• Kwame Anthony Appiah. Photo: Wikipedia/David Shankbone
    June 21, 2021

    Tonight: Kwame Anthony Appiah talks with author Sarah Schulman

    At The Cut, Mia Mercado writes about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent three-part essay “It Is Obscene,” in which the Americanah author responds to accusations that she is transphobic. In the essay’s second part, Adichie describes a particular author’s “perverse self-absorption” and “utter lack of self-awareness.” As Mercado points out, this author is Nigerian novelist Akwaeke Emezi, who in 2020 called Adichie transphobic in a Twitter thread. Emezi has written in a statement posted on Instagram: “I won’t be reading [Adichie’s essay] because it wasn’t meant for me. It was designed to incite

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  • Jesse McCarthy. Photo: Nina Sparling
    June 17, 2021

    The New Yorker Union has reached an agreement with management, averting a strike; Tonight, see Jesse McCarthy in conversation with Lauren Michele Jackson

    After more than two years of negotiation, the New Yorker Union has secured a new agreement, averting a strike. According to the union’s Twitter account, the agreement includes provisions on compensation, job security, benefits, diversity and inclusion, and workplace safety. Bloomberg reports that New Yorker fact-checkers have won employee status rather than being hired as subcontractors. Earlier this week, Ben Smith reported on the New Yorker’s union drive for the New York Times, and offered a look inside meetings held by the magazine’s marquee writers, some of whom were hesitant to join

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  • Annette Gordon-Reed. Photo: W. W. Norton/Tony Rinaldo
    June 16, 2021

    Annette Gordon-Reed to give keynote lecture at the inaugural Juneteenth Freedom Summit; Lucie Elven on Eve Babitz

    Linda Amster, a research supervisor at the New York Times, put in long hours on the Pentagon Papers story, but did not receive credit. Now, in a new oral history and audio interview, she’s getting recognition—sort of. Though she’s been allowed to narrate her role, the paper will not amend the original piece, as Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha explains: “We’re setting the record straight with readers with the new reporting and podcast. It’s more effective than appending an update or correction on a decades old story.” Remembering the original snub, Amster tells an interviewer: “It was so

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  • Marlon James. Photo: Mark Seliger.
    June 15, 2021

    Marlon James on season two of “Marlon & Jake Read Dead People”; Matthew Karp on the political power of US history

    The Los Angeles Times talks with Marlon James about season two of the podcast Marlon & Jake Read Dead People, which James co-hosts with Riverhead editor Jake Morrissey. The show is a lively forum for discussions of books from the past—hence the title—and James and Morrissey are not afraid to mix it up, as James observes: “Our conversations are always very discursive. Jake would drop an allusion, and I would say, ‘That writer’s a jackass!’”

    Tomorrow is the Royal Society of Literature’s Dalloway Day 2021, a celebration of Virginia Woolf’s novel held every year on a Wednesday in mid-June. This

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  • Saidiya Hartman. Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
    June 14, 2021

    Saidiya Hartman and many others participate in Schomburg Center Literary Festival

    The 2021 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced. The New York Times’ Wesley Morris won for criticism, Louise Erdrich for the novel The Night Watchmen, Marcia Chatelain for the historical work Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, Les Payne and Tamara Payne for the biography The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, and Natalie Diaz for the poetry collection Postcolonial Love Poem.

    Scribner’s Nan Graham has purchased the memoir Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds by longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. According to the publisher, the book recounts the author’s “coming of age as an

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  • Elizabeth Schambelan. Photo: The Rona Jaffe Foundation
    June 11, 2021

    Journalists call for more accurate US coverage of Palestine; Elizabeth Schambelan on the Three Percenters

    Elizabeth Schambelan writes about the January 6 Capitol breach in an essay for Triple Canopy. She discusses the Three Percenters, nation-states and fraternity, “the far-right’s Sparta fetish,” and the difficulty of making sense of it all: “Apparently, I’m overreading, overthinking, but how could I not? The American right has undergone an occult turn, communicating in esoteric code, hand gestures, arcane glyphs, abbreviations as forbiddingly cryptic as the tetragrammaton. A hermeneutics that pushes interpretation only as far as parsimony allows seems unlikely to penetrate the rococo bramble of

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  • Kate Zambreno. Photo: © Heather Stern.
    June 10, 2021

    Kate Zambreno on her new book; Alex Press on Amazon

    Alex Press and Jacobin magazine have a new podcast, Primed, about Amazon. The show will cover the online retailer’s operations, working conditions, and its effects on society, the environment, culture, politics, and more. For more on Amazon’s role in furthering inequality, see Press’s review of Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis in the Spring issue of Bookforum.

