paper trail

Damon Young reflects on “Serious Conversations About Racism”; Patricia Lockwood’s coronavirus diary

Damon Young. Photo: Sarah Huny Young

According to the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column, Donald Trump has now made more than 20,000 “false or misleading” public statements.

At the London Review of Books, Patricia Lockwood has written a diary about living with and through the coronavirus: “When I examined my history, I found the following search: insane after coronavirus? coronavirus made me insane? This can’t be entirely blamed on the illness. A few years earlier I had indulged in a similar query: insane after book deal? book deal made me insane? Other search strings of interest were: ‘Christy Turlington,’ ‘the balkans,’ and ‘those things they use to shock people back to life.’”

Damon Young, author of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker, dwells on white Americans who now, suddenly, want to stop him to have “serious conversations about racism”: “The white people who do this don’t realize (or maybe just don’t give a damn) that we’re on different timelines. You learned yesterday what white privilege means? Great! Welcome to 1962. This, however, doesn’t mean I need to engage you about it today. Or tomorrow. Or ever. And most important, maybe I’m out walking, shopping or playing with my children, or out just, I don’t know, staring at a fire hydrant because I want to give myself a break from writing about, from speaking about, from thinking about and from raging about racism, and you’re asking me to work for you for free.”

The 2020 National Book Awards will be held digitally due to the coronavirus. According to Lisa Lucas, the National Book Foundation’s executive director: “As a country, and within the literary community, we have all experienced a shift in reality; yet through this collective uncertainty, we are dedicated to centering and elevating the work of writers who are grounding us and giving us the gift of their words.”

Pete Buttigieg has sold his book Trust: America’s Best Choice to Norton’s Liveright imprint. The book is set to be published on October 6.

Novelist Jennifer Gilmore wonders if men will ever stop explaining Bob Dylan to her.

First Cow, the Kelly Reichardt film cowritten by author Jon Raymond, is now available for streaming.

At a 92nd Street Y event that will take place online tomorrow at 6pm EST, David Mitchell will talk about his new novel, Utopia Avenue, with David Byrne.