paper trail

Melissa Gira Grant joins the New Republic; Cecelia Watson on emotions and semicolons

Melissa Gira Grant. Photo: Noah Kalina

“Press coverage of Delia Owens since the runaway success of Where the Crawdads Sing has focused on her tomboy girlhood, her passion for helping African wildlife, and the pristine isolation of her Idaho home, portraying her as nearly as unspoiled as her heroine. But Owens’ past is far more dark and troubling than that,” writes Slate’s Laura Miller. “What most of Crawdads’ fans don’t know is that Delia and Mark Owens have been advised never to return to one of the African nations where they once lived and worked, Zambia, because they are wanted for questioning in a murder that took place there decades ago.”

The Guardian has selected 170 books for its Not the Booker longlist. The shortlist will be announced next week.

Melissa Gira Grant is joining the New Republic as a staff writer focusing on justice.

At Longreads, Tobias Carroll talks to Cecelia Watson about grammar, language, and her new book, Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark. “The people I would least expect had this emotional inner reaction to something like the semicolon,” she said. “People can remember instances from their past where a semicolon gave them some kind of problem. I feel like for me it was the turning point in going from, ‘Okay, I could just do the history of this little punctuation mark,’ to thinking about, ‘What is it that makes us so anxious and nervous about this punctuation mark and what are the broader issues at work?’”

Game Change author John Heilemann and John Battelle have launched The Recount, a politics website “featuring short videos that summarize what is happening in the news.” In an announcement about the new site, Battelle said that the pair "started developing it because we were hungry for something we couldn't find in the current media landscape: a place featuring political news and analysis that's easy to access and watch on the go; that's concise, intelligent, and entertaining; and that doesn't waste your time or bury you in b———t or bad faith.”