Adam Haslett talks to the LA Times about Imagine Me Gone, which has been nominated for the LA Times Book Prize. Haslett notes that the book drew on events from his own life, which made the writing process both painful and liberating. “Dwelling inside the minds of people that I knew that are suffering like that is not easy,” he said. “There’s just no question in my mind that I had a deeper sense of catharsis that I’ve ever had.”
PBS Newshour anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff will receive the 2017 Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism. She will be honored at an event in November.
At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple reports on the National Rifle Associations “obsession with the New York Times.” The organization takes issue with the paper’s coverage of Benghazi, crime in the city of Chicago, and criticism of the Trump administration. In a video, the NRA asserts that it plans “to fisk the New York Times and find out just what deep and rich means to this old gray hag, this untrustworthy, dishonest rag that has subsisted on the welfare of mediocrity for one, two, three more decades.”
In the Times’s “Bookends” feature, Adam Kirsch and Liesl Schillinger examine whether elitism or populism causes more harm to the arts. Kirsch points out that writers are not intentionally choosing one or the other; rather, their writing reflects their different views on the era in which they live and work, and their reception will reflect that. “A popular writer is one at home with the conventions and expectations of his moment,” he writes. “An ‘elitist’ writer, on the other hand . . . is one whose vision of the world and style of expression are defamiliarizing, who does not reproduce the world in words but transforms it.” Schillinger writes that it’s not only the artist’s mindset that creates the distinction, but the audience’s. “I believe that both populist and elite mind-sets yield bad art and good,” she writes, “and that the collision of the two opposed forces can bring new vitality to creative work.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Kat Stoeffel looks at the decline of the New York Observer under Jared Kushner’s watch, and asks the city’s media figures who should buy it when Kushner decides to sell. Suggestions include Michael Bloomberg, former US Attorney Preet Bharara, and Jeff Bezos. Times editor Dean Baquet and New Yorker editor David Remnick both hope that the buyer will be someone who wants the publication to survive. David Rhodes, president of CBS News, responded, “They still charge for that?”