• John Keene. Photo: Nina Subin
    May 02, 2022

    Ken Chen reviews “Punks,” John Keene’s new poetry collection; Mike McGonigal has sold a book on gospel

    At Politico, Max Tani points out that Julie Pace and Darlene Superville’s Jill: A Biography of the First Lady, released by Little, Brown in April, sold only about two hundred and fifty copies in its first week. Pace and Superville are White House correspondents, and according to Tani, their book’s sluggish sales is just one example of how covering the White House in the age of Biden has “become a bore.” 

    Another run of Matthew Gasda’s play Dimes Square, the cast of which includes book critic Christian Lorentzen, has been scheduled for late May. Tickets are available here.

    At The Nation,

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  • Elizabeth McCracken. Photo: ​​Edward Carey
    April 29, 2022

    Andy Serkis to direct film adaptation of Elizabeth McCracken’s 1996 novel “The Giant’s House”; Independent Bookstore Day celebrations

    At Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, Robert Greene II recommends a handful of books coming out this spring and summer, including Irvin J. Hunt’s Dreaming the Present, Marcy J. Dinus’s The Textual Effects of David Walker’s “Appeal”, and Jeremy Schipper’s Denmark Vesey’s Bible

    Deadline reports that Andy Serkis will direct Nick Hornby’s film adaptation of Elizabeth McCracken’s 1996 novel The Giant’s House.  

    For the New Republic, Osita Nwanevu writes about how films about the political system and D.C. politics—like Michael Ritchie’s The Candidate

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  • Leslie Jamison
    April 28, 2022

    Leslie Jamison on daydreams; Maxine Hong Kingston in conversation

    In Astra magazine, Leslie Jamison writes about daydreams: “I’ve spent my whole life daydreaming. It embarrasses me to think of tallying the hours. It feels like ingratitude. It feels like infidelity. It’s often been about infidelity.” It’s the publication’s first issue, with stories by Catherine Lacey, Fernanda Melchor, Ottessa Moshfegh, and more. 

    At n+1, Judith Levine reports from a labor rally at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island: “The brisk air vibrated with militant rank-and-file socialist unionism.” 

    For “24 Twitter Moments We Treasure: Sure, it’s hell. But what about the magic?” in

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  • Ruth Ozeki 
    April 27, 2022

    The 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist; Gary Indiana and Christian Lorentzen in conversation

    The six shortlisted novels for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction are Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle, Meg Mason’s Sorrow and Bliss, Ruth Ozeki’s The Book of Form and Emptiness, Lisa Allen-Agostini’s The Bread the Devil Knead, Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees, and Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence

    Poets & Writers announced yesterday that Sonia Sanchez—author of Homegirls and Handgrenades, I’ve Been a Woman, and many other collections—is the 2022 Jackson Poetry Prize recipient. Sanchez was chosen by the poet-judges Mary Jo Bang, Marilyn Chin, and Claudia Rankine, who wrote in their

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  • Jedediah Britton-Purdy
    April 26, 2022

    Elon Musk buys Twitter; Jedediah Britton-Purdy on Alexis de Tocqueville

    Yesterday, Twitter accepted a bid worth about $44 billion from Elon Musk to buy Twitter. Musk intends to take the company private and plans to institute changes including loosening rules around speech on the platform, making the algorithm open source, and “authenticat[ing] all humans.” In GQ, Chris Stokel-Walker looks at what these changes could mean. At Slate, Alex Kirshner points out, “I do not think Musk thought this through. He only has stressful, annoying, and expensive paths ahead of him.”

    The winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. You can watch the ceremony

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  • Ada Calhoun. Photo: Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet
    April 25, 2022

    Ada Calhoun’s new book mixes reflections on Frank O’Hara and her father

    At The Nation, Kyle Paoletta considers the history of the New York Times Book Review and ponders its future. Now that editor Pamela Paul has moved to the paper’s op-ed desk, questions linger about what direction the Book Review will take: “Will the Times recommit to recommendations and reviews that double as ready-made blurbs in an effort to win over an audience that might not actually be interested in reading about books?” Paoletta asks. “Or will it publish the kind of criticism that appeals to readers who don’t require an approaching book club deadline to put down their phone?” 

