• August 2, 2016

    Poet and writer Kevin Young will be taking over for historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Young is currently a professor and curator of rare books at Emory University, “where he helped spearhead a number of major acquisitions, including archives of Jack Kerouac . . . Flannery O’Connor and Lucille Clifton.”

    Kevin Young. Photo: Melanie Dunea

    Kevin Young. Photo: Melanie Dunea

    Yale University Press London has laid off the distinguished art editors Gillian Malpass and Sally Salvesen. The decision received a strong rebuke from the scholarly community, with more than three-hundred professors and curators signing a petition in protest. Andrew Saint, the petition’s co-author, told the Yale Daily News, “Ask anyone who knows about such things and they will tell you that Yale UP London are simply the tops in the international English-speaking world for art history publishing. It may be that many in New Haven including people high up in the university are unaware of this, but it is for this and this alone that the name of Yale is held in high repute in many circles. . . . The campaign to destroy what has been achieved to international acclaim is perverse and vandalistic.”

    Gawker founder Nick Denton is filing for bankruptcy in the wake of Hulk Hogan’s successful lawsuit against the media company. In a memo to Gawker staff, Denton says that the Gawker brand is stronger than ever, with increased traffic and solid advertising booking. Denton called the lawsuit, which was bankrolled by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, a “personal vendetta,” and remains an adamant supporter of Gawker’s actions: “For once, the journalistic cliché is appropriate: We’ve spoken truth to power. Sometimes uncomfortable truths. Sometimes gossipy truths. But truths. There is a price to pay for that, and I am paying it now. But we never gave up our souls in the pursuit of an easy life.”

    Andrew Holgate, the literary editor of the Sunday Times, has written a letter decrying the inclusion of five American authors on the Man Booker Prize longlist, calling it “disastrous.”

    VICE whets our appetite for Jeff Feuerzeig’s “compulsively watchable” documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story, and revisits the episode that scandalized the literary world, when it was revealed that novelist and short-story writer LeRoy was an elaborate hoax. LeRoy himself was a fiction, the invention of the author Laura Albert, who convinced her sister-in-law Savannah Knoop to impersonate LeRoy for his rare public appearances. Albert hoodwinked many artists and writers, including Mary Karr, Tom Waits, and Dennis Cooper. As Mary Gaitskill said shortly after the hoax was exposed in 2005, the story “represented ‘the confusion between love and art and publicity’”—“a confusion,” writes VICE’s Roisin Agnew, “that seems far more suited to 2016 than to 2005, when the duality between identity and work has never seemed more prescient.”

    Tonight, Community Bookstore in Brooklyn is hosting a celebration of Helen DeWitt’s recently reissued first novel, The Last Samurai.