    This afternoon at 3pm EDT, McNally Jackson bookstore will host Kate Zambreno to discuss her new book To Write As If Already Dead, with Bhanu Kapil. The book circles Zambreno’s attempts to write about

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  • Tsitsi Dangarembga. Photo: Hannah Mentz
    June 09, 2021

    Tsitsi Dangarembga awarded the PEN Pinter Prize; “Jewish Currents” features a folio on Paul Celan

    Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of This Mournable Body and Nervous Conditions, has been awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, which celebrates authors of a significant body of work which examines the world with, in Harold Pinter's words, an “unflinching, unswerving” gaze and “fierce intellectual determination.” Previous winners include Tom Stoppard, Salman Rushdie, and Chmamanda Ngozi Adichie.

    Michelle Zauner’s novel Crying in H Mart is being adapted for film. Zauner, who also makes music using the name Japanese Breakfast, will contribute a soundtrack.

    Leo Robson writes about the late theorist J. Hillis

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  • Larissa Pham. Photo: Adalena Kavanagh
    June 08, 2021

    The New Yorker Union prepares a strike; Larissa Pham on taste

    The New Yorker Union is preparing to strike, after more than two years of bargaining. On their website, union members explain why they are ready to strike, and how readers, subscribers, and freelancers can hold the picket line if the union does strike.

    ProPublica has begun publishing a new series based on the tax records of billionaires. The first installment shows how wealthy Americans like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, and Elon Musk avoid paying taxes. ProPublica writes that in the coming months it will take an in-depth look at how high earners game the system.

    Choire Sicha

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  • Kiese Laymon
    June 07, 2021

    Kiese Laymon in conversation with Robert Jones, Jr.; “The Atlantic” union asks for voluntary recognition

    A number of star reporters at the New York Times have joined forces to try to prevent the NewsGuild of New York from raising the paper’s union dues. NewsGuild says that without dues increases, it will face financial disaster, and will no longer be able to offer the legal and staffing services it has provided in the past. Buzzfeed reports that a “contingent of more than 100 New York Times staffers signed a letter to the union opposing its proposals for raising cash. That petition, which has been shared widely in media circles, included the signatures of the newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning

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  • June 04, 2021

    Ed Park, Jo Livingstone, Omari Weekes, and Lauren Oyler discuss risk and authenticity in fiction

    Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker has died at the age of ninety-six. Writing for the Poetry Foundation last year, Ryan Ruby gave an insightful overview of Mayröcker’s life and work. Born in Vienna in 1924, Mayröcker has written well over one hundred books, with only a small fraction of those available in English translation. Earlier this year, the Paris Review published an excerpt from The Communicating Vessels, published by Public Space Books.

    At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter and Jennifer Schuessler report on what will become of Philip Roth’s private archive. In the weeks since Blake

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  • David Diop
    June 03, 2021

    David Diop wins the International Booker Prize; “The Atlantic” is unionizing

    According to Politico, editorial employees of The Atlantic are unionizing with the NewsGuild of New York. The union wants to institute a compensation floor of $60,000, healthcare, a flexible time-off policy, and twenty weeks of paid parental leave.

    McKay Coppins reports on the difficulty conservative book publishers are having with Joe Biden as president, writing that the market for anti-Biden books is “ice cold.”

    David Diop’s novel At Night All Blood Is Black, translated by Anna Moschovakis, has won the International Booker Prize. For more on Diop, see this profile from May.

    CNN Business

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