• February 17, 2016

    Dana Spiotta. Photo by Jessica Marx

    Dana Spiotta, photo by Jessica Marx

    The New York Times magazine has a profile of the novelist Dana Spiotta, whose new book Innocents and Others, is out next month. At one point, Spiotta recalls some early advice she got from Gordon Lish, which she does appear to have taken on board in her work: ‘‘Whatever you’re trying to hide is what you need to write from. . . . Whatever you’re trying to hide is what makes you an interesting writer.’’

    As the South Carolina primary approaches, it’s well worth reading Christian Lorentzen’s report from New Hampshire, if you haven’t already: “We woke before dawn and drove through the snow to Manchester, where we saw Carly Fiorina complain to supporters in a basement about her exclusion from the next night’s GOP debate due to insufficient poll numbers. She went on for some time about holding national referendums via smartphone, an idea that I (a flip-phone user) find anti-democratic.”

    And Stephen King has also recently weighed in on the race.

    Isaac Chotiner interviewed Jill Abramson about her firing from the New York Times as executive editor in 2014. (Along the way, she notes how few in-depth pieces have been written about Donald Trump, considering the amount of overall coverage, and recommends this one from the Washington Post.)

    Meanwhile, the Times is being sued for gender discrimination by another former employee, Arielle Davies.

    A man named Matt Steel has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new edition of Thoreau’s Walden, which adapts the language to increase its “accessibility”: “Having gone through a period of career burnout, followed by radical lifestyle change, I could see that Thoreau’s ideas around simplicity, consumerism, and busy-ness had an uncanny relevance to the challenges we face today. I shared my enthusiasm for the book with anyone willing to listen. But I kept having to couch my recommendations: ‘This is an incredible book, but the 19th-century language is hard to digest at times. But stick with it, and you’ll be glad you did!’ This situation bothered me.”

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