• Roxane Gay
    July 22, 2019

    Roxane Gay Has a New Book Club

    Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist and other books, has a new book club, which is airing on Vice News. “We’re going to drink some alcohol, we’re going to talk about books, and we’re going to get a little petty.” The first book she discusses—with Mira Jacob, Mike Eagle, and Debbie Millman—is Colson Whitehead’s Nickel Boys.

    At Public Books, Dan Sinykin has published an essay about how capitalism has shaped American literature. “Fifty years ago,” he begins, “almost every publisher in the United States was independent.” Not so anymore. We are well into the “conglomerate era,” he says, and with

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  • Laura Lippman
    July 19, 2019

    Laura Lippman signs five-book deal with William Morrow; Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes awarded

    At the New York Times, Jennifer Miller wonders if we’ve “hit peak podcast.” Currently, there are more than 700,000 podcasts available for listening, and up to 3,000 new ones started each month. “We’re not necessarily sick of listening to interesting programs” she writes, “but we’re definitely tired of hearing from every friend, relative and co-worker who thinks they’re just an iPhone recording away from creating the next ‘Serial.’”

    Paul Holdengraber talks to John Waters about summer reading, working at Mary Oliver’s bookstore, and his new memoir, Mr. Know-It-All.

    The 2019 Whiting Literary

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  • Ann Patchett
    July 18, 2019

    92nd Street Y readings announced; Turmoil at First Look Media

    The line-up for the 92nd Street Y’s 2019-20 season has been announced. The schedule includes readings from André Aciman, Jeanette Winterson, Ann Patchett, and more.

    Literary Hub offers a literary Emmys guide.

    New York magazine’s Sarah Jones reports on the tensions at First Look Media. In response to recent layoffs and the shuttering of both Topic magazine and The Nib, as well as rumors that “the company had acquired, or planned to acquire, a smutty Netflix clone” owned by Elon Musk’s sister, employees have written a letter to management expressing “deep concern” that the company “might branch

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  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
    July 17, 2019

    Ebony and Jet photo archives go to auction; Oyinkan Braithwaite on her novel

    The photo archive of Ebony and Jet are being auctioned by the magazines’ former publishing company, USA Today reports. “It’s something worth saving,” said University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni, who hopes the buyer will donate the collection to a museum or other institution. “This is not something that one individual ought to have or keep for themselves. . . . This is a history that should be open for everybody.”

    Variety reports that Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes From a Young Black Chef is being adapted into a film. Sorry to Bother You’s Lakeith Stanfield has signed on to star.

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  • Colson Whitehead. Photo: Chris Close
    July 16, 2019

    Colson Whitehead on space exploration; Director Oliver Stone writing memoir

    Columbia Journalism Review’s Jon Allsop wonders why many mainstream media outlets won’t call Trump’s racist remarks about a group of women senators exactly what they are. “Calling a president’s words ‘racist’ or ‘a lie’ can legitimately be thorny. Should we throw the words around? Probably not. But we should use them when they accurately reflect the truth,” he writes. “When we contort ourselves to dance around that fact, the truth is injured.” Despite recently creating a policy about “controversial content” tweeted by public figures, Twitter has decided that Trump’s recent tweets do not merit

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  • Dale Peck
    July 15, 2019

    The New Republic Retracts Buttigieg Story

    Self-styled “hatchet man” Dale Peck wrote a scathing and personal takedown of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential candidacy at the New Republic on Friday. After an outcry from readers, the story was retracted by TNR’s editors, who also apologized. Mayor Pete, for his part, seemed unfazed: “I appreciated that [the] article was taken down. I don't think it really reflects the New Republic that I know. . . . The most disturbing news story I saw yesterday was the Vice President's visit to those border facilities."

