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Sally Rooney on Henry James and long sentences; Ada Calhoun on the paradox of choice

Ada Calhoun. Photo: Gilbert King

On The Maris Review, Maris Kreizman talks to Ada Calhoun about Generation X, making choices, and her new book, Why We Can’t Sleep. “I think the stigma is gone from things in a way that people can make a lot of different choices, like having kids or not having news. Living in the country or in the city. Getting married or getting divorced,” she said. “There is a liberation in that, but it is true that because everything is possible the pressure does increase on each individual woman to make the right choice for them. How do you know?”

New Republic editor Chris Lehmann tells Mediate about the magazine’s upcoming print and web redesign.

Sally Rooney talks to the New York Times “By the Book” column about guilty pleasures, Henry James, and long sentences. “I like to think my attention span has improved a little bit, so I can read longer novels now, and also novels with longer sentences. I used to find lengthy paragraphs without line breaks difficult and boring, and now I enjoy them,” she said. “Come to think of it, I found Henry James almost unreadable five or six years ago, and now I love him! Who knows what I might get into next?”

At The Baffler, Rachel Connolly reflects on the the trend of late capitalism essays about brands and lifestyle products. “Every brand and company and product is, of course, an instrument of capitalism. It isn’t sharp or perceptive to point this out; it’s stating the obvious,” she writes. “These essays do a lot of work, but that work is less about identifying an under-reported phenomenon, or illuminating a new way of thinking about life under capitalism, and more about absolving readers of their participation, however active or enthusiastic, in it.”

For Columbia Journalism Review, Asahi Shimbun reporter Eddy Martinez writes about taking a job as a placeholder for journalist Ken Auletta in the line for Harvey Weinstein’s trial and responds to critics who felt the work was exploitative. “In an industry that emphasizes the importance of journalism as a craft and as a calling—and is simultaneously hemorrhaging jobs—it felt refreshing to do something that was clearly and simply transactional. Many journalists work side gigs to make rent. What was so different about this?” Martinez explains. “He paid according to our agreement, and on time. That’s all that mattered to me.”