March 9, 2016

FiveThirtyEight analyzes Bernie Sanders’s surprise win in the Michigan primary, and what it may mean for the Democratic race: “If Michigan was just a fluke (which is possible), then tonight will be forgotten soon enough,” Harry Enten writes. “If, however, pollsters are missing something more fundamental about the electorate, then the Ohio and Illinois primaries could be a lot closer than expected. Either way, this result will send a shock wave through the press. Heck, I’m a member of the press, and you might be able to tell how surprised I am.”

Meanwhile, Time notes that Ben Carson is still winning the race that really matters—for book sales, where it seems he is in the lead over Hillary Clinton by a margin of some 400,000 print copies.

Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson, who, with others including James Wood and Colm Tóibín, is in contention for the National Book Critics Circle award for a work of criticism (to be decided on March 17), spoke to Sasha Frere-Jones at the Los Angeles Times about her work, including The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial, which is about to be reissued by Graywolf. “I’m trying to dramatize the mind—my mind—in motion more than I am analyzing what that mind’s made of,” she says. “That’s why writing is so vulnerable-making (and exciting, I suppose)—whatever the content at hand, it’s really the shape and quality and rhythm of one’s attention that is eventually on display.”

The Paris Review has announced the recipients of this year’s Plimpton Prize for Fiction—which went to David Szalay—and the Terry Southern Prize, awarded to Chris Bachelder for The Throwback Special, his comic novel, which has been serialized over several issues of the journal.

This week in celebrity relics: The shirt worn by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (for one of the few scenes that departs significantly from the events of the novel), will be spending a few special months on these shores.

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