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Amber Scorah on writing and religion; Ocean Vuong on anger

Ocean Vuong. Photo: Tom Hines

Literary Hub rounds up last week’s book deals. Brontez Purnell has sold “a collection of vignettes exploring gay male desire, loneliness, sex, and self-sabotage” to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, which will be published in 2021.

At Longreads, Jacqueline Alnes talks to Amber Scorah about religion, fear, and her new memoir, Leaving the Witness. “There’s a lot of fear around being open about the experience of being a Jehovah’s Witness, and also the difficulty of trying to do something with your life after spending a life in something that is essentially a different world,” she said. “You exist in this parallel world that has nothing to do with the outside world. That outside world was going to end, and you thought you were going to live forever. The only book that mattered was the bible.”

HBO has canceled Vice News Tonight, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“Anger is energy – you can get a lot done with anger; you can write multiple books,” said On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous author Ocean Vuong. “I didn’t want to write angry. I didn’t want to be angry. I saw what anger did, growing up, and it was powerful, a force to be reckoned with, but it didn’t lead to anywhere that I was interested in going.”

An American Marriage author Tayari Jones tells The Guardian that before her Women’s Prize for Fiction win, she had never won anything. “I remember, as a child, you could win a whole summer of ice-cream and I saved and I bought several tickets,” she said. “I did not win and the little girl who won only had one ticket. How about that? I’ve been holding that grudge for 40 years.”