• LaToya Watkins (photo: Chanel Mitchell)
    July 17, 2022

    A "Golden Age" in Texas Fiction

    Texas Monthly has published a package of articles that offer “ten reasons to believe we’re living in the golden age of Texas fiction.” Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, suggests that a “new wave” of writers is confronting the Lone Star State’s bloody history and “Anglo triumphalism.” Other articles highlight the state’s deeply gothic settings, Gabino Iglesias’s new horror novel The Devil Takes You Home, and the fiction of LaToya Watkins, whose debut novel, Perish, will be released next month. 

    Civitella Renieri has announced its new writing fellows, who include Hua Hsu,

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  • Fernando Pessoa
    July 15, 2022

    Fernando Pessoa’s many masks; the best books of 2022

    Lit Hub’s Virtual Book Channel has posted a video of a recent event at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn: a conversation between Paisley Currah and Andrea Long Chu on Currah’s new book, Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity. 

    At Vulture, a roundup of the best books of 2022 so far. Some of the picks include Sheila Heti’s Pure Colour,  Dan Charnas’s Dilla Time, and Olga Ravn’s The Employees

    Roger Hodge has been named the acting editor-in-chief for The Intercept. Betsy Reed, the former EIC, left to become the editor of the Guardian US.  

    At The Nation, Ilan Stavans looks at the

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  • Paula Fox. Photo: HarperCollins UK 
    July 14, 2022

    Sigrid Nunez revisits Paula Fox’s 1970 novel Desperate Characters; Claire-Louise Bennett on family heirlooms

    For T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Sigrid Nunez writes about Paula Fox’s 1970 novel Desperate Characters. It begins with Sophie Bentwood being bitten by a stray—and possibly rabid—cat; readers are “kept in suspense,” Nunez writes, as to “why Sophie, an intelligent and educated woman, would rather deny the problem, even as her hand swells and throbs, than seek medical advice.” After reading the novel in 1991, Nunez recommended it to Jonathan Franzen, who helped bring about the 1999 reissue. Fox, who also published over twenty books for children, reflected on her newfound popularity in

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  • Akhil Sharma. Photo: Jack Llewellyn
    July 13, 2022

    Akhil Sharma rewrites his debut novel; The Getty has opened The Black History & Culture Collection

    For the New York Times, Wyatt Mason writes about Akhil Sharma, who rewrote his first novel, An Obedient Father, more than twenty years after it was published. 

    The Wired union, which represents the staff at the technology magazine, has won its first contract after planning a strike. 

    The Getty has opened The Black History & Culture Collection, a free resource of thirty thousand images from the Black diaspora in the US and UK. 

    For The Nation, Lily Meyer writes about the late Danish author Tove Ditlevsen and the challenge of translating her unadorned, unsentimental work. Ditlevsen, best known

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  • Ada Limón. Photo: Lucas Marquardt
    July 12, 2022

    Ada Limón is named US poet laureate; Jeffrey Goldberg revisits murder case author Delia Owens is wanted for questioning in

    Ada Limón, the author most recently of the collection The Hurting Kind, has been named the twenty-fourth US poet laureate. “Poetry is a way back in, to recognizing that we are feeling human beings,” Limón told the New York Times. “And feeling grief and feeling trauma can actually allow us to feel joy again.”

    At The Nation, Kevin Lozano writes about the decline of American glossy magazines in a review of former Vanity Fair editor Dana Brown’s memoir Dilettante: “While Vanity Fair, Vogue, Elle, and the like still carry some cachet, they are no longer ubiquitous. Instead, they are relics of a

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  • Hrishikesh Hirway
    July 11, 2022

    Hrishikesh Hirway launches new literary podcast

    In August, musician Hrishikesh Hirway, creator of the Song Exploder podcast, will launch a new miniseries titled Book Exploder, on which “authors break down a passage from their work to show us how they write.” The lineup so far includes Susan Orlean, Min Jin Lee, George Saunders, Carman Maria Machado, Celeste Ng, and Tayari Jones.

