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Harmony Holiday on epic heroes and Black romantic leads; Lucy Ives theorizes “the weak novel”

Harmony Holiday

Bookforum contributor Harmony Holiday discusses her latest poetry book, an epic called Maafa, with Sandra Simonds for the Bennington Review: “Epic heroes tend to be sovereign, and with that jurisdiction over themselves even their perceived mistakes are glorious points of adventure and faith. I want that for Black female archetypes, who I refer to in my mind as ‘Black romantic leads’ sometimes. I want romance for us.”

At The Baffler, Lucy Ives theorizes “the weak novel.” For Ives, “weakness is not a bad thing. Rather, weakness, specifically literary weakness, is enlivening, challenging, and generally has the effect of compelling the reader to move, as we say, outside their comfort zone.”

The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s inaugural New York Jewish Book Festival will begin on December 11 in New York City, featuring author events with Mark Harris, A. O. Scott, Sloane Crosley, and Gary Shteyngart, a panel with emerging Jewish novelists, a talk co-presented with Jewish Currents on writing the third generation of Holocaust survivors, and more. 

Longtime New Yorker staff writer and Colette biographer Judith Thurman will discuss her essay collection A Left Handed Woman with Rachel Syme next Monday at New York’s McNally Jackson Seaport bookstore. 

The Cleveland Review of Books will release its first-ever print issue on December 10 with a night of contributor readings.