paper trail

An open letter condemns Junot Diaz; Norman's Rockwell's family speaks out against a new biography

Eight cultural figures from the Dominican Republic have written an open letter condemning Junot Diaz, who is currently visiting the country to participate in talks about immigration, writing, and what it means to be a Dominican. The letter attacks the Pulitzer-winning Diaz for, among other things, “a scarce capacity for reflection and a disrespectful and mediocre use of the written word.”

At MobyLives, Dennis Johnson explains why Andre Schiffrin would have hated his Times obituary, and offers some context and further details about the great editor and publisher’s life.

Romenesko reports that on Tuesday morning, Gawker Media employees received a memo from head honcho Nick Denton: “The bad news . . . We got overtaken by Buzzfeed in November. They surged to 133m global uniques. Damn. That’s impressive. And Upworthy—even smarmier than Buzzfeed—is nipping at our heels.” But Denton plans to regain the lead soon with Kinja, a new Gawker Media discussion platform, “which enlists readers as contributors to listicles as well as other collaborative editorial projects.”

Norman Rockwell’s family is “waging a fierce campaign” against a new biography of him, American Mirror, written by New York Times critic Deborah Solomon. The Rockwell family cooperated with Solomon as she was researching the book. But upon reading American Mirror, many family members were “shocked” by the book’s “suggestions . . . that Rockwell could have been secretly gay.”