it as a blog—another supposedly outdated but resilient technology. The speculation about how books will change with the times is well-worn: “For years, people have been predicting that the internet would radically upend the future of literature and yet, stubbornly, literature has refused

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  • Lizzie Johnson. Photo: Scott Strazzante 
    September 02, 2021

    Lizzie Johnson talks wildfires and infrastructure; Joumana Khatib profiles novelist Rabih Alameddine

    At The Nation, Emma Hager interviews Lizzie Johnson, one of the first American reporters to cover fire full-time, and the author of Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive and American Wildfire, an examination of the 2018 Camp “megafire.” Terminology used to describe increasingly destructive fires has changed rapidly, Johnson notes: “There was the Thomas Fire in 2017, which was the biggest in state history, and it held that title for less than a year before the Mendocino Complex Fire toppled it. And then in 2020 we had the ‘gigafire,’ which was the first time we had ever used that term to

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