paper trail

Charles Yu wins National Book Award for Interior Chinatown; Former staff respond to abrupt layoffs at Poets House

Charles Yu. Photo: © Tina Chiou

Former staff of Poets House have responded to the center’s closure and layoffs earlier this week, “out of concern not just for ourselves, but for the integrity of Poets House and its mission.”

The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, which supports work on short- and long-form projects, has announced this year’s twenty-two grantees. Recipients include, among others, Jeannine Tang, Ratik Asokan, and Lauren O’Neill-Butler.

Novelist Akwaeke Emezi has spoken out against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s support of J. K. Rowling’s anti-trans essay, and shared their own experiences with Adichie: “When she first made her transphobia public, I speak for those of us who genuinely loved and looked up to her, that shit broke our hearts.” Emezi, the author most recently of The Death of Vivek Oji, runs a Patreon where they share “insider gist, writing tips, early cover reveals, etc.” and redistribute all profits toward Black trans people’s financial security through several organizations.

Yesterday, the National Book Awards were announced: Charles Yu won in fiction for Interior Chinatown, Les Payne and Tamara Payne won in nonfiction for The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, Don Mee Choi won in poetry for DMZ colony, Yu Miri won the prize for a book in translation for Tokyo Ueno Station, and Walter Mosley took home a lifetime achievement award. Yu was so happy and surprised at his victory that he said, “I’m going to go melt into a puddle right now.”

Vox Media is giving employees a year-end gift of $1,000, and restoring promotion budgets and 401(k) matching in the new year.

In the London Review of Books, Jacqueline Rose has a bravura essay on Freud and his daughter, who died during a pregnancy from complications from the Spanish flu.