    At Publishers

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  • Mieko Kawakami
    April 22, 2022

    Torrey Peters, Mieko Kawakami, and three other women share their writing spaces; Gal Beckerman discusses how radical ideas emerge

    At the Financial Times, Grace Cook talks with Torrey Peters, Mieko Kawakami, Megan Nolan, Hafsa Zayyan, and Brenda Navarro about the spaces where they write. Navarro can write anywhere as long as she has solitude and headphones, and told Cook, “Writer’s block is a thing for men with time.” 

    For the New Yorker, Naaman Zhou writes about a Twitter account that documents second mentions, or elegant variations, in writing. For example, an article in The Guardian once described a fox who interrupted a soccer game by running onto the field as “the four-legged interloper.” Zhou notes that “the Greeks

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  • Eileen Myles. Photo: Shae Detar
    April 21, 2022

    Eileen Myles, Don Mee Choi, Brontez Purnell, and Kevin Young on their artistic process; Kyle Paoletta on the future of the New York Times Book Review

    In the Culture issue of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Nancy Coleman, Kate Guadagnino, Thessaly La Force, M. H. Miller, Mallika Rao, and others interview artists and writers about their process. Among the many interviewees are Don Mee Choi, Brontez Purnell, Kevin Young, Eileen Myles, and Ayana Mathis. 

    For The Nation, Kyle Paoletta looks at the past and future of the New York Times Book Review, as it looks for a new editor following the departure of Pamela Paul, who has become an opinion columnist. Paoletta writes, “With no successor yet announced, the question of which path the Book

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  • Garth Greenwell. Photo: Macmillan
    April 20, 2022

    Kay Gabriel on Eric Adams’s politics of criminalization; Garth Greenwell will read tonight from his novel in progress

    In BOMB magazine, a conversation between Madelaine Lucas and Jessica Au, whose new novel, Cold Enough for Snow, has won the Novel Prize. Au tells Lucas, “I often think that to really answer a serious question, I would have to write a novel to explain why I think the way I think, or what’s formed me. . . . You would need so much context and backstory to fully have another consciousness recognize your own.”

    In “Eric Adams’s Moral Panics,” Kay Gabriel writes for Jewish Currents about the New York City mayor’s approach to crime and the left’s response. Gabriel argues that “criminalization is a

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  • Elif Batuman. Photo: Valentyn Kuzan.
    April 19, 2022

    Jennifer Wilson on Elif Batuman’s new novel; Joe Kahn has been named the new executive editor of the New York Times

    Jennifer Wilson reviews Elif Batuman’s second novel, Either/Or, for The Atlantic. A sequel to The Idiot, Either/Or follows Selin, now a literature major at Harvard, in her pursuit of the aesthetic life. While collecting experiences she plans to use as material for a novel, Selin ponders the “ethics of being an autobiographical-writer-in-the-making.” Wilson notes that “the simplicity of the experience-for-art’s-sake mantra is itself a clue that the cerebral Selin will soon grow suspicious of it.” 

    On April 13, Bennington College hosted an in-person event titled “How to Be an Art Monster.”

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  • Kathryn Schulz. Photo:  Michael Polito. 
    April 18, 2022

    A profile of Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin; Kathryn Schulz on her new memoir

    At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter profiles the iconoclastic, dystopian Russian novelist Vladimir Sorokin, as American publishers plan to publish eight new translations of his books. “The attention comes as his portraits of Russia as a decaying former empire that’s sliding backward under a militaristic, violent and repressive regime have come to seem tragically prescient,” Alter writes. “As Russia carries out its brutal invasion of Ukraine, Sorokin sees the conflict not just as a military onslaught, but as a semantic war being waged through propaganda and lies—an assault on truth that

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  • Elisa Gabbert. Photo: Adrianne Mathiowetz
    April 15, 2022

    Elisa Gabbert on poetry; The NYPL 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award finalists have been announced

    The New York Public Library has announced the finalists for the 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award.

    The New York Times Book Review has dedicated an issue to poetry for National Poetry Month: Elisa Gabbert writes about the difficulty of defining exactly what makes a poem, Stephanie Burt reviews Linda Gregerson, Daisy Fried revisits the work of Nelly Sachs, and more. 

    The deadline for the FSG Writer’s Fellowship has been extended until April 22. The program offers support to writers from underrepresented communities including mentorship and ta $15,000 award. The judges this year are Sheila Heti,

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