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Why the NYRB Ran the Ghomeshi Essay; the National Book Awards Fiction Longlist

Sigrid Nunez

The National Book Foundation has announced the longlist for the 2018 awards in fiction, which includes Lauren Groff’s Florida, Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers, Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend, Tommy Orange’s There There, and others.

At Slate, Isaac Chotiner interviews New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma about why he chose to run an essay by Jian Ghomeshi, who has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault. Ghomeshi says that he is trying to “inject nuance” into his story. Laura Miller concludes that it’s a “terrible personal essay”: “The piece is one long and very weird train wreck.” Jezebel juxtaposes Ghomeshi’s essay with former NPR host John Hockenberry’s Harper’s piece “Exile,” in which the author claims he is “no rapist or sex offender,” but rather the victim of a culture that “chooses ... not to distinguish between the charge and act of rape and some improper, failed, and awkward attempts at courtship.” Sarah Weinman, author of a new book on true crime and Nabokov, says: “Quit using Lolita to absolve your guilt, John Hockenberry.”

Bob Woodward, the author of Fear, talks about how to find the “best obtainable truth” about Trump. “There has been a lot of reporting on the lies, the things that are untrue. But the question is, what are the consequences of those things that are untrue. How does Trump make decisions? As you go through the book—it is all immense new amounts of detail about North Korea, about Afghanistan, about the Middle East, taxes, immigration, trade issues … that is what affects people.”

The New York Public Library is hoping that social media can inspire new interest in classic works of fiction, releasing books such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland along with slideshows and videos.

At Medium, Sex Object author Jessica Valenti writes that “kids don’t hurt women’s careers”—father’s do. “If fathers did the same kind of work at home that mothers have always done, women’s careers could flourish in ways we haven’t yet imagined. But to get there, we need to stop framing mothers’ workplace woes as an issue of “balance,” and start talking about how men’s domestic negligence makes it so hard for us to succeed.”

Laura Miller discusses the craft of book criticism.