Paper Trail

Remembering author and organizer Jane McAlevey; Alice Munro’s daughter reveals childhood abuse

Andrea Robin Skinner, daughter of the late Canadian writer Alice Munro, has published an account in the Toronto Star revealing the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her stepfather, Munro’s late husband Gerald Fremlin. Skinner writes about telling Munro about the abuse, which occurred in 1976, years later only to be faced with silence and denial. Skinner reported the abuse to police in 2005, after reading an interview in which Munro spoke “in very loving terms” about Fremlin and about the “close relationship” she had to all three of her grown daughters. “I never wanted to see another interview, biography or event that didn’t wrestle with the reality of what had happened to me,” Skinner writes, “and with the fact that my mother, confronted with the truth of what had happened, chose to stay with, and protect, my abuser.”

Author and labor organizer Jane McAlevey died over the weekend at the age of fifty-nine. “It is not an exaggeration to say that Jane McAlevey did more to bring practical labor organizing strategy into the public conversation than anyone in my lifetime,” writes Sarah Jaffe in a remembrance for The Baffler. McAlevey’s approach to organizing, Jaffe reminds us, was highly participatory, democratic, and transformative. “The decline of deep organizing, she argued, is the real cause of the decline of progressive, or left, power. By organizing, once again, she meant building ‘a continually expanding base of ordinary people, a mess of people never previously involved, who don’t consider themselves activists at all.’”

For the London Review of Books, Christian Lorentzen considers three recent books—Franklin Foer’s The Last Politician, Chris Whipple’s The Fight of His Life, and Alexander Ward’s The Internationalists—about Joe Biden’s presidency. “It’s difficult to divine from the histories of the Biden administration written so far just how active a role the president has played in governing the country.”   

Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim, and Nausicaa Renner are leaving The Intercept to start a new investigative news organization called Drop Site

This Thursday at the PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, writers Carrie Sun, Daniel Lefferts, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, John Ganz, and Zeke Faux will join Andrew Lipstein to celebrate the paperback launch of his novel The Vegan with a night of “finance-themed readings.”