• May 3, 2016

    Roxane Gay

    Roxane Gay

    Gawker’s tax returns for 2011 through 2013 were recently unsealed as part of Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the company, in which a Florida court awarded Hogan $140 million. Tax records show that the company’s largest expense has been employee salaries. But another expense—fees sent to Gawker’s sister company in Hungary—have led Hogan’s lawyers to suggest that the company is “hiding money overseas.” Meanwhile, Hogan is suing Gawker again—not, this time, for releasing one of his private sex tapes, but for “allegedly leaking sealed court documents to the National Enquirer that quoted him making racist remarks.”

    Roxane Gay gave the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture that closed this year’s PEN World Voices Festival in New York, a talk that in the past has been given by Sonia Sotomayor, Colm Toibin, and Christopher Hitchens. She discussed her book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, which was scheduled for release next month, but which she still has not finished. Gay, a prolific writer who has published two books (the novel An Untamed State and the essay collection Bad Feminist) noted that the memoir—which concerns, among other things, her own body image—has taken longer than she expected because she is wary of the “vulnerabilities she is exposing in herself.” But she has found a new inspiration to finish: Beyonce. “In Lemonade, Beyoncé is saying here is my truth, here is my life, my love, here is my blackness, here is my history … here is my heart, what’s left of it.” Gay also inspired loud applause when she called on publishers to bring more diversity to the industry: “Publishers need to hire people of color and pay them a living wage,”

    Daniel Aaron—who helped create the academic field known as American Studies—has died. A professor at Harvard, he was the founding president of the Library of America, and his books include the 2007 memoir The Americanist.

    The journalism organization ProPublica has taken over two databases started by the New York Times, which will provide users with detailed information about members of Congress—”their latest votes, legislation they support, and statistics about their voting.”

    As has become custom, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling said she was sorry for killing off one her her characters. “As promised, I shall apologise for a death. This year: Remus Lupin,” she wrote in a tweet. And then: “In the interest of total honesty I’d also like to confess that I didn’t decide to kill Lupin until I wrote Order of the Phoenix.”

    The latest installment (number 162) of the online literary magazine Bookslut—edited by The Dead Ladies Project author Jessa Crispin—has been published, and according to the homepage, it is the final issue.

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