paper trail

The 2023 National Book Awards finalists; an oral history of the film Shattered Glass

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Photo © Limitless Imprint Entertainment

The National Book Awards longlist has been announced. Among the finalists are Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah for Chain-Gang All-Stars, Justin Torres for Blackouts, Christina Sharpe for Ordinary Notes, and Bora Chung for Cursed Bunny

At Washingtonian magazine, Andrew Beaujon has put together an oral history of the events behind the film Shattered Glass (2003), which tells the true story of disgraced New Republic reporter Stephen Glass. “What everyone says about him is he was this brilliant writer who couldn’t report any facts,” said New York columnist Jonathan Chait, who was in the same intern class at the New Republic as Glass. “The truth is he actually was not a good writer at all.”

The Washington Post welcomes a cohort of new contributors to its revitalized books section, including frequent Bookforum contributors Jane Hu, Christine Smallwood, and Justin Taylor. 

In the new issue of Still Alive! magazine, Robert Rubsam looks at the Washington DC independent record label Dischord Records. Founded by Minor Threat singer Ian MacKaye in 1981, the label allowed MacKaye’s band, Fugazi, to put out uncompromising music even as they turned down major labels’ lucrative offers: “Their 90s records are authentically odd, abrasive, noisy music owing as much to reggae and glam as punk or hardcore, and packed full of songs about abortion, mass incarceration, and gun violence. And they got to do it all because they called the shots.” 

For Africa Is a Country, Vincent Bevins shares a reading list of books that shaped his understanding of protests across the globe during the years 2010 to 2020. His new book If We Burn focuses on this decade to investigate the question, “How is it that so many uprisings apparently led to the opposite of what they asked for?” Bevins recommends works by Camila Rocha, Adam Hanieh, Au-Loong Yu, and many other thinkers.