• Amy Sohn. Photo: Craig LaCourt.
    July 08, 2021

    "Cat Person" discourse makes a comeback; Amy Sohn on "The Man Who Hated Women"

    At Slate, Alexis Nowicki writes about confirming the suspicion that Kristen Roupenian’s viral short story, “Cat Person,” was based on details from Nowicki’s life. The author had never met Roupenian but discovered that an older man she’d dated did and told Roupenian about the relationship. When Nowicki asked Roupenian to comment, Roupenian said that the man had told her a “handful of facts” about dating a younger woman that she then fictionalized, and apologized for not changing the identifiable details. Still, Nowicki feels unsettled: “What’s difficult about having your relationship rewritten

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  • Jessica Hopper
    July 07, 2021

    Tonight: Jessica Hopper in Conversation with Carvell Wallace

    At The Cut, Molly Fischer considers the factors that helped inspire a new literary genre: the email newsletter.

    The pandemic has been particularly hard on the careers of writers, who already had been facing increasing economic hardships before the events of 2020. Steve Borchert looks at how a twenty-first-century Federal Writers’ Project, inspired by the New Deal’s arts initiatives, would work: “Instead of hiring impoverished writers directly—as the Depression-era F.W.P. did—the new program would empower the Department of Labor to disburse $60 million in grants to an array of recipients, from

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  • Nikole Hannah-Jones. Photo: Alice Vergueiro/Abraji.
    July 06, 2021

    Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates join Howard University; a newly discovered Proust story

    Howard University has announced that Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates will be joining the faculty. Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist behind "The 1619 Project," will hold inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. She has declined tenure at the University of North Carolina after a controversy in which she was initially denied by the board of trustees. In a statement about her decision, Hannah-Jones professed her love for the university as a whole but said, “I cannot imagine working at and advancing a school named for a man who lobbied against me, who used his wealth

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  • Dana Spiotta. Photo: Jessica Marx.
    July 02, 2021

    Dana Spiotta on her new novel; Mahogany L. Browne named Lincoln Center’s poet in residence

    On Wednesday, July 6th, Dana Spiotta will talk about her new novel, Wayward, with George Saunders at the Center for Fiction. The event is free and will be held on Zoom.

    At the New Yorker, Sam Lipsyte discusses his latest story for the magazine, which is about a man crafting an apology to co-workers. Lipsyte has long been drawn to workplaces in his fiction. As he explains, “Since so many readers know what it’s like to have a job, you can make more daring swerves and leaps with the details and emotional patterns and modes of speech.”

    Mahogany L. Browne has been named Lincoln Center’s first poet

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  • Joy Williams. Photo: Anne Dalton 
    July 01, 2021

    Joy Williams has won the Library of Congress Prize; Wallace Shawn warns against forgetting Trump

    Joy Williams has won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, a lifetime achievement award. Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, said of Williams: “Her work reveals the strange and unsettling grace just beneath the surface of our lives.” Williams’s first novel in more than twenty years, Harrow, will be published this fall.

    Sarah Schulman’s Let The Record Show, a monumental political history of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, is being adapted as a television series by director Andrew Haigh. Schulman told Deadline, “After covering AIDS since the early 1980s I am thrilled to have

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  • Danielle Dutton. Photo: Washington University in St. Louis
    June 30, 2021

    Dorothy, A Publishing Project to enter distribution partnership with New York Review Books; Michael Robbins on nature and poetry

    Dorothy, A Publishing Project, the independent press run by Danielle Dutton and Martin Riker, is entering into a sales and distribution partnership with New York Review Books. Starting in February 2022, Dorothy books will be listed in the New York Review Books catalog. Due to the new arrangement, Dorothy’s two 2021 titles—Caren Beilin’s Revenge of the Scapegoat and Christina Rivera Garza’s New & Selected Stories—will now be published in April, rather than October. Two more titles will be released in Fall 2022, after which point Dorothy will continue to bring out two books each October.


