• April 9, 2015

    Toni Morrison

    Toni Morrison

    The New York Times Magazine has a profile of Toni Morrison, who says of the journalists who constantly phone her: “They are just calling to see when I’m going to die. . . . So I’ll play it up a bit and say, ‘Oh, today my arms hurt, my chest is sore.’ Because, me? I’m not going anywhere soon.”

    At Cosmopolitan, an interview with Chelsea Manning, the Army private who was convicted of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010.

    Oyster, the e-book service known as “the Netflix for books,” is starting an e-book store in addition to their monthly subscription service. They will sell individual titles from the big five publishers, and are looking to beat Amazon at the e-book game, as cofounder Willem Van Lancker says: “We want to be the Amazon of the next 10 years. We want to build the company that takes e-books into the next wave.” Since Amazon is reportedly in tough contract talks with HarperCollins (after last years feud with Hachette), book publishers will welcome a new outlet for their digital wares.

    Bereft fans of HTMLGIANT need weep no more: Blake Butler returns to take sports back from the jocks at ballballballball.com.

    More bad news in this year’s VIDA count, but several of the old guard came in for tentative praise: At the New Republic (even pre-walkout) the proportion of female reviewers jumped from 7 to 29 percent, and the numbers were also inching upwards at Harper’s Magazine, Granta, and the New York Times Book Review. (AWP-goers can enjoy #VIDACount pies at Booth 1008.) The brand-new Women of Color count, which had hoped to “complicate the conversation” by surveying female writers about their racial identity, is so far suffering something of a data drought. “What are some of the reasons [writers] may choose to opt out?” VIDA’s Amy King wonders. Jamia Wilson of WAM asks: “Are white writers published in gross disproportion to writers of color?” Two questions that might seem to answer each other.

    An exciting new episode of the New Yorker’s Comma Queen series, starring the magazine resident grammar goddess Mary Norris, has been posted online.