• Lauren Groff. Photo: Megan Brown
    December 19, 2019

    The New York Times analyzes impeachment coverage; Hillary Kelly on female novelists

    The New York Times runs down television’s coverage of President Trump’s impeachment: “ABC broke into Good Times,” while former senator Rick Santorum opined on CNN that House Republican’s had been “pretty woke” back in 1989 when they impeached Bill Clinton; on CBS, “anchor Norah O’Donnell interrupted Survivor with a special report,” on Fox News, Tucker Carlson “looked grim,” while Sean Hannity called the vote a “revolting charade.” Meanwhile, NBC “included occasional cutaways, with no audio at first, to President Trump speaking at a rally.”

    Slate has more on how conservative media covered the

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  • Mary H. K. Choi
    December 18, 2019

    John M. Chu producing Permanent Record movie; Kendall Jenner's alt lit influencing

    On the Guardian Books Podcast, Ben Lerner and Meena Kandasamy discuss autofiction and their recent books, The Topeka School and When I Hit You.

    After another author won an award for a story that plagiarized her own, Laleh Khadivi reflects on ownership, inspiration, and storytelling.

    Press Watch’s Dan Froomkin looks at the “implosion” of the New York Times’s political coverage last weekend. “Smart, capable Times reporters . . . put forth such epically, historically bad examples of pox-on-both-your-houses, boring-what-else-is-new, and self-contradictory political coverage that press critics on

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  • Patricia Lockwood. Photo: © Grep Hoax
    December 17, 2019

    The London Review of Books opens its archive; Vox media freelancers to lose jobs

    Critic Peter Schjeldahl has been diagnosed with lung cancer. In a new essay for the New Yorker, he reflects on his Midwestern upbringing, alcoholism, and learning to be an art critic in public. This personal essay is “an exception” for Schjeldahl, who has never kept a diary and hasn’t done any writing “for myself” in some thirty years.“When I write,” he explains,“it’s to connect.” In this piece, he tells jokes (“Swatted a fly the other day and thought, Outlived you.”) even as he leaves us with a firm recommendation: “Take death for a walk in your minds, folks. Either you’ll be glad you did or,

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  • Alexander Zevin
    December 16, 2019

    Alexander Zevin discusses the history of liberalism

    Ganesh Sitaraman is a top adviser for Elizabeth Warren. But as Politico reports, the first person thanked in the acknowledgements section of Sitaraman’s new book, The Great Democracy, is not Warren but one of her biggest rivals: “Conversations with Pete Buttigieg were invaluable, and this book wouldn’t exist without them or without his characteristically thoughtful advice, encouragement, and friendship,” Sitaraman writes.

    Editor and author Elisabeth Sifton died late last week. According to the obituary in the New York Times, authors she worked with included Isaiah Berlin, Don DeLillo, Ann

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  • Susan Choi. Photo: Heather Weston
    December 13, 2019

    Susan Choi's Trust Exercise to be adapted for TV; Deborah Levy on where she reads

    The screen rights to Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise have been acquired by FilmNation Entertainment, which plans to develop a TV series based on the National Book Award–winning novel. “It’s been incredibly exciting to explore my book anew with such great partners,” Choi said in a statement. “They have expanded the way I see this story, the characters and its form.”

    J. W. McCormack is joining The Baffler as fiction editor.

    Out editor Phillip Picardi has left the magazine after one year,” WWD reports. Picardi’s departure follows “several rounds of layoffs, severe pay and budget cuts,” and complaints

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  • Grace Paley. Photo: Karl Bissinger
    December 12, 2019

    Justin Taylor on Grace Paley; How winning the Nobel Prize affects book sales

    Justin Taylor asks friends and colleagues to join him in reflecting on Grace Paley’s work. Her first book, The Little Disturbances of Man, was published sixty years ago. “Any story that’s worth anything will be different every time you come back to it. And every Grace Paley story is worth something. Some of them, I suspect, are worth everything,” he writes. “You re-read them and they re-read you and that mixture of revelation and return is why you do it. If this is what a haunting is I hope I never find the end of mine.”

