• Laura Poitras. Photo: Katy Scoggin
    February 25, 2021

    The story behind Laura Poitras’s departure from First Look Media; Killing the book blurb

    At New York magazine’s Intelligencer, Sarah Jones and Peter Sterne take an in-depth look at why Laura Poitras left First Look Media, the independent media company she cofounded with Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Laura Poitras.

    At The Nation, Jennifer Wilson reviews Elena Ferrante’s newest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, and considers how class plays out in the Italian author’s work. It’s usually an uneasy proposition, as the characters contend with conflicted feelings about their upbringing, as Wilson writes, “The Lying Life of Adults lives in the emotionally fraught distance between

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  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Photo: Elsa Dorfman
    February 24, 2021

    Book publishing’s reckoning with race; Remembering Lawrence Ferlinghetti

    Lila Shapiro talks with nine top publishing executives hired amid the industry’s reckoning with its longstanding whiteness about their hopes and expectations for their new roles. Lisa Lucas, formerly of the National Book Foundation, would like to rethink how entry-level staff are compensated at Pantheon and Schocken Books. Jamia Wilson, formerly of Feminist Press, will focus on equity and inclusion on Random House’s list in part by “having people who represent the fullness and diversity of who we are, at all different levels of decision-making.”

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Beat poet and cofounder

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  • Emily Greenhouse. Photo: New York Review of Books
    February 23, 2021

    Emily Greenhouse has been named editor of the New York Review of Books; Q&A with Sonia Sanchez

    Emily Greenhouse has been named editor of the New York Review of Books, and her colleagues Jana Prikryl, Daniel Drake, and Maya Chung will also take on new roles.

    LitHub has a helpful—and very detailed—explainer of the memes mentioned in Patricia Lockwood’s new novel, No One Is Talking About This (there are more than fifty memes covered). If you understand why the eels of London are are on cocaine but are still wondering why “sneaze” is funnier than “sneeze,” see Audrey Wollen’s essay on the book in the forthcoming issue of Bookforum.

    Maggie Doherty reviews Paulina Bren’s new book on the

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  • Victor LaValle. Photo: Teddy Wolff
    February 22, 2021

    Victor LaValle’s new comic-book series

    Boom Studios has announced that it will publish a new comic by novelist Victor LaValle (Big Machine, The Changeling, and The Devil in Silver) and artist Jo Mi-Gyeong. Eve, a five-issue series, will be released in May. Says LaValle: “What kind of planet are we leaving to our kids? This is the question that spawned my comic book. It’s an old one, of course. Many generations have wrestled with it, but the question has never been as immediate. But I didn’t want to write some grim story about how this joint went to hell. Instead, I wanted to write a story about how we let the planet fall apart and

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  • Torrey Peters
    February 19, 2021

    PEN America settles a landmark press freedom lawsuit; Haley Mlotek, Torrey Peters, and Ethan Philbrick on divorce

    At Jewish Currents, Haley Mlotek talks with composer Ethan Philbrick and writer Torrey Peters about what divorce has meant for their work. Philbrick belongs to The Gay Divorcees, a musical ensemble of nine “real-life queers who got gay married and gay divorced,” and Peters is the author of the novel Detransition, Baby, which she wrote following her own divorce. For Peters, reading books by cis women about divorce helped her identify the audience she wanted to write her novel for: “I was like, ‘There’s a way of seeing the world that these women seem to have.’ Which was: to take stock of yourself,

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  • Toni Morrison. Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Knopf/Doubleday
    February 18, 2021

    Remembering Toni Morrison; Kazuo Ishiguro to discuss his forthcoming novel with Jia Tolentino

    Today would have been Toni Morrison’s ninetieth birthday. To celebrate, the New York Times offers guidance on which Morrison books to start with. At Colorlines, author and professor Obery Hendricks remembers Morrison, a friend since the two met in the 1990s at Princeton: “Toni was an international figure fully astride every literary stage of significance and knew it, but other than using her fame as leverage to help others, Toni wore that fame very lightly.” For more Morrison, check out her 2013 appearance at the New York Public Library with Junot Díaz.

