James Hannaham has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his daring second novel, Delicious Foods, a book that, he told the Washington Post, seemed like “such a misfit, but it’s turning out to be a lot more popular than the kid I thought it was.” Hannaham took the opportunity to plead for more literary fiction that’s about something other than “small things that happen to literary people”: “If you look at composers or poets, experimentation is the most fun they can have. What’s wrong with the literary world that there isn’t more respect for and enjoyment of experimentation?”
Public editor Margaret Sullivan considers why the New York Times hasn’t given the story of the “Panama Papers,” which “are being called the largest ever leak of secret data, and articles about the offshore bank accounts of bigwigs worldwide,” the kind of coverage it seems to deserve.
For a piece in the New Republic, Michelle Dean was granted permission to quote from some of Adrienne Rich’s little-seen letters from the 1960s and ’70s, and they make for a rare and fascinating portrait. In 1968, for instance, Rich is feeling uncertain about James Baldwin’s latest work: “I haven’t reread any of the early essays or that first novel that seemed so good to me five years ago. Maybe our perceptions are getting sharper. Maybe he sharpened them, blunting himself in the process.”
British actor Sir Ian McKellen would rather give back his $1.4 million advance than have to write his memoirs.
At this point, there can’t be much left to say about Donald Trump, and yet it’s fitting to see him become part of one of the great debates in modern American media: In a recent interview with the New York Post, his ex-wife Ivana Trump asserted that while he “loves women,” he is “not a feminist.” But, the New York Times reports, “Ivana Trump’s staff later called the paper to say Mr. Trump was, in fact, a feminist, before calling again to say he was not — and then calling a final time to say he was, indeed, a feminist.”