    Random House has purchased Ana Marie Cox’s memoir Just Like Your Mother, in which the author, who writes the “Sober Questioning” column for The Cut, dwells on her alcoholism, her recovery, and her difficult relationship with her mother, also an alcoholic; Random

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  • Elvia Wilk. Photo: Nina Subin/Soft Skull Press
    July 08, 2022

    Elvia Wilk reflects on writing and reenacting her debut novel; Emily Hall discusses diagramming sentences

    The latest issue of Columbia Journalism Review, titled “The Everything Virus,” is anchored by Jon Allsop’s media reporting and takes stock of how the COVID-19 pandemic has been covered over the last two and a half years. 

    n+1 has published an excerpt from Elvia Wilk’s forthcoming essay collection, Death by Landscape, in which she reflects on writing, rewriting, and even reenacting her debut novel, Oval: “Even for those writers who have every paragraph outlined before they begin (not me), there remains a tiny element of the unknown when you set the simulation in motion. You can only create the

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  • Carmen Giménez. Photo: Jason Gardner Photography
    July 07, 2022

    Carmen Giménez is named the executive director and publisher of Graywolf Press

    Carmen Giménez has been announced as the new executive director and publisher of Graywolf Press, succeeding Fiona McCrae. Giménez is the founder of the literary nonprofit Noemi Press and the author of the poetry collection Be Recorder, which Graywolf published in 2019. She will begin her new role on August 8. 

    For the Paris Review, Elisa Gabbert writes about fame, obscurity, and the appeal of “Why I Write” essays: “Some days I think the very question is banal, like photos of a writer’s ‘workspace.’ They’re all just desks! Why write? Why do anything? Why not write? It’s the same as the impulse

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  • Randall Kenan
    July 06, 2022

    Tarell Alvin McCraney on Randall Kenan; Melissa Gira Grant on Pamela Paul

    At Lit Hub, Tarell Alvin McCraney introduces a new edition of Randall Kenan’s novel A Visitation of Spirits, out now from Grove Press. McCraney writes that Kenan “gives us back our wonder. True graceful wonder.” 

    Brandon Taylor is joining Unnamed Press as an acquiring editor. You can read Taylor’s essays on literature and culture at his newsletter Sweater Weather

    For the New Republic, Melissa Gira Grant writes about Pamela Paul’s New York Times op-ed “The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don’t Count.” Paul—an opinion editor at the Times who used to be the editor of the Book

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  • Cristina Rivera Garza. Photo: And Other Stories
    July 05, 2022

    Merve Emre on Cristina Rivera Garza’s body of work; HarperCollins Union has voted to authorize a strike

    For the New Yorker, Merve Emre considers Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza’s body of work. In Rivera Garza’s new story collection, out now from Dorothy, the dearth of proper names is generative: “The substitution of a descriptive epithet for a proper name is Rivera Garza’s signature technique for creating character. It is a baptismal act that reveals the lie behind all description. There is nothing natural or essential about the words—‘man,’ ‘woman’—that categorize people.” Rivera Garza’s writing is rife with other revealing gaps and elisions; discussing the absence of the word “femicide”

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  • Namwali Serpell. Photo: © Peg Skorpinski
    July 01, 2022

    Namwali Serpell on Janicza Bravo’s 2020 film “Zola”; “BOMB” magazine closes Pride month with a selection from their archives

    BOMB magazine has put together a selection of pieces from their archives to celebrate Pride month, with contributions from Cookie Mueller, Gary Indiana, and Brontez Purnell, interviews with Audre Lorde, Hilton Als, and Féliz Gonzáles-Torres, reflections on the Orlando nightclub shooting, art and the body, and much more. 

    At the New York Review of Books, Namwali Serpell considers “the figure of the Whore” in art and literature, from Emile Zola’s Nana to Janicza Bravo’s 2020 film Zola. “Wherever she appears,” Serpell writes, “she’s pressed into service as a rhetorical or symbolic conceit. It is

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  • Lauren Michele Jackson. Northwestern University
    June 29, 2022

    Lauren Michele Jackson discusses criticism, theory, and style; Charlotte Shane on “failure to protect” laws

    At Gawker, Tarpley Hitt writes about the decision by New York magazine and Elizabeth Weil to anonymize her cover feature “Canceled at 17” and not to disclose that one of Weil’s children attended the school the story is about. Hitt argues that the latter choice distorted the story; had Weil’s connection to the school been revealed, “It would have also revealed the piece for what it was: a personal, and by extension, particular, story—not, as it purported to be, a sweeping parable of the times. That tension presents an inherent flaw in the assignment. In omitting the relationship, New York

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