paper trail

Abdulrazak Gurnah wins the Nobel Prize in Literature; the “Bad Art Friend” takes takeover

Abdulrazak Gurnah. Photo: Mark Pringle.

Novelist and professor Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Gurnah was born in Zanzibar and moved to the United Kingdom as a refugee when he was eighteen. He is the author of ten novels, including two that have been previously nominated for the Booker Prize. His latest book is Afterlives, published in 2020. Gurnah told Magill magazine in 2010: “I’m writing in one language, in English, and I’m bringing to it an imaginative landscape from another culture and another language and that produces, I think, a dynamic and rather interesting mix.”

The Brooklyn Rail talks with Amauta Firmino, the dramaturg for Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play. Firmino explains that one important part of the role is “being able to look at the work from a distance, look at the whole world around before and after the action in the play and ask questions that help guide the text into a place that makes more sense.”

Dr. Keisha N. Blain will be appearing at a virtual event for the Brooklyn Public Library tonight as part of a tour for her new book, Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America.

For the Shadow/Yaddo podcast, Lauren Groff, Sheila Heti, and Sarah Manguso reunite to talk about their new projects.

For Columbia Journalism Review, Navneet Alang writes about how food-media outlets are revising their digital archives to include proper credit and context for recipes. Some journalists have raised concerns about preserving these records, despite the fact that traditional, non-digital archives are not static receptacles. As Alang puts it: “The same characteristics that make digital archives susceptible to loss also make them vessels for recovery, restoration, and preservation. Whether food media outlets use the flexibility of digital media that way—for recovery and repair, not extraction or erasure—may tell us something about how they understand their journalistic obligations to accuracy and telling complicated truths.”

The “Bad Art Friend” takes have begun: Elizabeth Bruenig of The Atlantic and Counter Craft’s Lincoln Michel weigh in on yesterday’s viral New York Times article. Author Brandon Taylor tweeted about the story’s ubiquity: “The NYT really killed a whole pub week, the National Book Awards, and the Nobel Prize with one little article.”