July 27, 2016

The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced this morning. The list includes Paul Beatty’The Sellout, David Means’Hystopia, Ottessa Moshfegh’Eileen, and ten other novels. The winner will be announced on October 25th.

Michelle Goldberg, the author of The Means of Production: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, traces the way irrational animosity towards Hillary Clinton has changed over the past two decades. In 1996, Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote: “Like horse-racing, Hillary-hating has become one of those national pastimes which unite the élite and the lumpen.” Back then, Goldberg writes, Clinton was seen as a “moralist, a meddler, a prig.” Today, Goldberg suggests, the complaints are quite different: “She is disingenuous and she lies blatantly,” says one interviewee. (The impression that Clinton is dishonest is widely held, but fact checkers have found her to be fundamentally honest.) Elsewhere, Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies, argues that some progressives are lifting anti-Clinton rhetoric from the Republican National Convention.

Novelist and critic Teju Cole (Open City) devotes his “On Photography” column to images of the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly the photograph of Leshia Evans, a protester in Baton Rouge who has been frequently compared to a superhero: “Her dress, abstractly patterned in black and white, swirls around her. She seems almost to be levitating.” Cole points to a “deeper genealogy” (which includes “Tank Man,” taken in 1989 near Tiananmen Square) and wonders whether, after news of more violence, he should revise his column, already edited but not yet in print. In a postscript, he explains why he did not revise. “The duty of critical writing is to listen to the noise of life without being deafened by it.”

More than forty TED speakers give their summer reading recommendations.

Although readers have been taking Rich Cohen to task on social media for his shallow portrait of Margot Robbie in his Vanity Fair cover story, the Suicide Squad and Wolf of Wall Street actress told an Australian TV show that it’s no different from any other day on the Internet: “I’ve read far more offensive, far more sexist, insulting, derogatory, disgusting things on a daily basis.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden. Photo: Open Road Films

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden. Photo: Open Road Films

It’s been a good week for books with big screen dreams. The trailer for Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and based on Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files and Anatoly Kucharena’s Time of the Octopus, premiered at San Diego’s ComicCon. Two books by investigative journalists on the Panama Papers leak are being adapted into movies. Hulu announced that Orange is the New Black actress Samira Wiley has signed on to its series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The Hollywood trend of “turning subversion of its own tropes into its chief box office asset” might be a good thing for “Discworld” series author Terry Pratchett—studios have struggled to adapt the prolific novelist’s often pessimistic works to the big screen.

Revolution Books, the New York City bookstore that raised $100,000 last year to move from its original Chelsea location to a new spot in Harlem, is starting an IndieGoGo campaign. The bookstore seeks $25,000 “to enable it to stock more books, add an air conditioning system, and build a stage for author events.” Spokesperson Andy Zee wrote in an email to bookstore members, “The simple and brute fact is that Revolution Books…cannot survive and grow by selling books alone.”

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