• December 7, 2016

    PEN America has released its Open Book Award longlist. Finalists for the $5,000 prize include Solmaz Sharif’s Look, Helen Oyeyemi’s What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, and Jade Sharma’s Problems.

    After thirty-five years of business, Brooklyn’s BookCourt is closing on December 31. At the New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich writes, “I could go on about the hundreds of books I bought and discovered there . . . about the world-class events it hosted and the beautiful, hilarious, brilliant people it employed. I will instead say—with the deepest sincerity I am capable of—thank you. We will miss you so much.”

    The Village Voice has named Stephen Mooallem as its new editor in chief. Mooallem was previously the editor in chief of Interview magazine, and most recently the executive editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Mooallem told the New York Times that his goal as editor in chief is to “improve the paper’s digital side, re-establish its cultural coverage and investigative reporting, and embrace the paper’s inherent ‘New Yorkiness.’”

    After nearly fifteen years at the New York Times, Lydia Polgreen is moving to the Huffington Post to take over as editor in chief. Polgreen has served as bureau chief at various international offices of the Times, as well as editorial director of NYT Global.

    The Associated Press says that a reporter working in South Sudan was expelled by the country’s government yesterday. Justin Lynch, an American journalist who had been reporting on human rights violations, was taken by South Sudan’s National Security Service and put on a flight to Uganda. The South Sudan government yet to explain Lynch’s deportation to the AP.

    Jason Rezaian

    Jason Rezaian

    Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter who was detained in an Iranian prison for a year and a half, will write a memoir about the experience for Ecco. Hostage: 544 Days, 400 Million Dollars, the Nuclear Deal & Me will be published in 2018.

    Politico’s Tony Romm writes that Donald Trump isn’t the only person in his administration with severe conflicts of interest. Peter Thiel, Gawker-bankrupter and Trump transition team member, has a “vast corporate web” that could be greatly impacted by his involvement with the incoming government. One of these conflicts involves Palantir, which was co-founded by Thiel and makes up half his net worth. “The big-data giant was valued at more than $20 billion as of October and its customers include the Pentagon, CIA and other national security agencies,” Romm writes. “The privately held company has aggressively bid for new business in Washington, even suing the Army in a case over a $200 million contract that it won in October.”

    Angelo Carusone, the incoming president of Media Matters, says that the watchdog group will start paying less attention to cable news and more to the fake news and misinformation found on the Internet. “It used to be simple, Fox News was the gate keeper… But now there are so many potential bad actors,” Carusone said. “Now there are places like Facebook who aren’t bad actors but can be enablers of misinformation.”

    At GQ, Morgan Childs reports from Liberland, a bitcoin-driven “Libertarian utopia” for white men on the border of Serbia and Croatia. Childs writes that although the country and its infrastructure have yet to take shape, the organization is having no trouble finding donations or prospective citizens: “For an organization driven by xenophobic, Eurosceptic, tax-avoidant white men, the timing couldn’t be better.”

    Tonight at BookCourt, Siri Hustvedt on her new book, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women.