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Booker Prize ceremony pushed to accommodate Obama’s memoir release; Viet Thanh Nguyen on literary representation

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Twitter rounds up global media coverage of last night’s presidential debate.

The New Yorker Union has tweeted a thread about why they’ve decided to file an “Unfair Labor Practice” charge against their employers. According to the union, it wanted to discuss a just cause provision but management “walked away from negotiations.” The thread goes on to share five examples of “bosses’ unprofessional behavior.”

The Booker Prize award ceremony has been postponed two days to accommodate the publication of Barack Obama’s much-anticipated memoir. Gaby Wood, the Booker Foundation’s literary director, said in a statement that the unusual decision was made to “give readers a couple of days’ breathing space” between “two of the most exciting literary events of the year.”

Novelist and critic Viet Thanh Nguyen is the first Asian American member of the Pulitzer Prize Board, a role he took on partly out of civic duty: “I take the idea of citizenship seriously, whether it’s service to the country or service to literature and Asain Americans, so I had to say yes.” Victoria Namkung talks with Nguyen about how the literary output of Asian Americans has changed in recent years, becoming more eccentric as the burden of representation lessens. He noted that while publishing remains a predominantly white industry, literature “is where the excluded get to have their chance. Because anybody can just write.”

At the New York Review of Books, Accra Shepp talks with his father, the jazz saxophonist Archie Shepp, about his work in the civil rights movement and the role of the artist as a storyteller. Of his politics interacting with his music, Archie Shepp said, “that’s existential. Having been a victim of social and political oppression, it was only natural that it would influence my music, my art, my writing.”

In an event for the Brooklyn Book Festival, Dr. Imani Perry will discuss her work with Center for Black Literature founder Dr. Brenda M. Greene, tonight at 6:30 PM EST. Perry’s latest books include a biography of playwright Lorraine Hansbury and an autobiography about raising Black sons in America.