• Christopher Hitchens. Photo: © Christian Witkin
    August 24, 2022

    Christian Lorentzen discusses Christopher Hitchens; Alexandra Lange’s new book on the rise and fall of the American mall

    In the latest episode of the Harper’s Magazine podcast, Christian Lorentzen discusses the evolution of critic Christopher Hitchens’s work with host Violet Lucca and guests Luke Savage and Maureen Tkacik. In the August issue of Harper’s, Lorentzen reviewed a new collection of Hitchens’s London Review of Books pieces. 

    Members of the New York Times Union have conducted a report on racial disparities in performance review scores, which affect the size of bonuses employees receive. The study, whose dataset starts from 2018, shows that “being Hispanic reduced the odds of receiving a high score by

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  • Elvia Wilk. Photo: Nina Subin
    August 23, 2022

    Elvia Wilk’s new essay collection; Lessons from the Penguin Random House antitrust trial

    The Atlantic has published Daniel Smith’s “A Recently Divorced Man Dreams Uneasily in His New Apartment,” the first of five very-short stories “displaying the virtue of lightness” that the magazine will share this month. 

    For the New Yorker, novelist and Dorothy editor Danielle Dutton writes about Ann Quin’s 1972 novel, Tripticks. The book, which Dutton describes as the author’s homage to her birth-control pills, is Quin’s “most pointedly satirical work,” taking up the techniques and mascismo of the Beats. “Yet, just as the novel is a parodic takedown of nineteen-sixties American culture that

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  • Claire-Louise Bennett. Photo: © Mark Walsh
    August 19, 2022

    Claire-Louise Bennett on Louise Bourgeois’s life and work; Rachel Syme reconsiders Nora Ephron

    For Harper’s Magazine, Claire-Louise Bennett—author of Checkout 19 and Pondmeditates on artist Louise Bourgeois: “The subject of pain is the business I am in,” she once said. It is customarily supposed that pain is a great catalyst for creativity, since pain produces an overflow of emotion that must surely galvanize artistic expression. But pain is more than and less than emotional excess. It is a grueling existential experience and is therefore one of the most difficult human situations to express.”   

    At the Paris Review Daily, staff recommend Rosmarie Waldrop’s Curves to the Apple, Bernd

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  • Tess Gunty. Photo: Lauren Alexandra Photography
    August 17, 2022

    Dayna Tortorici on the criminalization of abortion; Tess Gunty discusses her novel The Rabbit Hutch

    PEN America is hosting a reading in solidarity with Salman Rushdie on Friday morning at the New York Public Library. Reginald Dwayne Betts, Hari Kunzru, Gay Talese, Colum McCann and more will read from Rushdie’s body of work.

    The New Yorker’s Katy Waldman reflects on how top executives testifying in the Penguin Random House antitrust trial have presented their industry: “Despite their aura of idealistic adventure, publishing executives have shown themselves to be fiercely risk-averse. In a capricious market, they’ve leaned on hundred-year-old inventory instead of nourishing the books that

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  • Elaine Castillo. Photo © Elaine Castillo. 
    August 16, 2022

    Tonight: Elaine Castillo in conversation with Jane Hu; Penguin Random House CEO testifies in antitrust trial

    The New York Times reports on the testimony of Penguin Random House CEO Madeline McIntosh, who took the stand yesterday in the trial that will determine whether the publisher will be allowed to acquire Simon & Schuster. 

    At the New Yorker, read an excerpt from staff writer Hua Hsu’s new memoir Stay True, which will be published next month. In the excerpt, Hsu recalls faxing his father, who was working in Taiwan as Hsu was attending high school in California. Hsu writes that, at times, “We were like two strangers trading small talk at a hardware store.” 

    Joan Didion’s personal belongings,

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  • Amitava Kumar
    August 15, 2022

    Amitava Kumar writes an open letter to Salman Rushdie's attacker

    In the Indian Express, novelist and essayist Amitava Kumar writes an open letter to Hadi Matar, the man who has been arrested for stabbing Salman Rushdie: “Listen, you are young and I understand you will only be sitting in a room doing nothing for many, many years. I hope you will find time to read this letter. The world learned last week that you are 24. The man you tried to kill is 75. I don’t know about you but when I was 24, I was reading that man’s writings with great devotion. You might even say I was a bit fanatical in my habit.”

