paper trail

Masha Gessen receives Hannah Arendt Prize in delayed ceremony

Masha Gessen. Photo: © Lena Di 

New Yorker staff writer Masha Gessen discusses the controversy over the awarding of this year’s Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now. Gessen received the prize in a postponed and scaled down ceremony on Saturday after the prize’s sponsor, the Heinrich Boll Foundation, withdrew its support in response to Gessen writing in the New Yorker that Gaza today is “like a Jewish ghetto in an Eastern European country occupied by Nazi Germany.” 

At Jewish Currents, Nora Caplan-Bricker reviews Isabella Hammad’s new novel Enter Ghost. The novel follows Sonia Nasir, a young actor from London who, while visiting her sister in Haifa, agrees to play Gertrude in an Arabic production of Hamlet to be performed in the West Bank. Caplan-Bricker discusses Enter Ghost as “a novel of commitment” that pushes back against the idea that political art has trouble accommodating “complexity and uncertainty.” 

Mosab Abu Toha, the Palestinian poet who was recently detained by the IDF, has shared his shock that the Poetry Foundation “has not said a word about my unfair detention.” The Poetry Foundation previously published the poem that provided the name for Abu Toha’s collection Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear. The organization is currently being boycotted by more than two thousand writers in response to the indefinite “shelving” of Joshua Gutterman Tranen’s review of Sam Sax’s poetry collection PIG back in November. 

Issue 31 of The Point is out now, with essays and reviews by Rosemarie Ho, Greg Jackson, Lin Atnip, and more. In the introductory essay, “Note on Humilty and Power,” the editors write that rather than comment on the war in Gaza directly, they’ve decided to publish a conversation that took place on October 24th between Israeli and Palestinian activists because “they are attempting, as they speak, to come to terms with both the possibilities and the limitations of their power; because the stakes for them are in no way symbolic or abstract; because they speak, credibly, as if their lives depend on what they say and do.”

Metrograph has invited staff and writers to weigh in on their “best film experience from the past year, whether the movie be new or old, a first-time watch or a beloved favorite,” with picks from A. S. Hamrah, Beatrice Loayza, Christian Lorentzen, Eileen Myles, Jennifer Krasinski, and many more.