paper trail

A union at Gawker?

Rebecca Solnit

Editorial staffers at Gawker Media are trying to unionize: “The online media industry makes real money. It's now possible to find a career in this industry, rather than just a fleeting job. An organized work force is part of growing up." Asked for a response by Capital, Gawker owner and CEO Nick Denton was "intensely relaxed".

Simon & Schuster has signed a deal with the digital-media streaming company Playster, which offers subscribers access to books, games, movies and music. The agreement will give Playster unlimited access to some of the publisher’s backlist, including The Great Gatsby and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Meanwhile, Tim Parks stays cheerful even though there's too much to read.

Rebecca Solnit has a recommendation for her left-wing allies in the US: “stop your grousing!” Constantly fixating on problems is, says the author, poisonous to progress. “All that complaining is a form of defeatism, a premature surrender, or an excuse for not really doing much.”

The PEN American Center has announced the shortlist and judges for thier 2015 literary awards.

Time magazine has deemed two novelists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and Haruki Murakami, important enough to make their hundred most influential people list. Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century also made the cut in the “icons” category, which features Taylor Swift and the Pope, among others.

The Los Angeles Times festival of books is this weekend at the University of Southern California, with panels and literary conversations, many vendors hawking their literary wares, and the presentation of the LA Times book prizes on Saturday night.

Post-AWP, Buzzfeed delivers a message (or 23 of them) from writers to "straight white male publishing" that not everyone wants to hear. And Gillian Anderson announces she'll be co-writing a "revolutionary self-help guide" for women.