• Kenzaburō Ōe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Hpschaefer
    July 30, 2021

    The New Yorker Union wins a new contract; revisiting Kenzaburō Ōe’s archival “Art of Fiction” interview

    The New Yorker Union, along with the unions of Pitchfork and Ars Technica, have agreed to ratify a new contract. The unions operated through the NewsGuild of New York and negotiated with Conde Nast management for more than two years. The new agreement includes substantial victories for the unions, including wage increases, a salary floor, a diversity committee, and a ban on nondisclosure agreements, among other provisions.

    Nieman Lab reports on a new guide from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma advising journalists on how to write about traumatic events. As Joshua Benton writes, “The

    Read more
  • Torrey Peters. Photo: Natasha Gornik
    July 29, 2021

    Torrey Peters will publish four novellas next year; Join "Bookforum" on Tuesday for the premiere of our new video series, "No Wrong Answers"

    Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby, has four novellas coming out from Random House next year. Two of the books, Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker, had been published online while the others are from unpublished manuscripts. Peters tweeted that Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones has also been optioned for film and television with “a director I think you will approve of.”

    The new Gawker.com has launched. In a letter from the editor, Leah Finnegan writes, “I ask you to approach this new iteration of Gawker with an open mind and an open heart. Gawker inspires a lot of

    Read more
  • Lauren Michele Jackson. Photo: Jorge I. Cotte
    July 28, 2021

    On the work of Virginie Despentes; Lauren Michele Jackson writes about the history of critical race theory

    For the New Yorker, Lauren Michele Jackson writes about the history of—and current campaigns against—critical race theory. Conservatives such as Christopher Rufo have gone out of their way to make critical race theory a right-wing target. Rufo “explained that he’d gone truffle-hunting for incendiary ideas in the works of scholars such as Bell, Crenshaw, and Angela Davis, whose names he had found in the footnotes of anti-racism best-sellers.” Meanwhile, Jackson writes, liberals hoping to combat conservatives such as Rufo have “worked themselves into a corner: in attempting to defend critical

    Read more
  • Anuk Arudpragasam. Photo: Halik Azeez
    July 27, 2021

    The 2021 Booker Prize longlist; media unions are fighting the use of NDAs in the workplace

    For the New Yorker, Andrew Marantz writes about the podcasts that have emerged in the wake of Chapo Trap House’s “near-monopoly on socialist podcasting,” with a focus on Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell’s Know Your Enemy. “Sitman and Adler-Bell are serious,” Marantz writes, “about the ‘know’ part of their title. They seem more ambivalent about the ‘enemy’ part. It’s not that they’re squishy about their politics: they have discussed at length what their socialist utopia would look like, and their only sustained disagreement during the 2020 primaries came in the form of Sitman, a die-hard Bernie

    Read more
  • Emily St. John Mandel. Photo: Sarah Shatz
    July 26, 2021

    Emily St. John Mandel sells new novel; Hilton Als pays homage to Renata Adler

    Hilton Als considers the sui generis style and voice of Renata Adler’s novel Speedboat. “I don’t know of any journalist who’s had the pleasure of reading Renata Adler’s Speedboat and not dreamt of writing a book ‘just’ like it,” Als writes. “And that’s because the author’s brilliant stop and start 1976 novel about a female reporter living in an unnamed city glistens with authenticity, not only when it comes to her protagonist Jen Fain’s career as a journalist, but all the existential stuff that fucks your head up as you go about the business of trying to report, including how to navigate the

    Read more
  • Colson Whitehead. Photo: Chris Close
    July 23, 2021

    Reporter Felicia Sonmez has sued the “Washington Post”; an excerpt from Colson Whitehead’s forthcoming novel

    In The Atlantic, Wright Thompson writes about what we still don’t know about Emmett Till’s 1955 murder. Thompson visits the barn in Drew, Mississippi where the fourteen-year-old was brought by a group of white men, and where he died. Many accounts leave the barn out of Till’s story. Today, the barn sits on a local dentist’s property, where Till’s family can visit. “The barn’s existence,” Thompson writes, “conjures a complex set of reactions: It is a mourning bench for Black Americans, an unwelcome mirror for white Americans. It both repels and demands attention.”

