• June 16, 2016

    Dan Savage

    Dan Savage

    In an interview with Chris Hayes, author and columnist Dan Savage reflected on politicians’ responses to the massacre in Orlando, and stated: “Donald Trump is the enemy of the LGBT community.”

    In a conversation at the New York Public Library with author Masha Gessen, Svetlana Alexievich, the author of Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets and the winner of the 2015 Nobel prize, described the traumatic childhood experiences in the former Soviet Union that led her to specialize in oral history. “I grew up in a village after the war and in the village there were almost only women” because so many men had been killed in the resistance, Alexievich said. “I do not remember any questions in my childhood other than questions about death and about loss, and it was clear that the books that filled the house were not as interesting as the conversations outside.”

    A number of freelancers have joined forces in a Facebook thread to criticize OUT magazine (and its  editor in chief Aaron Hicklin) for failure to pay writers. According to journalist-novelist Tim Murphy (whose Christodora is out this fall), one of the freelancers who spoke out, Hicklin “emailed me saying essentially: ‘How could you malign me like that?’ And I wrote back essentially: ‘Because it’s true, I have the emails to prove it, and you’ve had it coming for a LONG time.’”

    In Elle magazine, Zadie Smith fervently and eloquently recommends up-and-coming essayist Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah. “Her writing on black culture has a vertical depth; she writes about the history of African Americans in the US, but it’s never dry or academic as there’s so much love in it. . . . It’s uncommon to read a voice that mixes anger and joy so beautifully and with so much skill. She doesn’t write rants, she writes eloquent, appreciative tirades. If she thinks Kendrick Lamar is a genius she will go to any rhetorical length to convince you of the same. The energy in her writing comes from a place of aesthetic delight.”

    Gregory Rabassa—who translated Julio Cortázar’s novel Hopscotch, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Mario Vargas Llosa’s Conversation in the Cathedral, among other books—has died. In a Paris Review interview published in 1981, Garcia Marquez paid homage to the translator: “My books have been translated into twenty-one languages and Rabassa is the only translator who has never asked for something to be clarified so he can put a footnote in. I think that my work has been completely re-created in English.”

    In case you forgot, today is Bloomsday.

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