New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who published the first articles about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual assault, have signed a deal with Penguin Press to write a book on the recent wave of sexual abuse and harassment scandals. “We’re going deeper. Enormous thanks to everyone who has read and supported this work,” Kantor wrote on Twitter. According to Penguin Press president and editor in chief Ann Godoff: “In this moment of attack on their profession, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s investigative reporting on sexual harassment has proven that the discipline, craft and ethics of journalism can truly spark social change. Their book will contextualize and enlarge this important conversation.”
Mohsin Hamid, the author of Exit West, says he feels “more depressed than I have in a long time about the political direction of Pakistan.” But he also warns that the tribalism that disturbs him is not a problem unique to his home country. “You’ll see Pakistan, basically, all over Europe and North America,” Hamid tells The Guardian. “We are the cutting edge. Pakistan can be viewed as a model for the kind of things that begin to occur when [the idea of] purity is made predominant in your society.”
The National Book Critics Circle has announced the finalists for the John Leonard Prize, an award given for the best first book.
At the Washington Post, Lisa Kleypas, an author of romance novels, takes issue with Hillary Clinton for her recent comments about the romance-novel industry, in which the politician suggested that men and women learn abusive behaviors from novels about “women being grabbed and thrown on a horse and ridden off into the distance.” “Your comment, especially pulled out of context, doesn’t represent all romance novels,” Kleypas writes. “It’s a misleading cliche about the genre—like so many misleading cliches about your fabulous trailblazing life.”
The New York Times has an interesting article about the Mekong Review, a quarterly journal about literature and politics in Southeast Asia. The review was started in 2015, and so far has survived despite frequent censorship in the region’s press. “Supporters say it is a welcome platform for Southeast Asian writers and scholars of the region, as well as a sharp political voice in countries where speech is perennially threatened.”
PEN America reports that Cameroonian-American writer, poet, and professor Patrice Nganang was detained by police in Cameroon on December 7, just after publishing an article critical of the Biya government.