November 17, 2017

Radhika Jones

Anonymous staffers at Vanity Fair and Condé Nast are worried about incoming editor Radhika Jones’s plans for the magazine and its employees. According to the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, some worry that Jones’s arrival will be accompanied by layoffs and budget cuts, while others wonder how she’ll handle “the gossip-driven Condé Nast corporate culture” as she works to make the magazine more relevant in the digital age. “If you fail everybody will know it,” one unnamed editor said. “It’s not like you’re failing at some obscure web site in Seattle. This is like the Yankees.”

David France’s How to Survive a Plague was awarded the Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction yesterday.

The Washington Post has hired Sarah Ellison as a staff writer. Ellison was most recently a writer at Vanity Fair, and will cover “media and its intersection with politics, culture and technology.”

The New York Times profiles Chinese author Xue Yiwei, whose 2010 novel Dr. Bethune’s Children was recently translated into English. Xue, who moved to Montreal nearly two decades ago, is “in an unusual position: He is neither completely banned, nor completely accepted in his native country.” Although Xue has written about controversial subjects like the Cultural Revolution and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, he has so far avoided the direct scrutiny of the Chinese government, a situation helped by his move to Canada. “I marginalized myself,” Xue explained. “Voluntarily. But I remained an essential writer on the literary scene in China.”

The Martian author Andy Weir says that he’s over the dystopian fiction trend. “I tend to avoid fiction that’s too dark or serious or has a political message,” he said. “For me, fiction is a form of escapism. I want to leave the real world, not sit around and stress about it.”

Supporters of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are attempting to impersonate Washington Post reporters in an effort to discredit the paper’s reports about his past encounters with teenage girls. “People down here are pushing back against The Washington Post, the moderate liberal Republicans and the Washington establishment that thinks we’re all stupid,” explained Dean Young, one of Moore’s political advisers. “They’re pushing back every way we can.”

Tonight at St. George’s Church in Manhattan, Michael Robbins discusses his new book, Equipment for Living.

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