    “The atmosphere in Nightbirds

    Read more
  • Fernando Pessoa.
    July 22, 2021

    A new biography of Fernando Pessoa; Facebook’s disinformation problem

    For the New York Times, Benjamin Moser reviews Richard Zenith’s new biography of the enigmatic Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. Best known for The Book of Disquiet, a fictional diary of fragmentary observation that was discovered and published after his death, Pessoa was an office worker who wrote under a range of names. As Moser observes, “He was a whole galaxy of writers—heteronyms, as he called them, with entirely different personalities and different, often radically conflicting, views on poetry, style, nature, politics and the antique.”

    In the London Review of Books, Gary Younge reviews

    Read more
  • Douglas Stuart. Photo: Grove Atlantic
    July 21, 2021

    Douglas Stuart’s next novel; NBCC panel on racial consciousness in literary criticism

    Douglas Stuart, whose debut novel Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize, has sold his second novel, Young Mungo, which is about “the dangerous first love of two young Glaswegian men.” The book will be published in April 2022 by Picador in the UK and by Grove Press in the US.

    The National Book Critics Circle hosted a conversation last week on racial consciousness in literary criticism with panelists David Mura, Lisa Teasley, and Myriam Gurba. A recording of the event is now up on YouTube.

    Molly Young profiles Katie Kitamura, author of the new novel Intimacies. “To be in the world right now

    Read more
  • Anthony Veasna So. Photo: Chris Sackes. 
    July 20, 2021

    Remembering Anthony Veasna So as his debut story collection comes out; a profile of Ishmael Reed

    Andrew LaVallee talks with friends and family of the late fiction writer Anthony Veasna So about the bittersweet release of his debut story collection; Afterparties “is now poised for the kind of buzzy release rare for debut collections.” Mark Krotov, publisher of n+1 and an early champion of So’s, said of his writing: “That combination of formal adventurousness and this feel for the texture and the sounds and the smells of day-to-day life—I find that quite rare.” While So’s incomplete novel will not be published as planned, Ecco will publish a book including chapters from the novel and nonfiction

    Read more
  • Adam Serwer
    July 19, 2021

    Adam Serwer in Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

    Tonight at 7pm Eastern time, Atlantic writer Adam Serwer will discuss his new book The Cruelty Is the Point: Essays on Trump's America with How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi. You can register to attend the virtual event here.

    Ben Cohen writes for the DC publication The Banter that Matt Tabbi—author of The Great Derangement and other books—has thrown “his considerable reputation down the toilet and joined the outer regions of far left/right conspiracy land.” Cohen laments the political contortions of Taibbi’s recent writing, particuarly in a piece on Fox News's Tucker Carlson: “

    Read more
  • Jordan Pavlin. Photo: Karen Haberberg.
    July 16, 2021

    Jordan Pavlin is the new editor in chief of Knopf; Patricia Highsmith’s diaries to be published this fall

    Jordan Pavlin has been named the new editor in chief of Knopf, filling the spot left vacant since her predecessor, Sonny Mehta, died in 2019. Palavin has edited writers including Nathan Englander, Yaa Gyasi, Megha Majumdar, Ayana Mathis, Jenny Offill, Tommy Orange, Julie Orringer, Julie Otsuka, and Karen Russell. In a statement, Knopf publisher Reagan Arthur writes: “Jordan’s reading palate is broad, and her enthusiasm for fine storytelling infectious. She is always willing to go the distance for every writer on our list.”

    This fall, Patricia Highsmith’s diaries will be published for the first

    Read more
  • Jenny Erpenbeck. Photo: Katharina Behling.
    July 15, 2021

    Writers remember Lauren Berlant; a profile of Jenny Erpenbeck

    At n+1 online, writers including Gregg Bordowitz, H. A. Sedgwick, Lauren Michele Jackson, Andrea Long Chu, and more remember Lauren Berlant, the pioneering author and theorist who died on June 28th. In her essay, Long Chu shares an email that Berlant sent her at the beginning of the pandemic: “Just checking in to see how you’re faring. How are you? I hope all of what’s intense is good, and all of what’s ordinary has lots of pleasures in it.”

    At the New Yorker, Lauren Oyler profiles the celebrated German writer Jenny Erpenbeck: “The selection of detail is a foundation of good writing; specificity,

    Read more