    Publishers Weekly has posted a list of this fall season’s most anticipated books by debut

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  • Vicky Ward
    July 12, 2019

    A social media summit at the White House; Support for Vicky Ward

    Yahoo News reports from the president’s social media summit at the White House yesterday. The gathering of right-wing media pundits and conservative activists was treated to a nearly hour-long speech during which the commander-in-chief railed against the mainstream media and large social-media companies and complained that he should have more followers on Twitter.

    Entertainment Weekly lists the best recent food books, including Ruth Reichl’s Save Me the Plums, Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes From a Young Black Chef, and Anthony Bourdain Remembered.

    At Literary Hub, Marcy Dermansky explains how the

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  • Michael Eric Dyson
    July 11, 2019

    Michael Eric Dyson writing new book on Jay-Z; Philip Roth's estate goes to auction

    Michael Eric Dyson is working on a new book about Jay-Z that “wrestles with the biggest theme of his career, hustling, and what it looks like when it shows up illegally in the underground and how it looks when it’s part of legitimate society.” Jay-Z: Made in America will be published by St. Martin’s Press next November.

    Director Brian De Palma is writing his first novel. Are Snakes Necessary? is “‘a blistering political satire’ that doubles as a female revenge thriller,” according to Entertainment Weekly. The book is being cowritten by Susan Lehman and will be published next year by Hard Case

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  • Michael Seidenberg. Photo: Elizabeth Crawford.
    July 10, 2019

    Famed NYC bookseller Michael Seidenberg has died; Mary Gaitskill on #MeToo fiction

    After Jeffrey Epstein was arrested for the alleged sex trafficking of minors on Saturday, journalist Vicky Ward claimed that her 2003 profile of Epstein for Vanity Fair had been edited to remove credible allegations of sexual misconduct. Ward says that then-editor Graydon Carter cut the testimony of two women and a corroborating witness. Ward tweeted on Monday, “I have thought often about the fact that if my piece had been published in full—with the names and stories of these women—the FBI may have come after Epstein sooner and perhaps some of his victims would have been saved.” Carter emailed

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  • Helen Phillips. Photo: Andy Vernon-Jones.
    July 09, 2019

    The "Chicago Defender" goes online-only; A profile of Helen Phillips

    The Chicago Defender, the legendary African American newspaper, will cease its print publication after tomorrow’s edition. The paper will become online only, a move that Hiram E. Jackson, the CEO of the Defender’s parent company, said will “make us more nimble.” Ethan Michaeli, the author of The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America (2016), gave a sense of the paper’s monumental importance, telling the Chicago Sun Times, “It was an essential force in American history for the whole of the 20th century.”

    At Vulture, Hillary Kelly profiles Helen Phillips, author of The Need

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  • Dani Shapiro
    July 08, 2019

    Poet Marie Ponsot Dies; Dani Shapiro's Memoir "Inheritance" Is Being Made into a Film

    In a rumored six-figure deal, Scribner has bought two books by deputy op-ed editor Clay Risen: Red Scare, an analysis of hysteria over Communism in the US, and The Whiskey Barons, which is, according to the publisher, about “the epic clash of personalities in the Gilded Age between two business titans who battled for control of the whiskey industry.”

    Dani Shapiro’s memoir Inheritance—about the crisis the author experienced after her assumptions about her family were destroyed by a DNA test—is being turned into a movie by Killer Films studio.

    Art historian, critic, editor, and curator Douglas

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  • John Edgar Wideman
    July 05, 2019

    Publishers Closely Watch Tariffs on Good from China; A New Chapter to John Edgar Wideman's "Brothers and Keepers"

    Robert Wideman, the subject of John Edgar Wideman’s 1984 memoir Brothers and Keepers, has been serving a sentence of life without parole, but now that Governor Tom Wolf has commuted his sentence, he will soon be free. Robert was convicted of second-degree murder for being an accomplice in a 1975 robbery that resulted in the shooting and death of a car salesman named Nichola Morena. Brothers and Keepers explored the different paths that the author and his sibling had taken: “However numerous and comforting the similarities, we were different," the author wrote. "The world had seized on the

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