May 6, 2016

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Random House imprint One World has announced that it will release two new books—one fiction, and one nonfiction—by Ta-Nehisi Coates.  

Daniel Harris—whose books include The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture and Cute, Quaint, and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism—has outraged many readers with his essay “The Sacred Androgen: The Transgender Debate,” published in the Winter issue of the Antioch Review. “While I fervently support TGs’ rights to transition and to do so without fear of reprisal,” Harris writes, “I believe that the whole phenomenon of switching one’s gender is a mass delusion.” Yesterday, Antioch College, where the publication is based, released a statement: “Antioch College does not condone or always agree with the ideas and viewpoints expressed in the Review. We do, however, have confidence in the Review’s editor and editorial process, and support a key Antiochian value—the free expression of ideas and opinions, even when they run counter to our own.” Meanwhile, a petition titled “Antioch Review: No More Transphobia in the Literary Community” is circulating among editors and writers; at press time, it had more than 1,000 signatures.  

The UK publisher Harvill Secker will publish J. M. Coetzee’s next novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, in September. The book is the sequel to Coetzee’s 2013 novel The Childhood of Jesus.

The statistician Nate Silver—predictor of elections and baseball games, founder and editor of FiveThirtyEight, and the author of The Signal and the Noise—refutes the common assertion that Trump has been carried forward by a “working-class rebellion”: “As compared with most Americans, Trump’s voters are better off,” he writes. “The median household income of a Trump voter so far in the primaries is about $72,000, based on estimates derived from exit polls and Census Bureau data. That’s lower than the $91,000 median for Kasich voters. But it’s well above the national median household income of about $56,000. It’s also higher than the median income for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters, which is around $61,000 for both.”

The Brooklyn Rail has a new interview with John Ashbery, who talks about translation, his decision to become a poet, his stint as an art critic, his childhood, his “first love,” and more. “Did your mom commonly go through your things as a child?” the interviewer asks at one point. Ashbery responds: “Oh, sure; that’s why I wrote in French in my diary.”

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