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The 2022 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalists; Hannah Black on coupledom and marriage therapy

Tiya Miles. Photo: © Kimberly P. Mitchell - USA TODAY NETWORK/Penguin Random House

Yale has announced the finalists of this year’s Frederick Douglass Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding books “on slavery, resistance, and/or abolition.” The finalists are Tiya Miles’s All That She Carried, Jennifer L. Morgan’s Reckoning with Slavery: Gender, Kinship, and Capitalism in the Early Black Atlantic, and Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh’s The Souls of Womenfolk

For the New Republic, Scott Bradfield writes about Frank O’Hara’s circle and the joyous nonchalance of his poetry, and considers Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet. Calhoun’s new book is part biography and part memoir, and is about O’Hara and Calhoun’s father, the art critic Peter Schjeldahl, who once tried to write a biography of O’Hara himself. Bradfield concludes that “it is the glorious messiness of O’Hara’s life (and of Ada Calhoun’s own) that this little book captures elegantly and transparently without ever aspiring to capture something as fragile and pointless as ‘literary greatness.’”

In October, The Nation will host a fundraiser with Calvin Trillin and Amy Wilentz to honor the journalist, editor, and publisher Victor Navasky for his ninetieth birthday. Proceeds will support the magazine’s internship program, which Navasky founded. 

Hannah Black considers coupledom, the Showtime series Couples Therapy, and the fascist origins of marriage therapy. “Like couples therapy,” Black notes, “Couples Therapy emphatically reinforces the truism that love is work—in an inversion of the usual order of therapeutic process, the show’s starring couples are paid for their time.” The piece will appear in the forthcoming summer issue of Jewish Currents

On Monday Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro convened a meeting with executives from Penguin Random House to discuss the exclusion of Latinos in the book world. Castro’s Twitter thread details the effects of this discrimination and raises questions about how the proposed Penguin Random House merger with Simon & Schuster would affect underrepresented authors and readers.  

n+1 magazine has announced the winners of its 2022 writers prizes: Tobi Haslett has won the Writers Fellowship and Caleb Crain has been awarded the Anthony Veasna So Fiction Prize.