paper trail

An open letter from Jewish writers and artists; Rupi Kaur has rejected an invitation to the White House

Rupi Kaur. Photo: Baljit Singh

n+1 has published an open letter drafted by a group of Jewish writers, artists, and activists disavowing the idea “that any criticism of Israel is inherently antisemitic.” The letter goes on to state: “It is precisely because of the painful history of antisemitism and lessons of Jewish texts that we advocate for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people. We refuse the false choice between Jewish safety and Palestinian freedom; between Jewish identity and ending the oppression of Palestinians. In fact, we believe the rights of Jews and Palestinians go hand-in-hand.”

Canadian poet Rupi Kaur has rejected an invitation from the Biden administration to attend a Diwali event at the White House. In a statement, Kaur wrote that she is “surprised this administration finds it acceptable to celebrate Diwali, when their support of the current atrocities against Palestinians represent the exact opposite of what this holiday means to many of us.” 

Columbia Journalism Review’s Jon Allsop writes about the deaths of journalists and other media workers in Israel and Gaza since October 7. “After almost exactly a month of fighting, the conflict is not only the deadliest on record for media workers in Israel and Palestine but the deadliest (to the equivalent point) for media workers covering any war in recent memory.” 

The new issue of The Dial magazine is out now, with pieces on the theme of “fakes.” 

For the New York Review of Books, Namwali Serpell surveys a spate of novels she’s taken to calling “the ‘hit me’ books” or “the ‘remaster novels,’” in which a young, “Marxist-ish” woman with artistic ambitions gets into a relationship with an older man, who supports her financially or professionally. “This familiar script—master and maiden—is established and anxiously examined for its bad politics” before being “flipped.” 

At Public Books, Alexander Manshel and Melanie Walsh take a statistical approach to predicting the winner of the National Book Award, examining how demographic data about past winners and judges of the prize “reveals broad trends about how the composition of prize juries influences the works and authors that they celebrate.” 

Jean-Baptiste Andrea has won the Goncourt Prize, France’s top literary award, for his novel Veiller Sur Elle (Watching Over Her).