    Roxane Gay will teach an online MasterClass

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  • Bernard Ferguson
    February 17, 2021

    Bernard Ferguson on poetic lineage and Gwendolyn Brooks; Meredith Shiner argues for the end of “both sides” journalism

    The publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Daily News—Tribune Publishing—has agreed to give Alden Global Capital full ownership of the company. Alden has a history of dramatically cutting costs at the papers under its control, and has been pursuing ownership of Tribune, of which it is already a 32 percent stakeholder, for years. In the New York Times, Marc Tracy indicates the magnitude of the deal: “The combination of Tribune and MediaNews Group, an Alden-controlled chain of roughly 100 newspapers, including more than 60 dailies, would put another significant chunk of newspaper publishing

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  • Marcel Proust,1895. Photo: Otto Wegener.
    February 16, 2021

    A new Proust work has been discovered; Jeremy Atherton Lin on gay bars

    French publisher Gallimard has announced a new book of unseen work by Marcel Proust, Les Soixante-quinze feuillets (The Seventy-Five Pages). The manuscript, written in 1908, is said to shed light on the author’s masterwork, In Search of Lost Time, and was discovered in the archives of publisher Bernard de Fallois. Gallimard is calling the discovery a “thunderclap” and promises that the book is a “Proustian grail.”

    At Hazlitt, an interview with Jeremy Atherton Lin, author of Gay Bar: Why We Went Out: “I think a lot of people who are younger than myself presumed that I was working on a project

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  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    February 15, 2021

    Knopf acquires new book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    If the original Congressional Commission had been present for Trump’s second impeachment, writes David Remnick at the New Yorker, it probably would have, like the majority of Republicans in the Senate, voted to acquit. “But history—history as it is assembled through the rigorous accumulation and analysis of fact—will not be so forgiving….” At The Atlantic, Trumpocalypse author David Frum writes of the acquittal: “You say that you are disappointed? That a mere rebuke was not enough? That justice was not done? It wasn’t. But now see the world from the other side, through the eyes of those who

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  • Sarah Weinman. Photo: Anna Ty Bergman
    February 12, 2021

    Paula Mejía on H. G. Carrillo’s fabrications; Sarah Weinman is the new crime columnist at the New York Times Book Review

    New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet has responded to criticism of the paper’s recent statement announcing reporter Donald McNeil’s resignation following a Daily Beast story revealing his use of a racial slur. Baquet and managing editor Joe Kahn told staff that the paper does not “tolerate racist language regardless of intent.” Baquet has since clarified: “Of course intent matters when we are talking about language in journalism.”

    Paula Mejía remembers her former professor and celebrated fiction writer H. G. Carrillo, who, after his death from COVID-19 in April, was revealed to have

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  • Ruth Dickey
    February 11, 2021

    Ruth Dickey has been named the executive director of the National Book foundation; a virtual celebration of Octavia E. Butler

    A profile of Patricia Lockwood, whose new book, No One is Talking About This, comes out on Tuesday. Of the novel, Lockwood says, “I was trying to write an atmosphere. I was trying to write something . . . that is pre-language, that is just instinct and that’s awareness of what the herd is doing around you.”

    Ruth Dickey has been named the executive director of the National Book foundation. Dickey, a poet and director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, told the New York Times: “As a queer kid growing up in a small town, books brought me the world.”

    The Times’s morning newsletter has reached 1 billion

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  • Patricia Lockwood
    February 10, 2021

    Patricia Lockwood on Elena Ferrante and irrational hatred; 2021 PEN America Literary Awards finalists

    At the London Review of Books, Patricia Lockwood reviews Elena Ferrante’s latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, and outlines the terms of being one of her devoted readers: “Ferrante is yours not when you love all of her books without exception, but when you hate a few of them irrationally, almost as enemies of your happiness.” For example, Lockwood despises Giovanna, the protagonist of Ferrante’s latest novel, on sight. “It is a gift,” Lockwood writes, “to be capable of inducing this physical irritation with fictional bodies, movements, motives; to make a reader want to pinch a character just

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