paper trail

Zinzi Clemmons on belonging; Jeffrey Lord fired by CNN

Zinzi Clemmons. Photo: Nina Subin

At the New York Times Magazine, Ruth Franklin profiles novelist Claire Messud. Although Messud’s works have been well-received by critics, they have not always been commercial successes. But Messud says that she has no interest in trying to make her work more attractive to a wider readership. ‘‘There are bell bottoms and miniskirts, and there are pencil skirts and stiletto heels,’’ she said. ‘‘You can write something that’s a perfect work of art, but if it’s a pencil skirt that falls in a miniskirt moment, God help you. You just have to make your pencil skirt and be you.’’

Zinzi Clemmons talks to The Guardian about grief, belonging, and her new book, What We Lose. Growing up outside Philadelphia and spending summers in South Africa, Clemmons says that she didn’t feel like she fully belonged anywhere. “I never felt like I had a tribe that I could belong to without some qualification—’you are this, but,’” she said. Clemmons credits the experience with making her into the writer that she is today. “I think all writers are outsiders, for some reason,” she said. “They’re the people who kind of stand off to one side, they’re not participating, they’re observing.”

Politico’s Hadas Gold has been hired by CNN. Gold will report on European politics, media, and business.

CNN has fired Jeffrey Lord after the pro-Trump commentator tweeted “Sieg Heil!” at Media Matters for America president Angelo Carusone. Although Lord claimed he was “mocking Nazis and Fascists,” CNN said that “Nazi salutes are indefensible. Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on behalf of Milo Yiannopoulos. The suit claims that Yiannopolous’s First Amendment rights were violated when the DC transit authority removed advertisements for his recent book. ACLU attorney Lee Rowland said that the case “is a beautiful illustration of the indivisibility of the 1st Amendment,” and that “it is important to defend speech we hate, because that means the 1st Amendment tide rises for all of us.” Yiannopolous told the Los Angeles Times that “he was ‘glad that the ACLU has decided to tackle a real civil rights issue’ after backing ‘plenty of bad causes in the past.’”