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The 2022 Booker Prize shortlist; Ryan Ruby on Alexander Kluge’s “information epic”

NoViolet Bulawayo. © NyeLynTho

The 2022 shortlist for the Booker Prize has been announced. Among the nominees are Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William!, Shehan Karunatilaka’s The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, Percival Everett’s The Trees, NoViolet Bulawayo’s Glory, Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, and Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker

Jay Caspian Kang, author of The Loneliest Americans, is joining the New Yorker as a staff column writer. Most recently, Kang contributed to the opinion section of the New York Times in a twice-weekly newsletter. 

Real Life, an online magazine about living with technology founded in 2016, has lost funding and is ceasing publication. The editors intend to keep an archive of the site available. 

For the New Statesman, Ryan Ruby writes about German author Alexander Kluge’s body of work as an “information epic” and considers the history of the novel, a form that is more capacious than many Anglophone readers might think. “‘What fascinates’ Kluge about novels is ‘that one continues to write them,’” Ruby writes, “despite repeated declarations of the form’s demise in the face of adverse social, economic and political conditions, including a media landscape that seems to have made them redundant and superfluous.” Kluge, a master of literary montage, has much to teach today’s writers, whom Ruby suggests might do well to adopt and modify aspects of the author’s approach. 

Six top editors at National Geographic magazine have been laid off. As Paul Farhi notes in the Washington Post, “high-level cuts are unusual for any established magazine, and they are unprecedented for National Geographic, which has enjoyed stable leadership since its founding” in 1888. 

The Nation has announced set standards for freelancers who work with the magazine in a unilateral announcement organized with the Freelance Solidarity Project. The document outlines expectations about timely payment and communication, kill fees, and pay minimums.