April 27, 2016

Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister

David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, is attempting to halt the publication of a memoir by his father, Ron Miscavige. The book, titled Ruthless, is slated to be published by St. Martin’s press on May 3. Ron was a longtime member of the Church, but has since left (he was, according to reports, spied on by the Church for eighteen months). According to Scientology expert Tony Ortega, St. Martin’s (and Ruthless’s UK publisher, Silvertail) has received a letter from David Miscavige’s lawyers, which states: “You are now on notice of the highly defamatory content of the subject book. In the event that you proceed … our client will be left with no alternative but to seek the protection of UK/Irish defamation and other laws. Accordingly, even at this late stage, we would urge you to reconsider your decision to proceed … [with] what clearly will be a totally unjustified, premeditated attack on our client’s reputation and character.”

Paramount Television has purchased the rights to adapt Rebecca Traister’s book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, which was published in March by Simon & Schuster. Traister will be the TV series’s executive producer.

Longreads has posted an interview with Jillian Keenan, whose new book, Sex with Shakespeare, combines meditations on her love of the Bard with memoiristic passages about the fetish community and her penchant for spanking.

The New Republic has named Eric Bates as the editor who will “lead the day-to-day editorial operations across the magazine, our website and all related platforms.” (Win McCormack, who recently purchased the magazine, will remain the Editor in Chief.) Bates has been an editor at Rolling Stone and Mother Jones, and in 2014 helped launch The Intercept, the website cofounded by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.

For the second year in a row, the Hugo Awards, which celebrates the best science-fiction of the year, has been dominated by two right-wing groups, known as the Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies movements, both of whom have been vehemently working against what they see as a “leftwing bias” in the genre. The two groups have successfully campaigned to place many of their own titles on the shortlist, which was announced yesterday. That means this year’s shortlist includes “SJWs Always Lie, an essay about ‘social justice warriors’ by Rabid Puppies campaign leader Vox Day; a self-published parody of erotic dinosaur fiction called Space Raptor Butt Invasion, by Chuck Tingle; and My Little Pony cartoon The Cutie Map.”

Adam Kirsch and Zoe Heller ponder the question: “Can a book with bad politics be a good book?

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