September 20, 2017

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith says that staying off of social media allows her to reserve the right to be wrong. “I have seen on Twitter, I’ve seen it at a distance, people have a feeling at 9 a.m. quite strongly, and then by 11 have been shouted out of it and can have a completely opposite feeling four hours later,” Smith told the New Yorker’s Jia Tolentino at an event earlier this week. “I want to have my feeling, even if it’s wrong, even if it’s inappropriate, express it to myself in the privacy of my heart and my mind. I don’t want to be bullied out of it.”

Franklin Foer talks to Literary Hub about technology, monopolies, and his new book, World Without Mind.

Margaret Sullivan explains why ESPN commentator Jemele Hill should not have been reprimanded for her tweet that referred to Donald Trump as a white supremacist. “It is tragically inappropriate for media behemoths to tout the diversity of their workforce and then hush what those diverse voices want to say on the most important matters of the day,” she writes. “That’s especially a problem when those staffers are encouraged to opine and engage on social media.”

At The Guardian, Sam Jordison reflects on the newfound relevance of Salman Rushdie’s 1983 novel Shame, “a book about a corrupt class of billionaires and ‘badmashes’ hellbent on distorting reality and attacking the rule of law.”

Youtube star Hank Green is working on a novel about going viral on the internet “and the anxiety and awkwardness it can bring.” An Absolutely Remarkable Thing will be published by Dutton next fall.

Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel details the lunch meeting that led to his accidental scoop about how Trump’s lawyers are dealing with the investigations into the campaign’s relationship with Russia. “I’ve picked up all manner of tantalizing nuggets—from U.S. senators, billionaire donors and influential operatives, among others—by positioning myself within earshot of those conversations while nursing a beer at the bar,” he writes. “But I’ve never overheard a conversation quite like the one I accidentally encountered last Tuesday.”

The New York Times wonders if Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment settlements and subsequent firing from Fox News will affect the sales of his new book. The paper notes that while O’Reilly’s previous books have topped best seller charts upon release, Killing England, which was released yesterday, debuted at number ninety on Amazon’s best-seller list. “By comparison, the latest entry in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, which won’t be released until November, is already No. 15.”

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