paper trail

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò on his new book “Elite Capture”; Hazel V. Carby on two recent works about white supremacy

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò. Photo: Jared Rodriguez.

For the London Review of Books, Hazel V. Carby compares Nikole Hannah-Jones’s The 1619 Project to a new HBO series directed by Raoul Peck, Exterminate All the Brutes, and reflects on the limited usefulness of the phrase “the afterlife of slavery” and the term “antiblackness” when used without historical specificity. Carby writes that The 1619 Project’s aim “places it firmly within the conventional narrative of American exceptionalism,” while Peck’s series “refuses to conform to narrative linearity, rejecting the idea that the current resurgence of white supremacist and state violence can be traced back to a single origin.”

At The Nation, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò talks about his new book, Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else). Táíwò asks, “Why is it that this handful of people who are in, say, the DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] industry have this much outsize influence on how whole swaths of the world’s population talk about and digest identity issues?”

Maya Binyam profiles Akwaeke Emezi for Vulture. On May 24th, Emezi will publish their first romance novel, You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty.  

The New York Times’s Molly Young reviews Nell Zink’s latest novel, Avalon. Young writes that the book’s plot echoes the way the media has covered Zink’s own rise to prominence: “The novel is about a girl with a weird job in a weird place whose writing talent is overlooked because of her circumstances, but who will eventually (probably) triumph.”  

For the New Statesman, William Davies reviews two new books about the World Wide Web, Justin E. H. Smith’s The Internet Is Not What You Think It Is and Ben Tarnoff’s Internet for the People. Davies notes that it’s hard to talk about the internet in part because it’s difficult to define,  “Of course it involves devices, cables and codes, which perform particular functions and often have identifiable proprietors. But this fails to capture its entanglement in our culture, politics and even inner thoughts.”