paper trail

Kate Aronoff on climate change; Barry Jenkins on "The Underground Railroad"

Kate Aronoff

At Vanity Fair, Camonghne Felix profiles Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight and now a miniseries based on Colson Whitehead’s novel The Underground Railroad. To describe his philosophy for adapting the surreal world of the novel for the screen, Jenkins tells Felix about a penny jar his grandmother used to keep under her bed: “These things are very tactile objects that gain sublimated, surrealistic, spiritual qualities just through this sense of belief, through something within the person that is giving the item its power. And so, no one’s going to levitate in this show. But there’s a way to build images to where you feel like something mystical is happening.”

Several allegations of sexual assault have emerged against Blake Bailey, the author of an authorized biography of Philip Roth that was published earlier this month by W. W. Norton. Eve Peyton, a former student of Bailey’s, and publishing executive Valentina Rice, have each claimed that Bailey sexually assaulted them. Other allegations “focus on his behavior when he was an 8th-grade English teacher at Lusher, a middle school in New Orleans,” the New York Times reports. In response, Norton has halted shipments and their plans to promote the new book “pending any further information that may emerge.”

At Post45, Tess McNulty analyzes how “content” as a newer media classification and how engaging with it reshapes how reader-consumers express themselves. McNulty focuses on the ethics of the “uplifting anecdote” (“Incredible Dog Who Saved the Life of Newborn Baby Has Lasting Legacy”).

Meredith Kopit Levien, New York Times chief executive, has advised over 650 tech staffers to put their unionization effort to a formal vote rather than voluntarily recognizing it. “We call on The New York Times to listen to their tech workers, the majority of whom have already voted via a signed union card,” a NewsGuild spokesman responded.

At The Baffler, film critic A. S. Hamrah considers this year’s Oscar-nominated movies. Hillbilly Elegy, Hamrah writes,is whiny and teary, and if J. D. Vance runs his inevitable Senate campaign the same way, it will be a more enjoyable spectacle than this film.” On the other hand, Minari “unfolds in what Monica calls ‘this hillbilly place’ and which, unlike some other films, is able to take life there seriously enough not to just turn it into hysterical nonsense or pretty pictures of decay.”

Next Thursday at 7 PM EST, Strand bookstore is hosting New Republic staff writer Kate Aronoff for the launch of her book Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet—and How We Fight Back. Tickets are available here.