• Melissa Gira Grant. Photo: Noah Kalina
    July 31, 2019

    Melissa Gira Grant joins the New Republic; Cecelia Watson on emotions and semicolons

    “Press coverage of Delia Owens since the runaway success of Where the Crawdads Sing has focused on her tomboy girlhood, her passion for helping African wildlife, and the pristine isolation of her Idaho home, portraying her as nearly as unspoiled as her heroine. But Owens’ past is far more dark and troubling than that,” writes Slate’s Laura Miller. “What most of Crawdads’ fans don’t know is that Delia and Mark Owens have been advised never to return to one of the African nations where they once lived and worked, Zambia, because they are wanted for questioning in a murder that took place there

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  • Dani Shapiro
    July 30, 2019

    Remembering Corbin Gwaltney; Dani Shapiro on observation

    The founder of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Corbin Gwaltney, has died at the age of ninety-seven. Gwaltney founded the paper in 1966 as an outlet for serious reporting about colleges and was active at the publication well into his seventies. According to the Chronicle’s obituary, Gwaltney was a passionate, independent, and careful editor: “For years he read every word destined to be printed in the newspaper, approved all page designs and photo choices, and was the final arbiter of all grammar and style questions.”

    “I was always an observer and I’m not sure that really being an insider

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  • Delia Owens
    July 29, 2019

    Delia Owens’s debut "Where the Crawdads Sing" Passes the One Million Mark

    Delia Owens’s debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing—the surprise-hit romance-mystery set in 1950s North Carolina—has now sold more than 1 million copies this year.

    Amazon recently banned the sale of books by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi and other proponents of “gay-conversion therapy.” At VICE, Daniel Newhauser reports that House Republicans are now pressuring Amazon to resume selling those books, including Nicolosi’s A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality. According to a document circulated by the Republicans: “These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned

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  • Namwali Serpell. Photo: Peg Skorpinski
    July 26, 2019

    Center for Fiction announces First Novel Prize longlist; Megan Rapinoe writing a memoir

    The longlist for the 2019 Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize has been announced. Nominees include Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Lauren Wilkinson’s American Spy, and Elvia Wilk’s Oval. The shortlist will be announced in September.

    The photo archives of Ebony and Jet magazines have been sold for $30 million to “a consortium of foundations led by the J. Paul Getty Trust,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The group plans to give the photos to a number of cultural institutions “to ensure public access and use by scholars, researchers and journalists.”

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  • Kate Zambreno
    July 25, 2019

    Kate Zambreno on Screen Tests; Staples creates quarterly magazine

    Tobias Carroll talks to Kate Zambreno about Rilke, art writing, and her latest book, Screen Tests. “I love it when a work references past books; it’s like a little thrill for me,” she said. “At the opening of Wittengstein’s Nephew, Thomas Bernhard’s narrator reviews a bound copy of Gargoyles [one of Bernhard’s early novels]; one of the nuns puts it on his bed in the hospital where he’s recovering from consumption, and he feels kind of alienated and disgusted by it. I love that this is also the experience for me of looking at a book that I apparently wrote that has been published, like — who

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  • Valeria Luiselli. Photo: Diego Berruecos
    July 24, 2019

    Booker Prize longlist announced; Mark Greif on the Mueller Report

    The longlist for this year’s Booker Prize has been announced. Nominees include Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, Max Porter’s Lanny, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, and John Lanchester’s The Wall. The shortlist will be announced in September.

    A n+1, Mark Greif tries to decode and untangle volume one of the Mueller Report, a document he finds both damning of the Trump campaign and also very difficult to follow. (Indeed, many lawmakers have confessed that they haven’t really read it.) The report’s basic opaqueness has led to serious misreadings, as Greif writes: “Each time a newspaper

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  • Helen Phillips. Photo: Andy Vernon-Jones
    July 23, 2019

    BuzzFeed recognizes union; Helen Phillips on her new novel

    The 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award has been given to N. Scott Momaday.

    At Literary Hub, Brian Gresko talks to Helen Phillips about loss, raising children, and her new novel, The Need. “Having a child feels like such a unique experience. Except it’s not, it’s the most basic human experience,” Phillips said. “I tell my students: you can find the universal in the most personal of details.”

    Charly Wilder wanders Berlin in search of traces of writer Audre Lorde, who lived in the city off and on between 1984 and her death in 1992.

    After four

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  • Roxane Gay
    July 22, 2019

    Roxane Gay Has a New Book Club

    Roxane Gay, the author of Bad Feminist and other books, has a new book club, which is airing on Vice News. “We’re going to drink some alcohol, we’re going to talk about books, and we’re going to get a little petty.” The first book she discusses—with Mira Jacob, Mike Eagle, and Debbie Millman—is Colson Whitehead’s Nickel Boys.

    At Public Books, Dan Sinykin has published an essay about how capitalism has shaped American literature. “Fifty years ago,” he begins, “almost every publisher in the United States was independent.” Not so anymore. We are well into the “conglomerate era,” he says, and with

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  • Laura Lippman
    July 19, 2019

    Laura Lippman signs five-book deal with William Morrow; Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes awarded

    At the New York Times, Jennifer Miller wonders if we’ve “hit peak podcast.” Currently, there are more than 700,000 podcasts available for listening, and up to 3,000 new ones started each month. “We’re not necessarily sick of listening to interesting programs” she writes, “but we’re definitely tired of hearing from every friend, relative and co-worker who thinks they’re just an iPhone recording away from creating the next ‘Serial.’”

    Paul Holdengraber talks to John Waters about summer reading, working at Mary Oliver’s bookstore, and his new memoir, Mr. Know-It-All.

    The 2019 Whiting Literary

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  • Ann Patchett
    July 18, 2019

    92nd Street Y readings announced; Turmoil at First Look Media

    The line-up for the 92nd Street Y’s 2019-20 season has been announced. The schedule includes readings from André Aciman, Jeanette Winterson, Ann Patchett, and more.

    Literary Hub offers a literary Emmys guide.

    New York magazine’s Sarah Jones reports on the tensions at First Look Media. In response to recent layoffs and the shuttering of both Topic magazine and The Nib, as well as rumors that “the company had acquired, or planned to acquire, a smutty Netflix clone” owned by Elon Musk’s sister, employees have written a letter to management expressing “deep concern” that the company “might branch

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  • Oyinkan Braithwaite
    July 17, 2019

    Ebony and Jet photo archives go to auction; Oyinkan Braithwaite on her novel

    The photo archive of Ebony and Jet are being auctioned by the magazines’ former publishing company, USA Today reports. “It’s something worth saving,” said University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni, who hopes the buyer will donate the collection to a museum or other institution. “This is not something that one individual ought to have or keep for themselves. . . . This is a history that should be open for everybody.”

    Variety reports that Kwame Onwuachi’s Notes From a Young Black Chef is being adapted into a film. Sorry to Bother You’s Lakeith Stanfield has signed on to star.

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  • Colson Whitehead. Photo: Chris Close
    July 16, 2019

    Colson Whitehead on space exploration; Director Oliver Stone writing memoir

    Columbia Journalism Review’s Jon Allsop wonders why many mainstream media outlets won’t call Trump’s racist remarks about a group of women senators exactly what they are. “Calling a president’s words ‘racist’ or ‘a lie’ can legitimately be thorny. Should we throw the words around? Probably not. But we should use them when they accurately reflect the truth,” he writes. “When we contort ourselves to dance around that fact, the truth is injured.” Despite recently creating a policy about “controversial content” tweeted by public figures, Twitter has decided that Trump’s recent tweets do not merit

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