    At the Columbia Journalism Review, Sarah Weinman looks at Break in the

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  • Michael Chabon. Photo: Gage Skidmore
    December 11, 2019

    Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay gets TV adaptation; Bloomberg buys CityLab

    At the New York Times, Emma Goldberg looks at the decline of feminist blogs and websites. After a decade of feminist publishing, a wave of websites like The Hairpin, The Toast, and most recently, Feministing, have shut down. “It was this amazing moment where we were making careers out of blogging in our underwear. Now it’s not a good time for start-up media,” former Feministing editor and current Teen Vogue editor Samhita Mukhopadhyay said of the era. “I worry that people are afraid to align themselves with publications that are explicitly feminist.”

    Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of

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  • Esmé Weijun Wang. Photo: Kristin Cofer
    December 10, 2019

    Esmé Weijun Wang signs two-book deal with Riverhead; Nobel literature laureates give lectures

    Esmé Weijun Wang has signed a two-book deal with Riverhead, Entertainment Weekly reports. The announcement included details about the two upcoming titles: Soft Animals will be a novel “about a chronically ill woman who moves into a small-town lodge with her volatile husband after inheriting it from the parents of a hate-crime victim,” while The Unexpected Shape will be a nonfiction book that explores “the balance between ambition and limitation in contemporary life.” Publication dates have not been announced.

    The 2019 Nobel literature laureates have given their lectures. Olga Tokarczuk spoke

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  • Jia Tolentino
    December 09, 2019

    The finalists for the 2019 John Leonard Prize have been announced

    In our favorite podcast of the week, book critic Parul Sehgal discusses Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series with Terry Castle, Gillian Flynn, and Hanya Yanagihara. Highlight: when Alexander Chee compares Ripley to Bugs Bunny.

    Oprah magazine has posted a list of “31 LGBTQ Books That’ll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020.” Included on the list are novels by Garth Greenwell and Ilana Masad, poetry collections by Danez Smith and Mark Bibbins, debuts by Kate Milliken and Tomasz Jedrowski, memoirs by Jennifer Finney Boylan and Paul Lisicky, genre-defying work by Jenn Shapland, and more.


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  • Lisa Taddeo. Photo: J. Waite
    December 06, 2019

    Pulitzer Prize board creates new category; Lisa Taddeo on desire

    The Pulitzer Prize Board has created a new Audio Reporting award category for 2020. “The renaissance of audio journalism in recent years has given rise to an extraordinary array of non-fiction storytelling,” Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy said in a statement. “To recognize the best of that work, the Pulitzer Board is launching an experimental category to honor it.”

    The Guardian talks to Lisa Taddeo about nuance, intimacy, and her recent book, Three Women. “We don’t want to see ourselves sometimes,” she said of the negative reaction to her book. “I’ve always liked to see myself in books.

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  • Akwaeke Emezi. Photo: Elizabeth Wirija
    December 05, 2019

    Sharon Marcus on capitalism and bildungsromans; Akwaeke Emezi on her new novel

    The 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program recipients have been announced. Grantees include Jillian Steinhauer, Elvia Wilk, and more.

    Starting next month, Doreen St. Felix will be writing the television column for the New Yorker.

    The television rights to Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne novels have been bought by AMC Studios, Deadline reports.

    At The Believer, Sharon Marcus reflects on capitalism, bildungsromans, and Sally Rooney. “What happens to coming-of-age tales when young people who have been assigned little value beyond their capacity for labor no longer have any labor to

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  • Naja Marie Aidt. Photo: Mikkel Tjellesen
    December 04, 2019

    Ken Liu on translating Chinese science fiction; Naja Marie Aidt on writing through grief

    “I questioned myself many times: why would I take on the pain of writing this book––writing it in the middle of my raw grief, in the middle of my shock and my trauma?” Naja Marie Aidt tells John Freeman about writing her recently published book, When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back. “I didn’t want my son’s story to kind of meld into every book I would write in the future, and I also knew, most importantly, that, you know, I was completely changed as a human being, as a person, and maybe also as a writer. So I felt I had no choice but to find a way to express this, or explore this

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