October 27, 2015

Lisa Jardine, “the leading British female public intellectual of our times,” is the subject of an impressive and very moving collaborative obituary that honors her as a scholar, teacher, and friend: She showed “generations of women who came after her that it was both possible to succeed at work and at many other things as well.”

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz

The Dominican Consul General has stripped the writer Junot Díaz of his Order of Merit award for speaking out against what the Dominican Republic has been doing to Haitians and those of Haitian descent.

PEN’s website has hosted an unusually thoughtful and detailed roundtable discussion between editors (many of whom are also writers) about publishing, followed by a collection of useful resources: “What I dislike about so much of the way people deal with diversity,” Alexander Chee says, “is that they treat these explorations as hygiene, when it is about finding new and exciting work that blows down the doors of your mind.

Scholars are still fighting over Sylvia Plath and her personal life.

You can now read the second half of President Obama’s conversation with Marilynne Robinson (or listen to a recording): “I think that in our earlier history—the Gettysburg Address or something—there was the conscious sense that democracy was an achievement,” Robinson says. “It was not simply the most efficient modern system or something. It was something that people collectively made and they understood that they held it together by valuing it.”

On her nightstand alongside Edward P. Jones, Anthony Marra, Mary Karr, and Saul Bellow, Stacy Schiff has Donald Antrim’s The Verificationist, which she says “it’s time to reread”—and indeed, it almost always is.

It’s nearly time for this year’s NaNoWriMo to begin.

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