July 7, 2016

Graywolf Press announced the winner of its latest Nonfiction Prize: Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias, a collection of essays that “cogently breaks open the social, historical, medical, and spiritual aspects” of mental illness, to be published in 2017. The book was chosen by a committee of Graywolf editors and Brigid Hughes, the editor of A Public Space. Weijun will receive a $12,000 advance. She joins an illustrious group: Previous winners include Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, Eula Biss’s Notes from No Man’s Land, and Kevin Young’s The Grey Album.  

Scandal rears its ugly head over at Fox News, where Gretchen Carlson, an anchor who joined the network in 2005, has filed a harassment suit against fearsome network chairman Roger Ailes. Carlson claims that Ailes moved her from the popular morning show “Fox and Friends” in retaliation for calling it a boys’ club, and for rebuffing Ailes’ sexual advance: “‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago,’” Carlson recalls the chairman telling her, “‘and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.’” Ailes denies it: “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup.” In Getting Real, a memoir published a year ago, “Celebrity news anchorwoman Gretchen Carlson . . . offers important takeaways for women (and men) about what it means to strive for and find success in the real world . . . she takes readers from her Minnesota childhood, where she became a violin prodigy, through college at Stanford and her in-the-trenches years as a cub reporter on local television stations before becoming a national news reporter. . . . Carlson addresses the intense competitive effort of winning the Miss America Pageant, the challenges she’s faced as a woman in broadcast television, and how she manages to balance work and family as the wife of high-profile sports agent Casey Close and devoted mother to their two children”; she also thanks Ailes for his support of her career, calling him “the most accessible boss I’ve ever worked for.” According to Carlson’s lawyer, a number of other women have come forward with complaints about Ailes’ conduct in the workplace. One former employee had this to say: “He told me that if he was thinking of hiring a woman, he’d ask himself if he would fuck her, and if he would, then he’d hire her to be on-camera. He then said if it was a man he’d think about whether he could sit down for a baseball game with him and not get annoyed of [sic] him. If he could, then he’d hire him.”

A Scottish actress and author named Louise Linton, whose tone-deaf, factually inaccurate account of the time she spent volunteering in Zambia (“‘Find a bolt-hole as soon as you get there,’ my father pleaded. ‘Somewhere to hide, just in case.’ I’d laughed and assured him I’d be fine but now here I was on the jungle floor, in a fragile minefield of vines crawling with potentially lethal creatures—including the dreaded rain spiders, up to twelve inches across”) went viral after The Telegraph excerpted a portion of her book In Congo’s Shadow: One Girl’s Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa, is romantically involved with Donald Trump’s chair of finance. “What do we do with this information?” asks Jezebel. “Can we draw any inference here? About love? About Donald Trump? About Louise Linton and what one British tabloid termed her “heart of daftness” memoir?” It might be a match made in heaven: self-described “skinny white muzungu with long angel hair … a central character in this horror story” meets self-described friend of Trump, a banker named Mnuchin who made gobs of money foreclosing on people of color; or else it’s “a beautiful and yet deeply meaningless coincidence.”

Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, writes a heartfelt essay in the pages of his own paper defending his father-in-law against accusations of anti-Semitism.

Hilde Lysiak

Hilde Lysiak

Max Blumenthal, the son of Clinton fixer Sidney Blumenthal, hopes Elie Wiesel rests in purgatory. A few days after Wiesel’s funeral, Blumenthal, an outspoken critic of Israel, denounced him as a traitor of sorts. “Elie Wiesel went from a victim of war crimes to a supporter of those who commit them. He did more harm than good and should not be honored.”

Here’s a happy story about a nine-year-old Harriet the Spy-type teaming up with her journalist father to investigate murders and scoop the competition: They’re writing a book together. Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog!, the first in a series of four gumshoe stories, will be published by Scholastic in September 2017.

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