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Zadie Smith considers Toni Morrison’s only short story; the 2022 PEN America Literary Awards finalists

Hanif Abdurraqib. Photo: Megan Leigh Barnard

PEN America has announced the finalists for its 2022 literary awards. Among the finalists are Percival Everett (The Trees), Joy Williams (Harrow), Elissa Washuta (White Magic), Torrey Peters (Detransition, Baby), and Hanif Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America). 

Tomorrow at 7pm Eastern time, n+1 will host Ari Brostoff for a discussion of their debut essay collection, Missing Time, with novelist Alexandra Kleeman and n+1 editors Dayna Tortorici and Mark Krotov. Brostoff’s collection includes essays on The X-Files, Philip Roth, Vivian Gornick, and more. You can read an excerpt from the book’s introduction here.

For the New Yorker, Zadie Smith considers Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif”—the only short story Morrison ever wrote: “It’s hard to overstate how unusual this is. Most writers work, at least partially, in the dark: subconsciously, stumblingly, progressing chaotically, sometimes taking shortcuts, often reaching dead ends. Morrison was never like that. Perhaps the weight of responsibility she felt herself to be under did not allow for it.”

Rain Taxi’s first event of the new year is a virtual discussion between two acclaimed South Korean poets, Kim Ki-taek and Yi Won, and their translators. Their conversation will be moderated by poet Lee Herrick tonight at 6:30pm Eastern. 

The 2022 United States Artists Fellows in writing are Chen Chen, Kiese Laymon, Dawn Lundy Martin, Leroy F. Moore, Jr., Emmy Pérez, and Grace Talusan. 

A recent discussion on book reviewing between critics Jo Livingstone, Daniel Mendhelson, Parul Sehgal, and Katy Waldman hosted by the National Book Critics Circle is now available to rewatch