paper trail

Hanya Yanagihara on why novelists need day jobs; Vice sued by former producer over sexual assault

Hanya Yanagihara

The Guardian profiles Hanya Yanagihara, the author of A Little Life and editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Yanagihara says that besides health care, she decided to take a job with the Times because the collaborative nature of working at a magazine balances out the effects of working on a novel. “Fiction writing is so interior and makes you into an awful person in a lot of ways,” she explains. “The private . . . becomes much more sharply private when you have a job, especially one that’s in the world. It reminds you on a daily basis of what people sound like, how they move, what their concerns are, how they think.”

A former Vice producer is suing the company after being sexually assaulted while on assignment. Saher Shakir was working with a film crew to cover a soccer game in Algiers when she was groped by a group of men outside the stadium. According to two coworkers who witnessed the assault, “Shakir returned to the U.S. shaken and fearful that speaking about the incident or asking the company for assistance in dealing with the trauma would threaten her job.”

“Very often, women in fiction are held up as either bitter enemies or as complete BFFs. Neither of those portrayals is very complicated, very interesting, or very true,” Celeste Ng tells the Los Angeles Review of Books. “Much more common — and to my mind, interesting — is the middle ground, in which we find ourselves both drawn to and troubled by another person.”

Jeet Heer explains why Kevin Williamson’s Wall Street Journal essay about being fired from The Atlantic “is, from top to bottom, bullshit.”

New York Times editorial page director James Bennet talks toPolitico about the role of politics in journalism, Trump’s effect on the press, and handling criticism of his section’s writers, which can often be found on social media. “It’s really hard, I find, in this environment to sort out the signal and the noise,” he said. “What is the important reaction, response, counterargument that we should be hearing? And are those readers, you know, real readers, or are they just people performing for each other on social media? And, again, I don’t want to sound like I’m—you can’t dismiss it. You can’t just say, ‘Oh, they’re all a bunch of jackasses,’ because they’re not. But some of them are jackasses.”