• May 10, 2016

    Joan Didion

    Joan Didion

    Farrar, Straus, and Giroux has announced that Sean McDonald, a senior editor at the publisher, will become the editor in chief of a new imprint called MCD/FSG. According to FSG publisher Jonathan Galassi, the new imprint will aim “to create a space to publish work and experiment with publishing styles, forms, and genres that are at the edges of FSG’s traditions.” Former Amazon staffer Daphne Durham will be the executive editor.

    At the Believer Logger, Maggie Nelson discusses buddhism, memoir, autotheory, and the self-exposure of her work: “When people say things to me like, ‘What does it feel like to put such personal material out into the world?,’ it isn’t a question that lands on a map I’m thinking about. I’m so focused on what experiences would be the best illustrations or ways in to the issues I want to talk about. I feel so confident that the task is about how best to get at the things that are interesting to me rather than think about a discourse of secrets or revelation or exposure.”

    The New York Review of Books has published Joan Didion’s notes from a 1976 trip to San Francisco, during which she was planning to cover the Patty Hearst trial. She didn’t end up writing the piece, because, as she puts it, “I thought the trial had some meaning for me—because I was from California. This didn’t turn out to be true.” Still, the notes are a fascinating glimpse into Didion’s habits of mind, and contain many intriguing and evocative fragments: “How could it have come to this. I am trying to place myself in history. I have been looking all my life for history and have yet to find it. The resolutely “colorful,” anecdotal quality of San Francisco history. ‘Characters’ abound. It puts one off.”

    A former Facebook “news curator” claims that the site routinely barred stories written by conservative new outlets from appearing on Facebook’s “trending” section. The former employee, one of several sources for an article in Gizmodo, says the bias was the result of the curators’ individual preferences rather than a company policy. Facebook has responded to the article, saying that they “take allegations of bias very seriously.”

    The New York Times has published an obituary of Donald W. Duncan, an ex-Green Beret who became a prominent protestor of the Vietnam War after returning from combat in 1965. Although the obit ran yesterday, Duncan died seven years ago, “an all-but-forgotten soldier.”

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