June 16, 2017

CNN has filed a lawsuit against the FBI in order to obtain copies of James Comey’s memos on his meetings with Trump. Although the documents are not classified, the FBI has yet to answer the network’s FOIA request.

At Literary Hub, Marc Leeds looks to Kurt Vonnegut for hope during the Trump presidency. “Kurt Vonnegut tells us that the game will always be stacked against the individual, and that everyone deserves common decency simply for making an effort at living,” he writes. “When Trump and his regressive minions retreat from the scene, we will all have to take up [Timequake protagonist] Kilgore Trout’s mantra and realize this was not our America. However, ‘You were sick, but now you’re well, and there’s work to do!’”

Victor LaValle

At Signature, Lorraine Berry talks to Victor LaValle about monsters, technology, and his new book, The Changeling. Even though the effects of technology in our life is a major focus of The Changeling, LaValle says that he thinks humans corrupt it as much as they adapt to it. “The vast majority of us most of the time use almost anything and everything for selfish nonsense. That’s certainly been the case for religion, and it’s the case for the internet,” he said. “I can’t think of any people who would claim that the comment section has changed. That’s easily a mob. Whether it’s fifty years ago, 150 years ago [or] Neanderthals when they were just learning language.”

In the New York Times’s “By the Book” column, Defectors author Joseph Kanon debates who to invite to his literary dinner party. “I know I should say Henry James and Proust and George Eliot, but the great and the good can be really heavy going at a dinner party,” he notes. “Let’s go for a fun evening instead. Say, David Sedaris, Oscar Levant and Mel Brooks. Or, fun in a different way, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh, if he promises to behave.”

The Star Tribune checks in on Mall of America writer-in-residence Brian Sonia-Wallace, who is spending the few days “somewhere between the giant Lego models and the Nickelodeon roller coaster” writing poems on a typewriter for passing shoppers. So far, visitors have included mall employees in search of Father’s Day dedications and children who have never used a typewriter before. The paper asked whether Sonia-Wallace will “go crazy” inside the mall, to which he replied, “Probably.”