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  • Lauren Berlant. Photo: Robert Kozloff.
    June 29, 2021

    Remembering Lauren Berlant; Daphne Merkin on Philip Roth

    Theorist and author Lauren Berlant has died at age sixty-three. Berlant was a pioneering scholar in heteronormativity, queer theory, and affect theory, whose 2011 book, Cruel Optimism, was a visionary and influential study of how capitalism and neoliberalism shape human desire. Berlant defined “cruel optimism” as “a double-bind in which your attachment to an object sustains you in life at the same time as that object is actually a threat to your flourishing.” They were the author or coauthor of several more books, including The Female Complaint, Desire/Love, and 2019’s The Hundreds, among other

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  • Rachel Cusk. Photo: Sean Dellorco
    June 28, 2021

    Rachel Cusk discusses her new novel

    The Man Who Lived Underground, the long-unpublished novel by Richard Wright that was recently issued by the Library of America, is being adapted for the screen.

    “Like the Soviet state dangling the promise of a radiant future in front of its tired citizens, Musk’s success is sustained by predictions of a technological sublime that’s only ever another decade away.” Phil Jones on Elon Musk at the LRB Blog.

    At the Creative Independent, the legendary Gordon Lish talks about the best qualities of an editor (“Listen hardest”), Raymond Carver, and whether “there is anything more important than

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  • Clint Smith. Photo: Carletta Girma
    June 25, 2021

    The visual artists inspired by Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”; Clint Smith on the road trip behind his new book

    For T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Nicole Rudick considers the numerous visual artists who have drawn inspiration from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. “Invisibility may seem antithetical to visual art,” Rudick writes. “How can an artist render what isn’t there? But plenty of artists have embraced this conceptual challenge.” Gordon Parks, who worked with Ellison in 1952 to interpret the then-new novel into an image series for Life magazine, was the first in this line of artists, which includes Ming Smith, Kerry James Marshall, Hank Willis Thomas, Jack Whitten, Cladia Rawles, and others.

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  • Charles Johnson. Photo:  Lynette Huffman Johnson.
    June 24, 2021

    BuzzFeed plans to go public; Charles Johnson on the art of comics

    BuzzFeed news is merging with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners so that it can be traded publicly. The internet media company is aiming for a valuation of $1.5 billion and plans to acquire other digital publications, beginning with Complex Network.

    At LitHub, an excerpt from a new comics collection, It’s Life as I See It: Black Cartoonists in Chicago 1940–1980. In one of the book’s introductory essays, Charles Johnson writes about his early days as an artist and why he still loves comics: “As a writer, I think visually, and no creative pleasure is greater for me than the physical (as well as mental)

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  • Brandon Taylor. Photo: Bill Adams
    June 23, 2021

    Brandon Taylor in conversation with Omari Weekes; Half-price admission to the Asian American Writers’ Workshop conference

    The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is holding a flash sale for tickets to their Page Turner Publishing Conference. Today only, admission is half-price. The conference will be held this Saturday, opening with a keynote address by Matthew Salesses, and will feature panels with Hua Hsu, Jennifer L. Wilson, E. Tammy Kim, Anuk Arudpragasam, Jay Caspian Kang, and others on cultural criticism, the “new editorial vanguard,” the worlds of academic and trade publishing, and more.

    Parul Sehgal considers several recent books that call to expand and complicate notions of consent, including, among others,

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  • Elias Rodriques. Photo: Jourdan Christopher
    June 22, 2021

    Read an excerpt from Elias Rodriques’s new novel; “Succession” meets “Cat Person” in a planned adaptation of the “New Yorker” story

    At n+1, you can read an excerpt from Elias Rodriques’s debut novel, All the Water I’ve Seen Is Running, which is out today from W. W. Norton. On Thursday evening, Rodriques will discuss his novel with author and Pennsylvania State Senator Nikil Saval in a virtual event at the Free Library of Philadelphia. For more on the novel, see this Times review.

    Succession actor Nicholas Braun has been cast in the film adaptation of Kristen Roupenian’s 2017 viral short-story, “Cat Person.” Braun will play the older man, Robert, who sleeps with Margot, a twenty-year-old character who will be played by

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