    Salman Rushdie has reportedly been taken off of the

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  • Salman Rushdie. Photo: Syrie Moskowitz
    August 12, 2022

    Novelist Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in western New York

    Author Salman Rushdie was attacked this morning in western New York, where he was about to give a lecture, the Associated Press reports. Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses is banned in Iran, and the country’s late leader issued a fatwa calling for his death in 1989. AP’s Joshua Goodman writes that “​​Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.”

    Online at n+1, Jenny Brown, the author of Birth Strike, writes

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  • Matthew Salesses
    August 11, 2022

    Matthew Salesses on the shortcomings of writing workshops, Maya Binyam’s LA culture diary

    The Paris Review Daily is bringing back their “Culture Diary” column. Today, the site posted a dispatch from Los Angeles by Maya Binyam. Of Elif Batuman’s new novel, Binyam writes, “Almost every review I’ve read of Either/Or mentions Selin’s naive and enthusiastic embrace of great works of literature, which she reads as instruction manuals for how to construct a life; none mentions her stated difficulty in appreciating hip-hop, which she summarizes as an altogether alienating genre of music defined by a man ‘saying “Uh, uh” in the background.’”

    For The Guardian, Janina Ramirez lists ten books

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  • Isaac Fitzgerald. Photo: Remi Morawski
    August 10, 2022

    A “Paris Review” interview with the late Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli; Isaac Fitzgerald, Ashley C. Ford, and more on memoir

    At the Paris Review, read Annalena Benini’s interview with the Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli, who died in June. They discuss Cavalli’s friendship with Elsa Morante, her affinity for domestic objects, and Cavalli’s first poems, which she wrote after seeing Kim Novak in the 1955 film Picnic: “I fell in love, went home, fasted for a week in protest because I’d never be able to know Kim Novak—and after the fast I wrote two poems. I found them recently while going through some old notebooks. One is titled ‘If Kim Novak were to die.’” 

    Katy Waldman reviews Emi Yagi’s Diary of a Void for the New

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  • Sheila Heti (photo: Margaux Williamson)
    August 08, 2022

    Hulu options Sheila Heti's forthcoming novel

    Hulu has optioned Sheila Heti’s forthcoming novel, Alphabetical Diaries. For the novel, Heti took a decade’s worth of diaries, placed each sentence in alphabetical order (based on the first word of the sentence), and then cut until a narrative took shape. The book will be released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2023. Hulu hopes to turn the novel into a TV series. 

    The New York Times profiles poet Carmen Giménez, who starts her role as the publisher and executive director of Graywolf Press today. Giménez remembers looking at poetry chapbooks and zines at a bookstore in the late ’90s: “As a

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  • Joy Williams. Photo: Anne Dalton
    August 05, 2022

    Joy Williams on Curran Hatleberg’s Florida photographs; “Critic on Critic” writings from 4Columns

    At the New Yorker, Joy Williams looks at the photographs of Curran Hatleberg, which were taken mostly in northern Florida: “The atmosphere is weary, post-consumerish. No one seems to possess anything. The men and boys are often shirtless, the cars cannibalized. There is beer, and there are bees bearding the faces of men; there is a peeling painted sign offering honey, but there is no honey.”

    Post45 Contemporaries has collected a series of appreciations for historian and activist Mike Davis’s work, with contributions by Madeline Lane-McKinley, Ryan Cecil Jobson, Eric Avila, and Megan Tusler.

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  • Lynne Tillman, New York City, 2013.
    August 04, 2022

    Day four of the Penguin Random House antitrust trial; Lynne Tillman on Jane Bowles and other favorite authors

    Writer and editor John H. Maher has been live tweeting the antitrust trial that will determine whether Penguin Random House will be allowed to acquire Simon & Schuster. Today was day four of a trial that two days ago featured Stephen King testifying for the government’s case. The Los Angeles Times rounds up what you need to know about the proposed merger.  

    In her New York TimesBy the Book” interview, Lynne Tillman discusses Jane Bowles’s Two Serious Ladies (1943), noting “it was her only novel, and for that she’s not taught. Her stories are brilliant also. I’m glad I don’t know exactly

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