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Matt Seybold on Percival Everett’s James; Sarah Schulman is writing a book on solidarity

Percival Everett. Photo: Michael Avedon

For the Cleveland Review of Books, Mark Twain scholar Matt Seybold reviews Percival Everett’s new novel James, a retelling of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of Jim: “James has locked Huck in a forever embrace, their destinies indissoluble. It reminds me of Baldwin’s prophecy: Race in the US must become either an embrace of lovers, prepared to ‘dare everything’ in order to ‘change the history of the world’ (‘Call it progress,’ Everett’s James says) or, like two boxers in a permanent clinch, we wait for ‘cosmic vengeance,’ looking each other in the eyes as the lights go out.”

The 2023 National Book Critics Circle Awards have been announced. Among the honorees are Lorrie Moore (I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home), Roxanna Asgarian (We Were Once a Family), and Safiya Sinclair (How to Say Babylon). Bookforum contributor Becca Rothfeld has received the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

Moira Donegan joins Merve Emre on her podcast The Critic and Her Publics. They discuss the early days of the #MeToo movement, the Shitty Media Men list, and perform a reading of Sonia Sotamayor’s dissent in the Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade. “This is a moral document,” Donegan says. “It is also, we should acknowledge, a document of defeat.”

To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, n+1 has unpaywalled its twenty most-read pieces, including Andrea Long Chu’s “On Liking Women,” Tobi Haslett’s “Magic Actions,” David Klion’s “Have We Learned Nothing?,” and “A Dangerous Conflation,” the open letter from Jewish writers published this past November. 

Playwright, activist, and professor Sarah Schulman has announced that her next book will be published in 2025 by Thesis Books, a new imprint of Penguin, and will explore “the fantasy and necessity of solidarity.” Moira Donegan reviewed Schulman’s most recent book, Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987–1993, for Bookforum’s Summer 2021 issue.